The first Pole Position session of the Dubai Grand Prix, defining the starting grid for Race 1 (10th December) of the UIM XCAT World Championship – Dubai GP undoubtedly delivered some intense powerboating action.
Team Abu Dhabi 5 helmed by Rashid Al Tayer (UAE) and Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) took the lead today and are currently in second place overall, making a statement that they will not go down without a fight.
Dubai Police piloted by Arif Al Zaffain (UAE) and Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE), leading the championship with 90 points took the second slot in the starting grid. Tomaso Polli (MC) and Matteo Nicolini (ITA) of Team Six, currently third, displayed some beautiful piloting taking the third slot.
Shaun Torrente (USA) and Faleh Almansoori (UAE) of Team Abu Dhabi 4 lying in fourth place, took the fourth position, whilst Team GB piloted by Scott Williams (UK) and Martin Campbell (UK) took the fifth position.
Sebastiano Pellecchia, Sports Director at the UIM XCAT World Championship, commented, “After a great start in Fujairah for the Fujairah Grand Prix, we are very happy to be back in magnificent Dubai for the Grand Finale of the Championship. Thanks to the support of our historical partner, the Dubai International Marine Club, and all of the Local Authorities, the race is set to be one of the most hair-raising events in powerboat racing.”
Nadir Bin Hendi of Dubai Police commented, “We are very happy to be back home, and we are honored to be driving for Dubai Police. It is a big name, and we need to carry it and make sure it is always number one on the podium and in the race.” He continues, “Whenever there is an event in Dubai it is always a strong event and particularly within watersports it is an immaculate venue. Everyone is happy to be in and racing in Dubai.”
Overtaking can be particularly tricky in powerboating, so the upcoming races will contain an exciting new addition, the X-Point Procedure, or in other words a passing lane. Meaning that should a boat find itself 2-seconds behind the one preceding it, it may take an alternative route facilitating overtaking, making the race even more exciting.
Tomaso Polli of Team Six stated, “The X-Point Procedure is brilliant. We have found ourselves in entire races behind the boat in front of us and there is just no way to pass. If you get too close you are in the rooster and you are compromised. I think it is the future and we are on the right path”.
Following the conclusion of the race, the pilots participated in the Boat Parade event, where residents and visitors were fortunate enough to marvel at the incredible XCAT boats along with the teams manning the helm around the ‘City of Gold’, Dubai.
Next up, Race 1 will take place tomorrow 9th December at 15:00 (GMT +4). Brace yourselves for the pinnacle of powerboat racing.