Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi (Dubai Police) step on top of the podium in Race 1 of the Stresa Grand Prix, second stage of the 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship. With these 35 points the Emirati duo consolidate their leadership in the championship. Second place (with just a 4” gap) for Shaun Torrente and Faleh al Mansoori (Abu Dhabi 4), third the Italian-Australian crew of 222 Offshore with Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson who jump in the top spots after an extraordinary start from the seventh place.
The strategy of Dubai Police seemed clear as Bin Hendi and Al Zaffein, starting from pole, aimed at increase their advantage on the competitors and to stay in the lead for all the 17 laps. Only when the gap on the second boat was enough (around 30 seconds) they went for their first long lap. Wise choice: Abu Dhabi 4 has always been forced to chase. With a gap of 27” on the finish line, 222 Offshore gained an important third place after starting from P7: yesterday they didn’t manage to complete their fastest lap but today Carpitella and Nicholson have been able to express most of their true potential.
Bad start for Team Australia (Pål Virik Nilsen and Jan Trigve Braaten) for a temporary problem with an engine, the two then got back their full power and closed fourth, followed by Abu Dhabi 5 and by Yacht Club Como: a bit of a disappointment for Serafino Barlesi and Alessandro Barone, who started from the third spot and even went under investigation for having touched a buoy; the procedure was then closed without consequences for the team.
Due to technical problems (supercharger belt), Swecat Racing crew of Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark didn’t finish the race, same as the Russians of New Star (Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandyshev) who stopped a few laps from the end after incurring in a spectacular almost-complete spin out which cost them several seconds.
At the end of Race 1 of the Stresa Grand Prix the overall ranking has Dubai Police in front at full score (105 pt), followed by 222 Offshore (66 pt) that gains a position and by Abu Dhabi 4 (52 pt) who take a giant leap get from 9th to 3rd place, together with Team Australia and Abu Dhabi 5.
On Sunday 8th at 3 pm the UIM XCAT Championship is again in the water again for Race 2 (live streaming on our social channels starts at 2.40 pm CET), with the starting grid reflcting Saturday’s finish order.
A large audience has enthusiastically witnessed the event from the shores of Lake Maggiore and from the beautiful Borromee Islands, as co-protagonists of a thrilling day of sport.