Two races in Stresa and two in Fujairah for the UIM XCAT championship. And Dubai Police has won them all. Will anybody be able to fight with them for the title, or the season is already over?
It’s another victory for Dubai Police: Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi also win Race 2 in the second stage of the 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship, which ended today in Stresa, on Lake Maggiore. After the double win in Fujairah and the one yesterday in Race 1, they maintain the leadership of the ranking with full points. And the rest of the podium is the same as Race 1: second spot for Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori on Abu Dhabi 4, third for the Italian-Australian crew of 222 Offshore with Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson.
The UAE duo today started from the first position and immediately imposed their supremacy retracing yesterday’s strategy: gain seconds on pursuer catamaran in the first laps and then launch into the two long laps without losing the position. So it was but the adrenaline went up during the final part of the race when Abu Dhabi 4 gave it all on rippled waters of Lake Maggiore, inching their way back to Dubai Police: at the end the two closed with just 7 seconds of gap. Important result, especially with an eye on the overall ranking, for 222 Offshore: Carpitella and Nicholson immediately started resisting to the attack of Team Australia and led an authoritative race, showing their high potential and a good understanding in the cockpit.
Team Australia (Pål Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten) confirmed yesterday’s fourth position, while Yacht Club Como is growing as Serafino Barlesi at the helm and Alessandro Barone at the throttle scored a good fifth place. P6, with some disappointment, for the team of Abu Dhabi 5 (Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori).
Definitely a negative weekend for Swecat Racing who retired on Saturday due to a technical failure and couldn’t even leave the wet pits before today’s start.
A red flag was waved during free practice this morning: a crash occurred to New Star, boat number 9 when the Russian crew went into a spin and flipped over. The two drivers Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandyshev escaped the cockpit unharmed, but there was no time to fix their boat: so New Star couldn’t take part in Race 2, leaving an empty spot in P11 on the grid.
The overall ranking has now in the first three spots Dubai Police (140 points), 222 Offshore (92) and Abu Dhabi 4 (82). Thousands of enthusiastic spectators gathered on the lakeside and on the Borromee Islands, and also cheered the pilots under the podium. The Stresa Grand Prix was the only European stage of the 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship, which now moves to China with four events scheduled until October. The first racing weekend will be from August 31 to September 3.