27 November 2015 – The XDubai team of Nadir bin Hendi and Arif Al Zaffain wrapped up the 2015 UIM XCAT World Series with a masterclass in powerboat racing, leading the Abu Dhabi GP from start to finish to take the overall title for the fourth consecutive season.
Heading into the sixth and final race of the year, and starting in third position after a number of problems in Pole Position, the Xdubai duo were not relaxed, with the Abu Dhabi team of Rashed Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori just five points behind them in the overall standings.
But the experienced defending Series champions mastered the rough conditions on the start lap to reach the first buoy, and the safety of the flat water, in first position.
The T-Bone Station team of Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson, who started in second spot, had come close to challenging them when taking a tight line into the first turn, but could just not edge ahead and stayed in second spot for the remainder of the race.
Al Zaffain explained there were a few nervous moments in the boat when he thought they were experiencing gear problems at the start, but at the finish line they screamed in the cockpit all their satisfaction for such a longed result.
Meanwhile, Carpitella explained that he knew beforehand the start would be vital, and that he had to do anything possible at the start because the rest of the race was flat and any attack would have been pointless
As for just missing out on an overall Series podium spot (they would have claimed third had they won Saturday’s race but eventually finished in fourth place) the Italian was not particularly concerned, saying that the target for T-Bone Station crew was just winning the race.
XDubai’s closest challenger in the Series, Abu Dhabi Team, whose only race win of the season came in the opening round in Fujairah, eventually finished in third place in Saturday’s race and settled for second spot overall in the Series.
The Italian duo of Tomaso Polli and Matteo Nicolini in Six held on to third spot overall in the Series despite a disappointing 12th place finish on Saturday after losing power in one of the engines. Mathematically the pair could still have claimed top spot in the championship but it was not their day, as one of their engines started to not give 100 per cent performance with their boat Six going slower and slower in the last laps. But in the end they were able to reach their goal of keeping the third place overall.
The Dubai team of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali, who started in Pole Position in Saturday’s race, had a horrible start and were well back by the first turn but managed to recover to finish in third spot.
XCAT racing will take a short break now as the 2016 season kicks off in March with some new venues on the cards. The official 2016 calendar will be announced in the coming weeks.