Tom Barry Cotter and Ross Willaton perform a superb race, finish first, and clinch the World Title at their first full season in XCAT.
Team Maritimo of Australia, with the Aussies Tom Barry Cotter and Ross Willaton, on a Maritimo boat built in Australia, win the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship. That should be enough for a line to describe the proud that they have felt down under, and in particular in Gold Coast, after today’s race.
In a well balanced fight during the whole season, with four boats eligible for the world title until the very last race, it’s not been easy for the Maritimo duo to be the best.
After a tough race 1, started in first spot but finished second, the pole of race 2 was for Abu Dhabi 4 of Shaun Torrente and Faleh al Mansoori, leaders of the overall ranking, so they seemed the favorite. Behind them, Maritimo, Abu Dhabi 5 and Dubai Police.
Second after the start, Maritimo could only win the Championship by overtaking Abu Dhabi 4. And they are faster, but a twist happens to help them: Abu Dhabi 4 miss a buoy and get a penalty lap. So Barry Cotter and Willaton find themselves in front, fully concentrated, and their boat is amazingly fast: they pile up seconds after seconds of advantage until they feel safe. At lap 13 they still have the second long lap to take, and Abu Dhabi 5 now in P2 has a chance. But no, Maritimo is too much ahead, and there’s nothing to do.
After the penalty Abu Dhabi 4 is fourth, very close to Dubai Police which is not fast as usual. The gap gets thinner and thinner, but.. the checkered flag waves and the season is over. Maritimo turns the prevision around and wins the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship, while Abu Dhabi 4 is only second and Dubai Police third by two points.
Behind the top four, once again is 222 Offshore with the Italian Giovanni Carpitella and the Australian Darren Nicholson, also fifth in the overall, then HPI Racing Team (Giuseppe and Rosario Schiano), Victory Team (Salem al Adidi and Eisa al Ali), Kuwait (Abdullatef al Omani and Moustafa al Dashti), De Mitri (Roberto Lo Piano and Maurizio Carando), Videx (Alfredo Amato and Saul Bubacco), Consulbrokers (Andrea Comello and Joakim Kumlin).
DNF for New Star Racing, Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandishev, who almost made a miracle after the flipover in race 1: a huge effort by the team and a fair help from their opponents took them in the water, but unfortunately for less than a lap.
A due mention also to Swecat Racing (Erik Stark and Sebastian Groth), stopped in the dry pits afer the big crash last November in Shanghai, and to Team Australia (Pål Virik Nilsen and Jan Trigve Braaten), with the confidence of seeing them back on track after Pål’s recovery.
Now that the season is over, we hope that the work of UIM in promoting the Championship, and trying to give more media value to the event, will take to a strong 2020, as powerboating deserves to get back credibility and popularity. We’ve heard some positive rumors aabout the XCAT Championship for next year, but you never know until you know…