In the first real action day of the XCAT Gold Coast GP in Australia, celebrations were the order of the day for Giovanni Carpitella at the Gold Coast GP today. Not only did the Italian racer take home his inaugural Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run title, but it was also his birthday.
Carpitella and Australian teammate Darren Nicholson overcame Marine Investimenti Sud (Serafino Barlesi and Alessandro Barone) in the final of the head-to-head, drag race-style showdown in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators.
But the drama of the day belonged to the Dubai duo of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali who flipped their boat in the second round of the Speed Cat Run as they took on the XDubai team of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi. Thanks to the quick response of the safety people, the Italian team of Bergamo Scuba Angels, the pilots emerged from the upturned boat completely unscathed – still a bit confused.
“It was a combination of factors. We were going at top speed because it was the finish line. And at that point the waves were getting higher so it all happened very quickly. But we’re both perfectly fine,” said Al Adidi, at his third career flipover since he started racing in XCAT two years ago.
As for the winning crew, the ‘man of the day’ Carpitella explains: “I checked the wind and the tide and I decided a set-up on my boat according to this. It needed to be both a balanced boat and a fast one. And it worked because we were really steady but still we got to 185km/hour in just 1100m of the course, starting from 40km/hour.
“I was very glad to be able to sing my anthem on the podium. I could have sung it another two or three times this year,” added Carpitella, referring to the bad run of luck he has had with his boat when mechanical problems meant he lost out from potentially winning positions in the last few rounds.
XDubai won the race-off for third place against the Italian team Six (Matteo Nicolini and Tomaso Polli) to complete the podium.
The full video of the Dubai boat crash during Gold Coast event can be watched at XCATitalia official page