A collective sigh of relief was heard around Victory Team yesterday when a short text message was received stating “We won the race”. After suffering innumerable setbacks during the first two days of the event, Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi in Fazza S3 had successfully secured their second UIM Class3S World title to add to the Class1 title they currently hold.
The third and final race of the Gran Premio Città di Bacoli, got underway as scheduled at 11.00 am on Sunday 2nd October under clear skies with a strengthening southwesterly breeze creating 4 to 5 foot swells in the offshore part of the course whilst the sheltered inner section was relatively flat, thus creating a challenging and potentially dangerous set of conditions for this final race of the three race series. Unlike in the previous two starts when Arif and Nadir took a conservative approach to the race, they decided to go for broke and challenge for the lead right from the start. The tactic paid off as they arrived at the first turn with a clear lead whilst the other boats battled for position behind them, with a coming together of Giovanni Carpitella in boat 10 and Lorenzo Bacchi in boat 15 causing the latter’s retirement from the race.
From the front the drivers were able to control the race and completed the 11 lap, 48 nautical mile race without any dramas thus sealing the race win and World Championship title. Second place was taken by Carpitella and Pinelli in boat 10 which earned them 3rd overall in the Championship, whilst 3rd in the race for Serafino Barlesi and Francesco Calo secured them 2nd place in the World Championship rankings.
Once back on shore Arif and Nadir were quick to praise the efforts of the crew in getting the boat back on the water after the first race, when their dream of regaining the title they lost to Rashid Al Marri in Dubai last year looked to be doomed. They also thanked the organizers for hosting the event in this charming venue and said they looked forward to return to Italy next year to defend the title.
And so now we look forward to the Class 1 Italian Grand Prix at Cernobbio on the shores of Lake Como from 14th – 16th October, where the battle for a very close fought Class 1 title will resume with hopefully this success giving an added boost to the fighting spirit of our drivers.