Blue Roo seek to thrive in Dubai waters
Final round races of 2017 UIM XCAT World Championship to be held today and tomorrow off The Palm
Overall leaders The Blue Roo are keen to continue with their fine form in China approaching the final two races on the Dubai Grand Prix â€“ the season finale of the 2017 UIM XCAT World Championship being held off The Palm Jumeirah this weekend.
With major construction works in progress along the Mina Seyahi waters of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), the race is being held off the western frond of The Palm today and tomorrow.
Australia’s Brett Luhrmann and Pal Virik Nilsen in The Blue Roo are in pole for a maiden world crown as they lead the standings with 148 points. But they are being chased down by the Victory Team pair of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali in second place with 137 points, while third place is occupied by Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansouri with 116 points.
The Aussie boat was timed third best with a lap of 2 minutes, 59.275 seconds behind Team Abu Dhabi (2:58.069) and Al Wasl (2:58.308) at the end of Thursday’s official practice session.
“The waters suit us and our boat set-up. We are quite pleased with how things have gone for us,” Nilsen told Gulf News later.
“We don’t need to focus on anyone else in these last two races. We have a good set-up going and all we need to do is continue from where we left off in China. The important thing will be to stay calm and cool and run our own race with an eye on finishing on top,” he added.
Another three teams are close on the heels of the leaders led by the 222 Offshore team of Giovanni Carpitella and Joakim Kumlin, Swecat’s Erik Stark and Mickael Bengtsson and defending world champions Arif Al Zafein and Nader Bin Hindi in Al Wasl.
Things are going to heat up even more in the final two races with Victory Team announcing a second boat with the experienced Gary Ballough teaming up with Ahmad Al Hameli this weekend.
“The focus is wins in both races,” Eisa Al Ali remarked.
“We have a maximum of 70 points on offer that could give us that top position. So we just need to stay on track and get those points in our home races. Of course, nothing will be easy as there are some fast boats out there. But this is Victory Team and our job is to go out there and get maximum points and seal our maiden title,” he added.
Familiar with the waters as well is the Team Abu Dhabi pair of Rashid Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansouri, who are presently in third place. “For us these are home waters and conditions suit us perfectly,” Al Tayer said.
“We have everything going our way at the moment and while we would love to win both these races, even a top three finish would keep us happy to end the season,” he added.
On Friday, there will be the pole position run from 9.30 to 11 am followed by the first race of the Dubai Grand Prix at 2.30 pm. The second race will be held at the same time on Saturday to decide the new world champions.