Dubai’s Victory Team of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali fought their way through the field to finish in runner-up position at the Weihai Grand Prix, the fourth race on the 2017 UIM XCAT World Championship.
In Sunday’s action on the Nanhai New District Bay, Al Adidi and Al Ali started off in sixth on the grid, but made their way into second to eventually finish 25.70 seconds behind winners The Blue Roo with Brett Luhrmann and Pal Virik Nilsen on board. Al Wasl, steered by the former world champion pairing of Aref Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi came in third, while Giovanni Carpitella and Aussie teammate Darren Nicholson finished fourth in the Weihai-China boat leaving Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori in fifth place.
“No doubt this was one of the toughest race we have done so far. Our disadvantage was that we were at the back of the grid, so handling the boat becomes even more difficult. But we knew we had to do something special and get the points to ensure we are among the challengers midway through the championship,” Al Adidi said after the race.
“It gives us great joy to be where we are at the moment. We had a bit of trouble yesterday (on Saturday) due to the long lap penalty. But I think we can be happy today that we have managed to add crucial points to the overall tally,” he added.
Al Adidi and Al Ali had won both the races in Zhengzhou last week. But with a long lap penalty in the third race in Weihai on Saturday, the drivers from Dubai fell into sixth place while being separated from overall leaders Team Abu Dhabi by just one point.
However, Sunday’s results have made further changes in the overall standings with The Blue Roo taking the top spot with 118 points, while Victory Team is in second with 115 points and Team Abu Dhabi in third with 104 points. “This was not the result we expected to be honest,” said Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Tayer.
“I guess it was important to put as many points on the board as we could in a difficult race and make sure that there was no damage on the boat before next weekend. It’s still very close at the top of the points’ tables and it’s going to be exciting,” he added.
The participating boats will now be dispatched to Hangzhou for the next two races of the 2017 UIM XCAT World Championship from October 27 to 29.RESULTSResults at the end of the Weihai Grand Prix, the fourth race on the 2017 UIM XCAT World Championship
Overall standings at the end of the Weihai Grand Prix:
- The Blue Roo (Brett Luhrmann (Australia)/Pål Virik Nilsen (Norway) 42min 03.28secs
- Victory (Salem Al Adidi (UAE)/Eisa Al Ali (UAE) @25.70secs
- Al Wasl (Aref Saif Al Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE) @26.84secs
- Weihai-China (Giovanni Carpitella (Italy)/Darren Nicholson (Australia) +1min 15.49secs
- Team Abu Dhabi (Rashid Al Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al Mansoori (UAE) @1min 33.69secs
- Swecat Racing (Mikael Bengtsson (Sweden)/Erik Stark (Sweden) +1min 47.09secs
- New Star (Mikhail Kitashev (Russia)/Dmitry Vandyshev (Russia) +2min 26.40secs
- Fujairah Team (Serafino Barlesi (Italy)/Alessandro Barone (Italy) 1 lap behind
- Caccia Engineering (Diego Testa (Italy)/Daniele Martignoni (Italy) 1 lap behind
- Raheeb (Abdullatif Al-Omani (Kuwait)/Mustafa Al Dashti (Kuwait) 1 lap behind
- Lady Spain (Roberto Lo Piano (Italy)/Andrea Comello (Italy) 1 lap behind.
- The Blue Roo (Team Australia) (118pts)
- Victory Team (115)
- Team Abu Dhabi (104)
- 222 Offshore/Weihai-China (86)
- Fujairah Team (61)
- Swecat Racing (59)
- Caccia Engineering (56)
- Al Wasl (46)
- New Star (43)
- Raheeb (28)
- Lady Spain (14)