|2nd round of X-Cat witnesses three crashes|
|Monday, 26 January 2009 00:00|
2nd round of the new X-Cat Powerboat Series witnesses three crashes
The second round of the new X-Cat Powerboat Series started with a bang and a successful race in Dubai last weekend but it seemed to be jinxed in Abu Dhabi. Initially scheduled to take place on Friday January 23, 2009 the organizers, Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club under the aegis of the World Professional Powerboating Association decided to postpone the race to the lay day, Saturday January 24, 2009 as the weather played truant and from a safety point it was not feasible.
In what appeared to be a fantastic course turned out to be a nightmare for some of the competitors. The start of the race saw 22 boats parade gracefully down the corniche to pick up speed, fall in place and dash down the course no sooner than the green flag went up. In the first lap Dalma Marine throttled by Salem Fadel Al Hamli and driven by Rashid Al Marri encountered problems and had an unfortunate flip and had to pull out of the race. All went well until the seventh lap when at full speed Cosa Nostra caught in a wake and flipped over with driver Alex Barone and throttleman Francois Pinelli safely ejected. Despite the issues on the course the race went on for a few minutes until local organisers decided to call off the race until the situation was analyzed.
After a break of around 20 minutes when all was in place and it was safe to race the second start commenced with La Vida Loca taking the lead after Qatar 94 overturned in the last and final lap of the 3 remaining laps of the race. The order of the start was pre-determined as per the finishing positions of the boats before the call off of the first race.
Driven by Mora Carrasco and throttled by Giovanni Carpitella, the La Vida Loca boat ran a calculated race hanging among the top three from the start of the second race. Close behind on their heels was Fazza with Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Hendi of Victory Class 1 Powerboat Racing fame. Carpisa who has not seen much success in the last round in Dubai finally made it to the podium in third place after a technical calculation between Al Haj Group and Carpisa. Review of the recordings proved that Al Haj Group had jump started and hence had to be sent down one place although they were the third to cross the finish line under the chequered flag. Carpisa – Yamamay made a fantastic finish only to be ahead of Al Haj and take the third position.
“We have seen the tremendous success of this class of powerboat racing. Till last year there were just 10 boats and now we have 22 boats with many more wanting to join later during the series,” remarked Nasser Al Dhaheri, Sports & Events Organizing Officer and Officer of the Day for the X-Cat Series.
“Our aim is to see this class of racing grow, and it will grow,” he confided.
“Our first priority was to run a safe race and that off. We are grateful to HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for giving us this opportunity to prove ourselves,” Al Zafeen explained.
“It was the perfect opportunity for us to race under the conditions and we are happy that we have made a comeback after a long time. We hope the success stays. It was rather unfortunate that some of our compatriots were unable to have a successful race but this is powerboat racing,” Giovanni Carpitella explained.
The new X-Cat World Powerboat Series has a total prize fund of Dhs 1.6 million and is organized by the UAE Marine Sports Federation with sponsorship and cooperation from the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) and DIMC under the aegis of the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA). The third round of this six-round series will be held at the Dubai International Marine Club on April 10, 2009.