XCAT gears up for sizzling 2016 season

XCAT gears up for sizzling 2016 season

28 January 2016, Dubai – Fresh, new venues and exciting locations are on the cards for this year’s UIM XCAT World Powerboat Series with the 2016 calendar announced today.

The stunning glacial Lake Lugano will play host to one of the seven rounds in the season ahead while XCAT action will also visit two Asian venues in the coming year.

The XCAT World Series truly is a spectacle of speed, with teams of two taking each other on in two-engined carbon-fibre boats that tear around the course at speeds close to 200km per hour.

Last year saw XCAT racing visiting both Portugal and Australia for the first time, with the Gold Coast event in August attracting a record number of television viewers in over 750 million households.

Hot on the heels of last year’s success, the 2016 XCAT season will kick off in the Gulf of Oman in the UAE city of Fujairah from 7-8 April before heading cross-country to Dubai for Round 2 the following weekend, from 15-16 April.

The festival of speed then heads to the breathtaking background of Switzerland for Round 3 in Lugano from 4-5 June before heading to Asia in September and October.

XCAT gears up for sizzling 2016 season

Details of the Asian venues will be announced at a later date but the races are scheduled for 24-25 September and 8-9 October.

The UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, will then welcome back to competing teams as they tackle the penultimate round of the Series from 17-18 November with the grand finale scheduled for Dubai from 2-3 December.

“It is with great excitement and anticipation that we are announcing the XCAT calendar for 2016. What a fabulous year we have to look forward to,” said HE Dr Saif Al Ketbi, President of the WPPA – organisers and promoters of the Series.

“With several new host cities – and countries – to visit it promises to be a truly extraordinary season. We look forward to welcoming all XCAT fans to enjoy the racing at these venues or to catch every minute of the amazing action live on TV as millions across the world are caught up in the excitement,” added Al Ketbi.

2016 XCAT Calendar

Round 1: 7-8 April – Fujairah, UAE

Round 2: 15-16 April – Dubai, UAE

Round 3: 4-5 June – Lugano, Switzerland

Round 4: 24-25 September – Asia (venue to be announced)

Round 5: 8-9 October – Asia (venue to be announced)

Round 6: 17-18 November – Abu Dhabi, UAE

Final round: 2-3 December – Dubai, UAE

Fazza set best time in practice session

Fazza set best time in practice session

Third heat of X-Cat World Series to be held at ADIMSC today.

Mohammed Al Marri and Arif Saif Al Zaffain led Fazza to a blistering run to with the fastest time at the end of official practice before the third heat of the 2012 UIM X-CAT World Series scheduled to be held at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) on Thursday.

The pair of Al Marri and Al Zaffain was timed at 3 minutes, 11.47 seconds, with a healthy lead of more than six seconds from the Swiss-American pairing of Omar Danial and Gary Ballough in their boat Mouawed in a time of 3:17.12.

The Spirit of Abu Dhabi boat with Rashid Suhail Al Tayer as driver and Ahmad Mohammad Hassan as the throttleman came in third best with a time of 3:20.74 followed by the Abu Dhabi Racing Team of American driver Scott Gillman and Ahmad Ali Al Hameli in fourth place in a time of 3:21.95.

The Sky Dive Dubai team of Eisa Al Ali and Juma Mattar Al Mazroui, who did not start the first round held in January last month, clocked the fifth best time of 3:23.31 followed by Extreme Marine and Raheeb from Kuwait.

Fazza set best time in practice session

Today’s Pole Position run will be held from 10 am till 11.30 am, while the race will start at 3 pm followed immediately by the prize presentation.

The third heat of the X-Cat Series that was to be held at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) last weekend had to be postponed for April 6-7 due to rough weather.
“The teams are enjoying the full facilities at the ADIMSC that were set up for last year’s Volvo Ocean Sailing. Everyone is being looked after well and that is bound the set the stage for some exciting racing on Thursday,” said Sid Ben saleh from the race organizers.

After the first two rounds of racing held in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in January, the Qatar Team of Mohammed Al Nasser and Hamad Jassim Mohammed is at the top of the overall standings with 600 points, followed by the Swiss-American duo of Omar Danial and Gary Ballough in their boat Mouawed with 450 points.
The UAE’s Extreme Marine pairing of Rashid Khalifa Al Marri and Salim Fadhel Al Hamli is in third overall with 422 points, while Fazza’s Mohammed Al Marri and Arif Al Zaffain – the winners of the opening round in Dubai – are in fourth overall with 417 points and Spirit of Abu Dhabi in fifth position with 191 points.

The fourth and penultimate round of the championship will now be held at the DIMC on April 6-7 followed by the final round at the Fujairah International Marine Club on April 12-13.

Home Teams may hold the advantage

Home Teams may hold the advantage

Dubai 33 and Abu Dhabi 5 to battle against Gold Coast Australia and Swecat Racing in final round

Two UAE-based teams will join a team from Sweden and Australia in search of the runner-up position at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the fourth and final round on the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series.

The final round will witness a field of 13 boats line-up off the breakwater and corniche of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) with the Victory Team duo of Nadir Bin Hendi and Arif Al Zaffain securing yet another world crown after winning all three previous rounds to amass a total of 129 points.

In Abu Dhabi, the Dubai duo will try out their brand-new Generation 2 boat that has been especially commissioned to adapt to the new four-stroke engines while enhancing boat safety and maximum engine performance.

With the title already settled for the season, much of the focus will now be on which boat manages the extra points to ensure the second best position in the overall standings.

Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton have two second places and one sixth in their Gold Coast Australia boat for a total of 79 points. But close on their heels is Swecat Racing’s Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark with 71 points following their two third places and a sixth in Lugano in Round Three.

Home Teams may hold the advantage

“Second place is a great place to be in. We would liked to have been able to fight for the championship with Victory Team, however three of the four final rounds have been cancelled, which mathematically placed Victory Team in a position which cannot be overtaken,” observed Tom Barry-Cotter of the Gold Coast Australia team.

“We expect competition to be fierce in Abu Dhabi as lots of boats will be competing for the second place overall position. We will remain focused on securing that, and also fighting to be the Pole Position Champion – if we can accomplish these two things we can finish the season feeling like champions,” said Gold Coast Australia’s Tom Barry-Cotter.

But given the familiarity with home waters, the advantage will be heavily resting on the shoulders of Dubai 33 with Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali on board and the Abu Dhabi Team 5 pairing of Majed Al Mansoori and Rashed Al Tayer, who are with 70 and 64 points in third and fourth places, respectively.

Preliminary action has already got under way with a couple of free practice windows open on the race course from 9 am to 10.30 am and then from 10.30 am to 2 pm on Tuesday [November 15]. This will be followed by pre-technical scrutineering till 5 pm.

On Wednesday [November 16], registrations will open at 9 am followed by the drivers’ briefing at 12 noon, an official practice session from 3.45 to 5.30 pm followed by a mandatory team managers’ meeting to go through the UIM 2017 Rule Book at 6.30 pm.

On Thursday [November 17], the EMAAR Pole Position run will be held between 11 am and 12.30 pm, the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm followed by the prize presentation for the top finishers in the EMAAR Pole Position and DDF Speed Cat Run.

Friday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at 3.30 pm will be followed with the annual end-of-season gala dinner from 8 pm onwards.

Seoul ready to host XCAT 100 Days before the start

Seoul ready to host XCAT 100 Days before the start

XCAT South Korea Grand Prix Local Organising Committee has announced their early readiness to host the 4th Round of the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series, South Korea Grand Prix 23 – 25 September, through celebration took place on the occasion of the start of the countdown of the 4th Round and WPPA delegation visit to South Korea to check on the preparations that is taken place to host the 4th Round in Seoul and for the visit of XCAT to South Korea for the first time.

The WPPA delegation has reassured on all the preparations and coordinated between various parties before the arrival of the XCAT convoy coming from Europe and in particular from Switzerland after Lugano Grand Prix.  South Korea Grand Prix will take place at the heart of the Korean capital, Seoul, which is preparing to host and organise a water festival.

The WPPA delegation has gone through logistical and technical matters during the visit to South Korea through subsequent meetings attended by WPPA Board Member and Acting CEO, Mr Ali Bin Hendi, Co-Chairman of the Preparatory Committee in South Korea, Mrs Erica Young Zee Yoon and number of Korean Officials in Seoul.

Seoul ready to host XCAT 100 Days before the start

During the meetings, the start of the 100 Days countdown to the start of XCAT South Korea Grand Prix has been announcement in Seoul in the presence of Mr Ali Bin Hendi and local officials of the organising committee as well as the Korean Tourism Department.  During the announcement celebration, gifts have been exchanged been both sides.

Mr Bin Hendi has expressed WPPA’s Board Members satisfaction on the current preparations done by the Korean organising committee to host the World Championship, and the dedicated efforts by the Local Organising Committee. “The presence of the Korean capital, Seoul, in the calendar of XCAT World Series confirms the extent of the work and diligence of the WPPA Board Members, which nocked on so many doors in order to publicise XCAT Series and sport of powerboat on a larger scale” said Ben Hendi.

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