- 14 June 2021
The XCAT history: The year 2019
The competitive season of the XCAT offshore racing, aka the top category of world powerboating, restarted from Fujairah, with the first “Fujairah Challenge Trophy” organized by UIM and OPTA. In preparation for the 2019 World Championship, this Trophy-event represented an excellent opportunity to warm the engines up, and the teams resulted to compete on a demanding track with critical weather conditions.
With this new contest the teams had the chance to test the boats before the start of the World Championship, and they had the opportunity to do so in the Fujairah circuit, where the logistics headquarter of the XCAT Circus is located. Moreover, racing in the Fujairah circuit is highly appreciated by drivers, recognizing the high professionalism of the Club hosting the events.
Following the Trophy, the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship excitingly started its action in Italy, in the wonderful scenario offered by the city of Stresa, on the Maggiore Lake.
A fleet of 13 boats competed in 2 races on a scenic circuit framed by the picturesque Maggiore Lake; among them, the XCAT boat driven by the defending world champions Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori racing in the “Abu Dhabi Team”. During this first round, many entertainment events and a sparkly VIP dedicated area enriched the two days of powerboating competitions.
After opening in Italy, the Championship moved to China for the second round of the season. The event was held on the Dishui Lake, located in the southeastern part of Shanghai, and it was particularly important because of the score at stake. Indeed, the Chinese round counted as a triple opportunity to score points for teams and drivers, with one competition scheduled on Friday, one on Saturday and a third one on Sunday.
Once again, the local organizers played a fundamental role in attracting the spectators, leveraged by their experience: this was the seventh event in four years for the XCAT in China. Numbers suggesting the success of this championship in the most populated country of the world.
For the third and last round of the season, the XCAT fight for the world title moved to the city of Dubai.
The Dubai Grand Prix was held at Sunset Beach, with a view over the iconic Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab, and turned out as a great event, with a top-class organization and remarkable appreciation from the fans. Certainly, the joint work of UIM, World Powerboating Federation and Championship Promoters, along with the Dubai International Marine Club as the local organizer, gave shape to a very successful racing weekend, reflected by the variety of activities and the conspicuous presence of sponsors and spectators.
The extraordinary event was highlighted by the presence on the stage, during the prize giving ceremony, of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai International Marine Club, the Dubai Sports Council, and the UAE Sports Federation.
The closing round revealed only at the last minute the winners of a well-balanced fight between four boats lasting since the beginning of the season. Against the odds, the “Maritimo Team” won the UIM XCAT 2019 World title, with their boat number 12 driven by the Australian Tom Barry Cotter and Ross Willaton. At the second place in the final standings were the “Abu Dhabi Team” with Faleh Al Mansoori and Shaun Torrente piloting the boat number 4, while the “Legends Team” finished on the third step of podium with Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi with the boat number 3.
At their debut in the championship, the victory of the Maritimo Racing Team was totally unexpected, however the Australians were able to beat the best powerboating racers in the world, and at the last round in Dubai they got a double title: the 2019 UIM XCAT World Champion and the XCAT Pole Position World Champion. With this achievement, they became the first team to win both titles in the same season and the first championship winner from outside the U.A.E.
Cheerfully, all the teams and drivers raced a thrilling championship, and the substantial efforts made by the promoters and organizers, along with the hard work provided by the operative staff, offered a top-class level championship.
The foundation for an upcoming epic XCAT season is here.