Victory Team’s Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi prepared for a final onslaught on the fourth and final round of the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series while clinching the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run off the breakwater of Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) on Thursday evening.
Up against Ahmed Al Hameli and Giovanni Carpitella in their T-Bone Station boat in the final, Al Zaffain and Bin Hindi managed to snatch victory against a constantly-improving opponent from Italy. The home team’s Majed Al Mansoori and Rashed Al Tayer had to stay content with the third and final spot on the podium in their Abu Dhabi 5 boat.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan presented the top three finishers with trophies after the race had ended.
The Speed Cat Run, sponsored by airport retailer Dubai Duty Free, is a one-on-one race between all contesting boats. Two boats line up against each other following an earlier draw and the boat who crosses the finish line first advances as the winner to the next stage in the knockout format.
All eyes, meanwhile, will be on the battle to decide which team ends in second place overall at the conclusion of the final race of this season. Victory Team’s Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi had already wrapped up yet another world crown at the end of the penultimate round held in Lugano, Switzerland in June.
However, the fight for the second spot is wide open with Gold Coast Australia’s Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton with 71 points chasing down Swecat Racing’s Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark who are currently in second with 79 points.
What will make things even more interesting in Friday’s race is that another two boats – Pole Position winner Dubai 33 with Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali battling along with the home team’s and Al Mansoori and Al Tayer in their Team Abu Dhabi 5 boat.