Xiamen, October 29th 2017. Wind blowing at 15 knots since the morning, with gusts over 30, and waves increasing to and over one meter: that’s what the drivers would have had to face this afternoon. So, after two laps behind the pace Cat to check the course, and having evaluated the feedback from all the people involved, race 2 of the UIM XCAT World Championship was canceled by the UIM Officials.
Before the race the course had been changed: away the further buoys, no long laps, and a simplified circuit closer to the shore. But that didn’t seem to be enough: the start boat went out to set the pace and align the Cats behind before the green flag, and even at 30 knots it was clear that the waves were too high to have a safe race. Still they had two consecutive laps, followed by all the boats, in order to collect all the information for a good decision. Then they gave red flag, and after some minutes the official decision of not having the race was taken.
All the drivers agreed with the decision, reminding that safety is not an option and that they have much at stake whenever they race. So, giving this for granted, the considerations moved to the overall championship: and while Team Australia (Brett Luhrmann and Pal Virik Nilsen on The Blue Roo) can be happy to see the ranking freezed, as they lead it, some others are disappointed for having missed an opportunity to reduce the gap to the top or climbing up positions. Among these, there is for sure the duo on “Al Wasl”, Arif al Zaffein and Nadir bin Hendi from UAE, who are really experts in offshore racing and were today starting from the first spot. But as we said they fully agreed with the decision. Slightly against the grain is Alfredo Amato, Team Manager of Al&Al – Caccia Engineering and in the cockpit with Daniele Martignoni: he smiles while saying how this kind of chopped sea is similar to the one in the gulf of Naples, where he is from, adding that it would have been nice to have the race and feel like being at home.
So, no news for the championship, with the Australians from the Blue Roo still in the lead followed by Victory Team and Abu Dhabi.
The news is that the boats, spare parts, pontoons and stuff are being packed, ready to leave China after three amazing weeks and three back-to-back events: the Cats are off to the United Arab Emirates, where they wrote so many great pages. The appointment is fixed for November 30th to December 2nd for the UIM XCAT Dubai Grand Prix.