At the fifth round of the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series, the relatively new pairing of Salem Al Adidi and Talib Al Sayed enjoyed the view from the top spot of the podium for the first time ever today.
2013 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series Heat 5, European Grand Prix - Victory Team
The relatively new pairing of Salem Al Adidi and Talib Al Sayed produced a succession of impressive performances to claim the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run. The team defeated the Italian combination of Matteo Nicolini and Tomaso Polli in Six in the first round before getting the better of Consul Brokers in the semifinal.
They were then faced with the daunting task of taking on Series leaders and firm favourites, Fazza in the final. Al Adidi and Al Sayed held their nerve to stave off the toughest of challenges from their teammates to claim their inaugural win.
'From Official Practice this morning we anticipated that one of the Victory boats would be in the top three because we could see that the speed and acceleration and everything was good,' admitted an ecstatic Al Sayed afterwards.
2013 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series Heat 5, European Grand Prix - Speed Cat final
'So we were a bit confident that one of us would win. What we have is the latest revised version of the Victory Team boat. We have done improvements on the boat – it’s one of the fastest boats right now, but I have a new colleague with me in the boat and he’s done only four races until now so he is still learning.'
Speaking about the final against Fazza, he added: 'We didn’t do anything special but our boat accelerated better and got more top speed.'
As for the challenge that lies ahead – tomorrow’s European Grand Prix, Al Sayed reckoned: 'Psychologically this win has given us a push, but we have to forget today and focus on tomorrow because tomorrow is a completely different challenge. It’s going to be a long race for us.
'The plan is first of all to finish the race. I am quietly confident that we’ll be starting in the top three or four so we’ll take the inside line and then it depends – things can happen during the race so who knows?'
Meanwhile, the larger Victory Team stable once again had plenty to celebrate with all three podium spots being claimed by their boats, with Fazza second and Skydive Dubai third.
Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run race winners stand on the podium at the end of the 2013 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World series Round 5 on Lake Maggiore in Arona, Italy, September 7, 2013.
Tomorrow will see the Emaar Pole Position race taking place at 11.15am (Italian time) and the main race (the European Grand Prix) being contested at 4.30pm. Fans who cannot make it to Arona can follow all the action live via XCAT Racing.