The sixth round of the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series will be the first ever XCAT race hosted in China with the boats having arrived and teams gearing up at Meishan Bay.
Despite two boats flipping at the last race in Arona, Italy in September, all 13 teams will compete in China. 'This is the first time in my life where we had two accidents in one event and we have arrived with the same number of boats ready to go,' said Pasquale Sesana, Operations Director for the World Professional Powerboat Association – organisers and promoters of the Series.
The Consul Brokers boat has been repaired while Victory Team decided to build a new boat for the Chinese Grand Prix. Capacity crowds are expected as locals have eagerly snapped up tickets for the three- day spectacle, which they can enjoy from the purpose-built 25,000-seater grand stand along the shore.
Next year’s race held at the same venue is likely to be an even more incredible display as the new Meishan Bay development will see the creation of two new breakwaters which will raise the level of the water, meaning the action will take place closer to the spectators.
'The water here at the moment is very flat because it is like a big lagoon,' explained Sesana. 'And it is still open to the sea so the high tide and a low tide differ by 3m which is a very big change. As a result we only have a few hours per day that we can do racing. And that’s why we are racing on these dates.
'The tides are moving up and down even during the week, following the moon so last week it was impossible to do the race at a certain time of the day and next week it’s also impossible to do the race so to be in a position to do activity between 10 in the morning and three in the afternoon, this was the only weekend available.
'Next year all of this will be solved because there will be two breakwaters and there won’t be these kinds of issues – we can decide the day and time. But for sure the idea is to stay here for three years and hopefully more as this is the same style of racing we have in Dubai, where the Series started,' added Sesana, who has been involved in the sport since 1982.
The official opening ceremony for the event will take place on Friday at 1pm local time followed by the Chinese match race at 2pm. First official practice will be at 10am on Saturday with Emaar Pole Position at 1pm and the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 3.30pm. The second official practice will take place on Sunday at 11am before the Chinese Grand Prix gets underway at 2.30pm.
XCAT Racing website
by Karien Jonckheere
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4:44 PM Thu 7 Nov 2013GMT
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