UIM XCAT Middle East Championships – Round 2 - Dubai, 2nd February 2011.
by Sharon Allison
Fazza 3 the black Xcat driven by Arif Al Zafeen with throttleman Nadir Bin Hendi at his side will lead the extreme catamaran fleet for the start parade for the UIM Xcat Middle East Championship on Thursday hoping to retain their winning streak.
But with Rashid Khalifa Al Marri’s Extreme Marine taking following only four seconds behind last week despite damage to their propeller the Dubai dynamic duo will have their work cut out.
The parade lap will start at the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah with all eighteen boats following Fazza 3 in line heading to the coast before turning to go between Logo Island and Dubai International Marine Club breakwater after which they will turn right towards the basis of the Palm Crescent before each boats pulls out to form the line between the two start boats.
From that point once the green ‘go’ flag is raised it’s full throttle to the first mark and skill and teamwork in the cockpit become the vital elements of those first few minutes.
‘Miscommunication and mistakes can cause a lost place or delay and it’s important to get ahead right at the start,’ said Arif Al Zafeen who drives Fazza 3. ‘Extreme Marine are fast, they proved themselves last season and we want to change that.’
Another team to watch this season is the combination of Rashid Al Tayer and Majid Al Mansouri in the sleek Spirit of Abu Dhabi. Just eight seconds behind last week’s winner they have consistently performed well and will be eager to notch up a first place.
Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) has been organising powerboat racing for over twenty years and has had close links with the international governing body, the UIM for most of them. Initially the Xcat was run under the umbrella of the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA), an organisation set up by Saeed Hareb, CEO of DIMC, but now the WPPA has become the promoter of the class and the rules are governed by the UIM by mutual agreement.
The boats will practice from 8:45 to 9:30 and then return to the pontoon in front of Le Meridien Mina Seyahi in start order and proceed towards the muster area to the left of Logo Island before the parade. The start will be at 11am and can be watched from the Dubai International Marine Club breakwater next to the finish line.
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4:55 PM Wed 2 Feb 2011 GMT