UIM XCat Middle East Series - Fazza’s Arif Al Zafain and Nadir Bin Hendi stormed through the finish line in to a convincing win ahead of Rashid Al Marri and Salem Fadhel Al Hamli in Extreme Marine. Abu Dhabi Racing Team with Ahmed Ali Jaber Al Hamli and Rashid Jaber Al Hamli came third.
by Sharon Allison
Fazza led the fleet from the start averaging 142 kph around the 11-lap course and finished 50 seconds in front of Extreme Marine in the fleet of 18 extreme catamarans. Two boats failed to finish and Skydive Dubai didn’t start due to engine problems.
Extreme Marine, however took the overall Middle East title honors from Fazza, as their second place today and Fazzas failure to finish in the last heat boosted Extreme Marines lead putting Fazza in second and Spirit of Abu Dhabi third overall places.
‘We feel like this should have been our series,’ said Fazza’s Arif Al Zafain, ‘we won three out of the four heats and it was only bad luck in the last heat in Abu Dhabi where we didn’t finish that has let us down. We are happy with today's win but disappointed as we felt that we really deserved to win the overall series this time. We missed out last year and we’ve missed out again this year. But this will make us improve and more determined in next season and not just to be the XCat champions but also champions in Class One.’
Extreme Marine have now won the Middle East title twice; ‘we had a very bad start in the race today and had a lot of ground to make up to catch Fazza, but we held our place and the result was good,’ said Rashid Al Marri. ‘We managed one lap in pole position earlier this morning as we developed engine troubles and spent the time between the races doing repairs. We are really happy to be the Middle East Champions again this year and I want to thank everyone who supports us.’
‘We came fifth in the race today and I didn’t know if we would keep our third place overall,’ said Rashid Al Tayer from Spirit of Abu Dhabi. ‘Our boat didn’t run well in the race today, but I’m very happy the we came third overall.’
The calendar for the new season is still to be announced but will include six heats held between Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah.
Prizes were presented by the organizers at Dubai International Marine Club and race officials. website
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3:36 PM Fri 25 Mar 2011 GMT
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