UIM X-Cat World Powerboat Series 2012 third heat kicks off on 4th February off the Mina Seyahi waters of the Dubai International Marine Club. The Extreme Marine duo of Rashid Khalifah Al Marri and Salem Fadhel Al Hamli will be the team to beat this weekend.
by Alice Ekonomou
Al Marri and Al Hamli, who have been regulars in this championship over a prolonged period of time, once again teamed up to clinch the top spot in Abu Dhabi leaving the Qatar Team pairing of Mohamad Al Nasser and Hamad Jasim Mohamad in second and Omar Danial and Gary Ballough in Mouawad in third position in Abu Dhabi last month.
Over a period of time, the pairing of Al Marri and Al Hamli has worked themselves into a winning combination in this category of powerboat racing. 'This is a race that will decide the course of the overall standings and that is why it is very important for us to win,' Rashid Khalifah Al Marri admitted.
'There are a few boats that we will have to be watching during this race particularly the American ones (Mouawad and Abu Dhabi Racing Team). It is very important that we go out on the water and win this one so that we can be the front-runners for the overall crown,' he added.
With two rounds gone, the Qatar Team are at the top of the overall standings with 600 points after collection two second place finishes, while Mouawad is lurking around in second with 450 points closely followed by Extreme Marine in third with 422 points and home team Fazza in fourth with 417 points.
'Any of these boats are in a position to win this weekend. At Extreme Marine we have a plan and this involves winning the race as it will be decisive in ultimately having a winner,' Al Marri said.
With nearly 15 boats confirmed for the third round of the competition, the race organizers are expecting a tough tussle on the water this weekend. 'It has been a good two rounds in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and we think there will be plenty of action at the third round too,' said Sid Bensalah from organizers UIM and DIMC.
On Saturday, the official Pole Position run will be held from 09.30 to 11.00 am followed by the start of the race at 14.30 pm.
The 2012 UIM X-Cat World Series got under way with the opening round on January 12-13 in Dubai followed by the second race in Abu Dhabi on January 19-20. The five-round series will conclude with the final race in Fujairah in the middle of April. DIMC website
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3:31 PM Wed 1 Feb 2012 GMT
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