Skydive Dubai and Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix - Boycott overshadows win
by Nigel Quilter on 16 Dec 2012
At the Skydive Dubai and Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix, Arif Al Zafeen and Mohammed Al Marri cruised to a somewhat hollow victory following extraordinary scenes before the start - with three boats boycotting the race and returning to the pits.
UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship
Dubai Grand Prix Simon Palfrader - copyright http://www.class-1.com/
The decision by Spirit of Qatar’s team principal Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Luca Formilli Fendi to boycott the race hinged on the fact that they [teams] were informed of the decision to change the course 45 minutes before the start of the race, and that Victory were late to the race pontoon because they were changing their set-up.
Despite all teams being given the opportunity by UIM Race Commissioner Gordon Sutherland to return to the pits to change set-ups, only Darren Nicholson and Peter McGrath of Victory Team Australia took up the option.
Not for the first time over the race weekend the weather was the powerful dictator, forcing race officials to shorten the course for the morning's practice and then reduce it considerably further and run a ‘storm course’ due to the extreme conditions on the outside leg.
With Subseapilot already side-lined after losing their escape hatch and damaging the boat in the morning session, and the withdrawal of both Qatar boats and LFF 10, six lined up for the revised 13 lap 42.14Nm race with officials opting for a rolling start with the boats running line stern.
The absence of yesterday’s race winner and third placed boat handed the advantage to Al Zafeen and Al Marri who disappeared into the distance from the green flag and were unchallenged throughout, and cruised to their fourth win of the year to extend their lead in the Championship standings to 30 points.
Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori added to their podium haul with an untroubled second place to keep them insight of their UAE rivals in the title race.
Class 1 newcomer Darren Nicholson and Class 1 returnee Peter McGrath took full advantage of the situation to celebrate their entry into the Championship finishing in third place in Victory Team Australia, with Zabo-Isiklar and FARO ACCIAI picking up valuable points coming home in fourth and fifth spots, but there was frustration for Spirit of Gabon-Poliform who stopped on lap 1.
Emirates/Dubai Duty Free and Skydive Dubai Grand Prix, Race 2 – Results:
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) 00.28.16,28
2. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / M Al Mansoori (UAE) + 00.08,77
3. 7 Victory Team of Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / P Mc Grath (NZL) + 00.48,36
4. 91 Zabo Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 01.28,00
5. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 2 LAPS
6. 74 Poliform - G Cappellini (MON) / G Montavoci (ITA) dnf
96 Spirit of Qatar - H Al Thani (QAT) / S Curtis (ENG) dns
95 Spirit of Qatar - A Al Neama (QAT) / M Nicolini (ITA) dns
10 Fendi Racing - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) dns
8 Subseapilot - Y Bratland (NOR) / B Jacobsen (NOR) dns
World Championship - after race 7:
1. 3 Victory Team - 132pts 2. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - 102pts 3. 96 Spirit of Qatar - 73pts 4. 10 Fendi Racing - 50pts 5. 95 Spirit of Qatar - 45pts 6. 91 Zabo Isiklar - 40pts 7. 7 Victory Team of Australia - 19pts 8. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - 18pts 9. 74 Spirit of Gabon - Poliform - 13pts 10. 90 Welmax - 5pts 11= 9 Welmax - 0pts 12= 8 Subseapilot - 0pts
Middle East Championship - after race 4:
1. 3 Victory Team - 67pts 2. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - 54pts 3. 96 Spirit of Qatar - 52pts 4= 7 Victory Team of Australia - 19pts 4= 10 Fendi Racing - 19pts 6. 91 Zabo Isiklar - 14pts 7. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - 11pts 8. 95 Spirit of Qatar - 9pts 9= 74 Spirit of Gabon - Poliform - 0pts 9= 90 Welmax - 0pts 9= 8 Subseapilot - Class 1 website