With much expected from the home team in the latest round of the UIM XCAT Championship, especially from the Gold Coast Mayor, the local team did fans proud in the pole position shoot-out finishing an impressive third, writes Richard Carr.
Doug Jennings Park heroes
The local Gold Coast pairing of Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton made the most of home conditions and support to record the third fastest lap in the qualifying session. The surprise result meant that the duo start the main grand prix in the top starting gate.
“We’re very thrilled with the result in our first time out in an official qualifying session,” said Barry-Cotter after recording a fastest lap of 3:06.54.
“To be on the podium is something that wasn’t even a goal really, it was only to be in the top five. I’m absolutely ecstatic with the result.
“We’ll be in the front row tomorrow with only two boats inside us for the first turn, it will be a good advantage going into the race,” added the Gold Coast local.
Similar story at the front
Current World Series leaders Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi in the XDubai boat claimed top spot; mastering the waves to finish four second ahead of second placed Team Abu Dhabi with a time of 2.58.51.
“The waves you get outside have a big impact on your body,” explained Bin Hendi. “You can’t see the waves so you can’t predict – when there’s a wave, there’s another one in front of it. You can’t see them coming and then there’s a big hole in the front so it’s a shock impact. But it’s fun, it’s challenging – we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
“Whenever we go out in the boat we always think of being number one and doing our best and that was how it was today. Tomorrow is another day. We’ll have another set-up to today because today it was only about speed and tomorrow it is about racing,” he added.
About Richard Carr
Richard Carr, of Poole, is one of the UK’s most experienced and successful powerboat racers, who has competed in the sport globally.
He has won numerous domestic and international honours: he became British Class 1 Champion in 1991; he was the winner of the coveted Needles Trophy and he also came second in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race in 1992. It was the year the race was controversially competed in the fog and it has been argued for many years that he actually won the race.
He is known in the sport for his aggressive racing character in rough seas and recently raced in the USA for Geico in 2011.
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