Team Abu Dhabi signalled their intent by entering two boats ahead of the season, but surely they couldn’t have imagined seeing both their entries on the top two steps of the podium after the first race?!
However, that was the case in the first if two races held in conjunction with the seventh leg of the Venice-Monte Carlo race in Salerno, Italy.
Having kept their drive pairings under wraps, the team announced ahead of the meet that Amercian duo Gary Ballough and John Tomlinson would take charge of one of the American-built MTi boats, whilst Emirati pairing Majid Al-Mansoori and Rashid Al-Tayer were in the other one.
Ballough and Tomlinson qualified second with their teammates behind in third. However, they proved a class above in the race, leaving their competitors in their wake to claim a fantastic 1-2 victory.
“This result goes to prove that it was all worth it and the team is on the right track for a really good challenge for the Class 1 title this year,” said Al-Tayer. “We need to keep the momentum going into the second race and try and deliver a 1-2 for Abu Dhabi again.”
Bad day for defending champs
Team Victory duo Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi in their leased Victory-built hull struggled in qualifying and were uninspiring during the race coming home in fifth.
Pole sitters T-Bone Station will feel aggrieved that they didn’t claim first or second place. They were running in second up to the final lap before an engine cut dropped them to third.
Swedish rookie Niclas Johansson made his C1 debut alongside Christian Zaborowski in Energima Zabo Racing, the duo qualified in fourth and finished the race in fourth place.
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.