Lights to flag
It was a commanding performance from Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi who stormed off the starting line and led from start to finish to finish on top of the podium.
“It was dream race, yes, but the challenge was very tough,” said Bin Hendi.
The whole field were pegged back at the first corner following a collision between Team Abu Dhabi 5 and Team Australia, which forced the race to be restarted. “We were leading already so mentally it upsets you – a bit up and down because you have to do the start again. You don’t know what’s going to happen and you predict a lot of things but luckily it went in our favour and as you saw, Victory boats are always very good at the start, explained Bin Hendi.
Gold Coast Australia got their stategy and tactics spot on in the race to go from eighth to second. Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton used their long laps early which allowed them to slowly make their way through the field as the race progressed.
The pair were fortunate to see the Fujairah Team retire due to engine problems and when the Swecat Racing team were forced into completing their long lap, the Gold Coast team attacked to take second place.
“We had a really bad qualifying session so we were starting from eighth on the grid,” explained Gold Coast’s Barry-Cotter. “We had a lot of technical issues but we knew all weekend that the boat had a lot of pace. It was just the technical issues holding us back.
“We got a really bad start so from there we were literally one of the last boats to come around the second corner so we made the call to take both the long laps straight away and we managed to have clear water. We honestly didn’t know until right at the end that we were still on for a podium, just because so many of the boats waited so long to take their long laps. So it was a lot of suspense for us. We were really aggressive. It’s a really great result for the team. They worked so hard to get the boat ready and I can’t thank them enough.”
The championship headed to Dubai for Round 2, which again will be covered on Richard Carr Racing.