Having stolen first place in the Pole Position shoot-out, snatched victory in the Speed Cat race, XDubai made it a hat trick of victories in Sunday’s Cascais GP, reports Richard Carr.
Unlike the Speed Cat race, which saw XDubai take advantage of Swecat’s misfortune, the pair of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi produced a flawless performance to that the win.
As a result, just one point separates the teams at the top of the UIM XCAT World Series standings following the third round in Cascais.
As expected, tough conditions met the racers with the race committee having to change the course just an hour before the start. However, Al Zaffain and bin Hendi mastered the conditions supremely as they proved untouchable.
Series leaders Abu Dhabi Team struggled on the Sunday, making a bad start to the race before suffering with engine trouble which saw them slip out of contention.
T-Bone Station looked on course to finish second on the podium, but a loss of power steering late in the race meant they had to abandon their charge as their boat was deemed unsafe to continue.
Yachts duo Francois Pinelli and Saul Bubacco took advantage to take second spot whilst Hoorsenbuhs came home third.
Speaking to XCAT Racing’s official website, Bin Hendi said: ““We had a good start. It was a bit rough at the start – but we got control of it and after we got past the first buoy we concentrated for three laps to push a bit and get the gap and then relax a bit.
“The changed course was definitely safer but coming out from the last buoy towards the chequered flag – that was the worst part. It was very bumpy so we were taking it easy because we were scared that something might break.”
XCAT racing now moves to another new venue – with Round 4 of the Series scheduled for Gold Coast, Australia from August 21-23.
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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