Arguably powerboat racings hottest couple Nadir bin Hendi and Arif Al Zaffain added to their lengthy honours list with their fourth XCAT World Series title.
The pair wrapped up the 2015 championship with a masterclass in powerboat racing, which saw them lead from start to finish to win the Abu Dhabi GP.
Having suffered problems in the pole position shoot-out, X Dubai started third, but were soon ahead of the pack having mastered the rough conditions to reach the first buoy first.
Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson in the T-Bone Station boat pushed X Dubai close into the first corner, but were edged out and had to follow the champion’s home.
Speaking after the race, Al Zaffain admitted that he almost caused gear box problems off the start line: “At the start we saw the Abu Dhabi Team doing a big jump and we didn’t want to do the same so I put my finger on the right engine trim,” he said.
“I used too much trim and thought I had a problem with the gear box and then Nadir reminded me: ‘Your finger, your finger on the trim!’ So we went down, but it was for this reason that we lost maybe two seconds and for this reason that T-Bone Station came so close to us.
“But then we pushed again and it was good to finish the race without any problems,” he added.
Heading into the weekend XDubai’s closest challenge came from Team Abu Dhabi, however they could only come home in third place which sealed second spot in the series.
Third place went to Italian duo Tomaso Polli and Matteo Nicolini in boat Six, who came home a disappointing 12th place after struggling with engine problems. The pair had a chance to win the series had things gone their way, however they had to settle for third.
“One of the engines started to not give 100 per cent performance. The boat was going slowly and the last three laps we were just going down so our goal then was just to finish to get the points for third place overall and we managed to finish,” explained Polli.
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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