UIM X-Cat World Championship: Maritimo win again in Shangai
Sunday, November 3, 2019 12:15 PM
Second victory in a row for the Australian crew in the water of Di Shui Lake in China. They are followed by Abu Dhabi 5 and Dubai Police while Abu Dhabi 4, only 4th, lose the top position overall. Flipover with no consequences for Swecat.
It's another flawless race for Tom Barry Cotter and Ross Willaton: on their boat #12 Maritimo the two Aussies dominate race 3 of the Shanghai GP, second stage of the UIM XCAT World Championship, and get 35 points which are fundamental for the 2019 title.
Twists and turns happen all behind them, starting with a flipover of Swecat racing (Erik Stark and Sebastian Groth) after a collision with Abu Dhabi 4 (Shaun Torrente and Faleh al Mansoori) at the first turn after the start. The Swedes exit the cockpit immediately, unharmed, supported by the Scuba Angels rescue team.
The Emirati duo get a damage on the starboard sponson, so they take advantage of the temporary red flag to get back to wet pits for a check. When they realize they can keep on racing safely, they get back into the pack, with the boats still proceeding slowly behind the pace cat.
The long lap strategy is not enough for Abu Dhabi 5 (rashed al Tayer and Majeed al Mansoori) nor for Dubai Police (Arif al Zaffein and Nadir bin Hendi) to gain any position, so the two remain in 2nd and 3rd spot after their mandatory long laps.
Abu Dhabi 4 is in fourth position which means losing the top spot of the championship right to Dubai Police. But the thrill comes when Al Zaffein and Bin Hendi hit a buoy, detaching it from the mooring post. Does it imply a penalty or not? The response means important points for the overall ranking. In the end the decision, after analyzing the images, is that this kind of impact is not subject to penalty, by rules, so they maintain their third position.
With Abu Dhabi 4 finishing behind them, now the championship is as open as ever: first place for Dubai Police at 143, second for Abu Dhabi 4 at 140, third for Maritimo at 137. Six points for three boats, with another stage and three races to go.
Behind the top four today, it's another positive race for HPI Racing Team (Rosario and Giuseppe Schiano di Cola): with today's P5 they finish the weekend with 43 points in three races, the “best of the rest”.
And we can say the same for Kuwait (Abdullateef al Omani and Moustafa al Dashti): seventh today, they go home from Shanghai scoring 42 points.
The sixth place of 222 Offshore (Giovanni Carpitella and Darren Nicholson) is not bad in general, but it's definitely less than their potential: maybe there's some changers to be made to their boat in order to find back the good performance they used to have.
To complete the line up, the three races altogether bestow 35 points to Newstar Racing (Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Vandishev), 22 to Swecat Racing, to De Mitri (Roberto lo Piano and Mario di Cosmo), and to Videx (Alfredo Amato and Saul Bubacco), and 9 points to Consulbrokers (Andrea Comello and Luca Betti). The weekend of the latter team has unfortunately been hindered by the flipover in the first pole position, which meant they couldn't have the time to fine-tune their boat during the weekend.
Sunday has been also the day of the official ceremony of the event, with a big press conference on the stage and thousands of people attending before the race. Among the authorities and the organizers, the Mayor of Shanghai and the Consuls in China of Russia, Sweden, and United Arab Emirates.
Now the circus is going to move to the Emirates, where on December 12-14 Dubai will host the final stage (three races) of the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship. And we are all looking forward to witness the comeback of Team Australia #8, back in the arena with Pål Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braten.