Team Abu Dhabi’s Al Tayer and Al Mansoori to crew team boat

ABU DHABI, 23rd February, 2015 (WAM) — Team Abu Dhabi has committed to a full season of racing in the 2015 UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series and will take part in the opening round of the championship in Fujairah this weekend.

Rashid Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansoori will represent the team, which is based at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) and is supported by Etihad Airways as official carrier and sponsor and runs under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Aisor to the UAE President and chairman of the board of directors of ADIMSC.

Al Tayer and Al Mansoori have already taken part in a Class 1 racing programme together and entered the recent UIM Qatar Cup in Doha. To get a taste of the new discipline of XCAT racing, two Team Abu Dhabi boats were permitted to enter the last round of the 2014 series, where Al Tayer and Al Mansoori finished ninth and Ahmed Al Hameli and Scott Gillman were 12th.

Outright victory in the final Dubai race and the overall 2014 five-race calendar fell to Fazza’s Arif Saif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi. The pair finished 411 points in front of Dubai’s Salem Ali Al Adidi and American team-mate Jay Price. T-Bone Station’s Italian crew of Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella were a distant third.

Organised by the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA), this year’s UIM XCAT series has been expanded to a potential eight races, with Fujairah hosting the opening round this weekend and new races on Australia’s Gold Coast and Cascais in Portugal entering the calendar before ADIMSC hosts the final round of the championship for the first time from November 25th-27th.

“We are thrilled to be involved in the XCAT World Series in this way,” said Salem Al Rumaithi of ADIMSC. “We were already represented by two boats in the final round last year, but now we are looking forward to hosting the final round and having our own team at every race in the calendar.” Teams will now use new environmentally friendly, four-stroke engines. The Fujairah race will also mark the first time that a female driver has entered an XCAT race, following the news that Sweden’s Veronica Olderin will line up for the new Swecat Racing Team alongside series regulars like Al Zafeen and bin Hendi and a host of last year’s title contenders.

Three days of administration, testing, qualifying and racing gets underway on Wednesday, February 25th and culminates with Friday’s Fujairah Grand Prix on February 27th, on a demanding course laid on by the Fujairah International Marine Club.