As we’re wrapping up and preparing for another winter, the UIM XCAT Finals on the opposite side of the world ended with flare and fanfare, signaling the end to another fantastic year of powerboating worldwide. This year’s title was again claimed by defending champions AL-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi of Team XDubai, marking their fourth consecutive title at the world renowned race.
Team XDubai jumped out in front at the very beginning of the race and held to their tried and true long-lap strategy to maintain their lead for the duration of the race, beating out Team Abu Dhabi who decided to play it safe in the increasingly rough waters and thus taking second place in their first season of XCAT racing. Al Mansouri of Team Abu Dhabi said: “It was dangerous with big waves a lot of air and side by side racing but we enjoyed it and well done to XDubai for winning the title again. It was our first season in XCATs so second in the championship is a very good result for us.”
Unfortunately, the podium this year was left to other nations as the American team of Jay Price and Shaun Torrente finished fifth. Not to be discouraged, they are already preparing for next year in hopes to take home first place.
The race itself was intimidating enough if you were piloting a lone craft. But to attempt the 11 lap total race in competition with other racers is nothing short of beyond impressive. Starting with the first lap in extremely rough waters then leading to calmer, more protected areas led to an interesting start and made it apparent which team’s strategies were going to allow them to succeed. XCAT’s long lap strategy clearly paid off in the long run and gave them yet another championship title of which they are more than worthy.
Although this year is coming to an end, we look forward to starting again and seeing which team will come out on top next year. When passion and teamwork come together seamlessly, there is nothing to far out of reach.