The Board of Directors at the UAE-based Victory Team will bolster the team’s chances for a world crown by adding a second boat in their lineup for the sixth and final round of the 2019 APBA Offshore Championship Series that will conclude in Fort Myers Beach, FL, next month.
With five of the six rounds gone, the Victory Team has shown fine form to stand within striking distance of yet another world crown in the annual trans-Atlantic championships that has the best of the best teams participating each year. After five rounds, Victory Team and 222 Offshore are tied at the top of the standings with two wins apiece, while Miss Geico has one win that came during the opening round on Cocoa Beach.
With everything to play for, the Victory Team’s Board of Directors (under the chairmanship of Huraiz Bin Huraiz) decided that a second boat piloted by Swedish driver Erik Stark, joined by John Tomlinson, in Victory 33 could add a fine cover for the pairing of Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali in their Victory 3.
Going into the sixth and final round along the Fort Myers Beach, Victory Team will be battling against its two main challengers, with only the champion taking home the glory. The fight for the championship is a three-way tie with just that one round remaining before deciding a new world champion. 222 Offshore and Victory Team are tied for the top spot with an identical 82 points, while Miss Geico is in third place with 71 points and Lucas Oil a distant fourth with 18.
“The real side of the teams will be on show during the final round. Not only will it decide the new world champion, but a win will also be a real testimony on the grit and dedication of the drivers and other members of the team,” Bin Huraiz said. “While world champions Salem [Al Adidi] and Eisa [Al Ali] will be in #3, the second Boat #33 will be manned by Erik Stark alongside American world champion John Tomlinson as throttleman,” he added.
The Victory Team combination of Al Adidi and Al Ali started off slowly with a second place at the season opening round on Cocoa Beach. They followed this up with a first place at Lake Ozark only to slip into third at the third round in Sarasota. The men in blue recovered well to win Round Four in St Clair before a mechanical issue saw them take third place for the second time this season in Round Five in Michigan.
“We have to be realistic about our chances in such a demanding sport, where even a minor mistake can end up with bizarre results. At the Board level, we all felt that it’s best that we provide our team of champions with the opportunity to go all out for a record world title,” Bin Huraiz explained.