Current UIM XCAT World Powerboat Series leaders, XDubai, are all too aware of the advantage competing in home waters can bring.
They’ll be keeping an eye on the Gold Coast Australia team (Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton) when the fourth round of the Series gets underway at the Gold Coast this weekend.
The XDubai team of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi took over the Series lead after victory in the last round in Cascais, Portugal and will be gunning for the top of the podium once again in their first outing in Australia.
But they know it won’t be easy. “Obviously the Gold Coast team are a team to beat in their home water,” admitted Dubai-based Al Zaffain. “They have been practising for a long time and we know that the team will be all set to do a better performance.”
Just one point separates XDubai from the second-placed Team Abu Dhabi in the overall standings but Bin Hendi is relishing the pressure that the closely contested Series brings with it.
“We like challenges, so it is always a motivation to do better. We plan to take it as usual and to stay in front,” he said.
“We feel there are going to be flat conditions. Also we expect some top end speed in this race course.
Dubbed the greatest motorsport Series on water, the XCAT World Series truly is a spectacle of speed, with teams of two taking each other on in two-engined carbon-fibre boats that tear around the course at speeds close to 200km per hour.
XDubai will take on 13 other international teams in the Gold Coast GP – the fourth round of the seven-round Series. After Australia, the XCAT World Series heads to Nice, France in October before ending the year with races in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE.
“We never raced in Australia. This our first race in Australia so we are both equally excited and thrilled,” said Al Zaffain.
“The fact that the Series has expanded to another continent is definitely a positive note for the sport and the teams. We have never seen any other water sport make such a vast advancement in a few years.”
The Gold Coast GP, which will be broadcast to over 400 million homes, will take place at Doug Jennings Park, The Spit at Main Beach from August 21-23, and entry is free of charge to the general public. For more information, log on to: www.xcatracing.com.