A spectacular day of racing on Khalid Lagoon was capped off with Quinten Bossche, Emma-Nellie Ortendahl and Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq sealing the world titles in Ski and Runabout at the UIM-ABP Grand Prix of Sharjah.
Bossche’s first Ski GP1 world title tops a remarkable first season on the UIM-ABP tour for the young Belgian rider from Ostende, but it was Kevin Reiterer who dominated both races and maintained his perfect record in Sharjah winning both of today’s Motos to move up into second spot in the championship standings.
In both Motos it was Reiterer leading from the start and holding of Bossche, with Gabor Szabo picking up his best result of the season finishing third in Moto 1 and Stian Schjetlein taking third in Moto 2.
In the Ladies division it was all about Sweden’s Emma-Nellie Ortendahl who was in a class of her own winning both Motos comfortably to successfully defend her title.
She led from pole in Moto 1 and stretched out her lead lap-by-lap to take an effortless win by 25 seconds, second place going to Jonna Borgstrom who passed a struggling Estelle Poret on lap six with Krista Uzare also going passed Poret to take third place, Sofie Borgstrom coming home in fifth ahead of Katrin Nilbe.
Ortendahl sealed her second successive title cruising home in Moto 2 by almost 30 seconds and finishing ahead of Krista Uzare and Kylie Ellmers.
It was a disappointing day for Estelle Poret who saw her title hopes fade completely after being disqualified in Moto 2 and there was also disappointment for Moto 1 runner-up Jonna Borgstrom who crashed heavily on the start lap.
In Runabout, defending champion Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq made no mistakes winning both Motos in style.
In Moto 1 he trailed his title rival James Bushell for five laps before making the telling pass and running out a comfortable winner to take victory by over 25.09s. Jeremy Perez maintained his run of good form with his third top three finish in as many outings, finishing in front of another title hopeful Lars Akerblom. Poland’s Andrzej Wisniewski produced by far his best performance of the season with a great drive to take fifth, Johan Johansson completing the top six.
In the second Moto Abdulrazzaq led from start to finish to seal his fourth world title with Sweden’s Lars Akerblom in second ahead of James Bushell, Andrzej Wisniewski rounding out a great day in fourth with Patrice Pellier in fifth.
Rashed Al Mulla was once again the star in Freestyle scoring 90 points and leads the Grand Prix standings with maximum points heading into tomorrow’s final Moto. Nac Forjancic is in second place, with Roberto Mariani in third.
Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori shadowed Victory 3’s Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali to the finish of the opening race of the UIM XCAT World Championship on Zhengzhou’s Longhu Lake Saturday.
The two Emirati crews had dominated the pole position qualifying sessions as well, but the Victory 3 benefited from their pole position to finish the 14-lap race 23.4 seconds in front of the crew running out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).
The Italian duo of Diego Testa and Daniele Martignoni were the surprise package of the first of six XCAT races in the People’s Republic in the space of three weeks. They guided Caccia Engineering 22 to the final slot on the podium and finished more than 16 seconds in front of the Blue Roo, crewed by Aussie Brett Luhrmann and Norway’s Pal-Virik Nilsen. The Swedish pairing of Mikael Bengtsson and Erik Stark rounded off the top five in Swecat Racing.
Race one marked an inauspicious start to the new XCAT season for four-time champion Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and his new British team-mate Scott Williams in Al-Wasl 7. The pair were sidelined after two laps of the race.
Race qualifying was split into three sessions. All 11 boats took to the water for Q1, but the Fujairah Team was disqualified under the new regulations for fielding a boat that was under the weight restriction of 2,400kg.
Team Abu Dhabi 5 ran for seven laps and carded the best time of the session – a last tour of 2min 12.357sec to storm through to Q2. Lady Spain was a mere half a second behind and Victory 3 was third.
The Fujairah Team was again omitted from the six-boat Q2 results sheet in a session where Team Abu Dhabi 5 came out on top again with a solitary lap of 2min 11.353sec from Victory 3, the Blue Roo and 222 Offshore.
The fastest three made it through to Q3 and Victory 3 stole a march on Team Abu Dhabi 5 and the Blue Roo to claim pole position with a winning lap of 2min 10.266sec. Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori were second with 2min 12.129sec.
The second Zhengzhou Grand Prix starts at 14:30 Sunday (10:30 UAE time).
A total of 38 boats carrying almost 400 youngsters were competing for the second round of Dubai Traditional Rowing Race at Palm Island on Saturday.
The race was divided into two heats, which were represented by the colour yellow for the first half and blue for the second half.
Boat No11 Wadi Al Siji, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi and skippered by Salim Obeid Ahmed Al Zahmi, won the first race thanks to some solid strategy against rival boat No12 Ras Al Khaimah led by Naser Hassan Al Kas.
Boat No42 Bin Majed, captained by Naser Hasan Al Kas, clinched third.
In the second half of the race, boat No20 Shanas owned the Ministry of Sports Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman and skippered by Majid Amer Al Mu’amiri prevailed against boat No51 Dubai/1 led by Ahmed Mohd. Ebrahim Al Mar’ei. In third placed was boat No32 Sharjah followed by the fourth spot taken by boat No55 Gulfar.
In the fifth podium spot was boat No26, Wadi Saham 1.
The rowing season is expected to run until the end of the year with one remaining round in October and the Al Maktoum Cup scheduled for mid-December.