Abu Dhabi, UAE – After completing their most successful season on record holding two powerboat racing world titles, Team Abu Dhabi have immediately set their sights higher as they quickly begin preparation for 2016.
The highlight of this year’s campaign was the performance of Gary Ballou and John Tomlinson in delivering the team’s first ever UIM Class 1 World Championship crown to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club last month.
Within three weeks, Rashid Al Tayer and Faleh Al Mansouri completed their first season in the UIM XCAT World Series by taking their Team Abu Dhabi extreme catamaran to runners up position in the championship.
Then in last weekend’s season-ending Grand Prix of Sharjah, Alex Carella and Thani Al-Qamzi wrapped up the teams title in the 2015 F1H20 World Championship.
With Carella also finishing runner up in the drivers’ championship, it added up to a powerful start for the new-look F1 Team Abu Dhabi in its first year under the guidance of the ten-time world champion, Guido Capelin, as team manager.
“We’re very happy with the way the team has performed across each of the championships this season, and we’re confident that we can build on what has been achieved,” said Salem Al Rumaithi, Assistant Director General of Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.
“It was a proud moment for all of us in the team when Gary and John won our first Class 1 world championship. So much hard has gone into achieving that over the past few years and of course one of our main aims next season will be to retain that title.
“In their first season in the XCATS, Rashed and Faleh performed superbly and took the fight for the world title right up to the last round. They believe they can go one better next season, just as Alex and Thani do in F1, and we intend giving them every chance to do that.”
Based at ADIMSC, Team Abu Dhabi runs under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President and the club’s chairman, and is sponsored by Etihad Airways, the official carrier, Marina Mall and Nirvana Travel & Tourism.
The encouraging performances of its other emerging Emirati talent this season bodes well for the future. Majid Al-Mansoori and Rashid Al-Tayer finished fourth in the 2015 Class 1 World Championship and aim to be serious titles contenders next season.
Majed Al-Mansoori and Rashed Al-Qemzi showed great promise in their limited XCAT programme and look to the future with confidence, while both Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Al-Qemzi came close to race wins in the F-4S Trophy, finishing fourth and sixth respectively in the championship.
“One of our main priorities in staging powerboat racing events and developing Team Abu Dhabi is to provide opportunities for young Emiratis in the sport, and to give them a chance to achieve success at the highest level, and to inspire other young Emiratis at the same time,” said Al Rumaith.
“There is nothing that attracts young people to any sport in any country than a young person from that country becoming a champion, especially a world champion.
“This is why we have placed an emphasis on introducing young Emiratis into the F-4S world championship with Team Abu Dhabi, and recruiting top professionals to work closely with them and help them develop their skills.”