Australia arrived in Dubai with a very slender lead in the championship table and naturally the ‘Roo’ supporters were hoping for a gold medal. However, it all went pear-shaped in race 1 of the Dubai GP. Messrs Pal Virik Nilsen and Brett Luhrmann flipped ‘Blue Roo’ while holding a strong position, and this blew their chances of gold. The team worked tirelessly to get their spare boat, the older ‘Lady Spain’, resurrected and this gave the Aussie duo an outside chance of a medal, but 10th place was the best they could achieve. Meanwhile, it was a battle of Team Victory. Although Gary Ballough and Ahmed Al Hameli had never raced together, the American/Arab duo in Victory 33 stormed to a great win ahead of eventual world champions Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali in Victory 3.
The Australians had done enough with their Chinese results to claim second overall in the championship with Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori securing the bronze medal.
It was great to see the XCat return under the promotership of the UIM and hopefully there will be an equally good turn out for 2018.
Report: David Sewell