Ningbo, China: The boats have arrived, teams are gearing up and Meishan Bay, Ningbo, is all set to host China’s first XCAT race — the sixth round of the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series this weekend.
Despite two boats flipping in the last race in Arona in September, all 13 teams will compete in China. “This is the first time in my life where we had two accidents in one event and we have arrived with the same number of boats ready to go,” said Pasquale Sesana, operations director for the World Professional Powerboat Association — organisers and promoters of the series.
The Consul Brokers boat has been repaired while Victory Team decided to build a new boat for the Chinese Grand Prix. Capacity crowds are expected as locals have eagerly snapped up tickets for the three-day spectacle, which they can enjoy from the purpose-built 25,000-seater grand stand along the shore.
Next year’s race to be held at the same venue is likely to be an even more incredible display, as the new Meishan Bay development will see the creation of two new breakwaters, which will raise the level of the water, meaning the action will take place closer to the spectators.
“The water here at the moment is very flat because it is like a big lagoon,” Sesana explained.
“And it is still open to the sea, so the high tide and a low tide differ by 3 metres, which is a very big change. As a result, we only have a few hours per day that we can do racing. And that’s why we are racing on these dates. The tides are moving up and down even during the week, following the moon, so last week it was impossible to do the race at a certain time of the day and next week it’s also impossible to do the race — so to be in a position to do activity between 10am and 3pm, this was the only weekend available.
The official opening ceremony will take place at 1pm (9am UAE time on Friday) followed by the Chinese match race at 2pm. First official practice will be at 10am on Saturday with Emaar Pole Position at 1pm and the Dubai Duty Free Speed Cat Run at 3.30pm.
The second official practice will take place on Sunday at 11am before the Chinese Grand Prix gets under way at 2.30pm.
Further information on the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series can be obtained at www.xcatracing.com.