XCAT Powerboat Racing in Dubai

X-Cat Powerboat Racing in Dubai - Matteo NicoliniThe XCAT powerboats are multi-hulls made of advanced carbon technology comprising of two outboard engines with upto 6,000cc of horse power and the minimum length allowed is 7.6 metres and a maximum of 10 metres. There is also a weight allowance with each boat enabled to be 1,755 kgs along with the stipulation that 110 kgs will be added per metre for boats longer than 7.5 mts. These boats are capable of touching speeds of 120mph with their V6 engines.

With a line-up of 30 boats taking part in each race since its inception, the XCAT Series has scaled the heights and caught the imagination of the powerboating world. It has become tremendously popular with spectators and drivers alike. And with a programme of consolidation planned over the new years this class of racing holds all promises to be the very best on the water.

Next race will be held in Dubai, December 13 – 14 at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC).

Much attention has been paid in ensuring safety and security of the boats and their crew during the course of a race. It is deemed that the Local Organising Committee should be responsible for communicating with the world governing body UIM to perform all safety functions and secure all necessary safety facilities in accordance with the UIM Safety Procedures and Guidelines Requirements. In addition, each local race promoter will be required to provide all personnel, materials and services required as per the UIM Safety Procedures and Guidelines. In charge for the rescue activities is Bergamo Scuba Angels, a sports society with the mission to perform water rescue activities, in all their different and extreme aspects. Bergamo Scuba Angel team is composed by people highly specialized, that are continuously trained for this kind of activities. The rescue activity during the power boat races is particularly delicate and involves high responsibility: in case of accident  or other problems, in very few seconds the team must be able to assist the pilots jumping from the helicopter (in the offshore races) or acting from boats specifically prepared for rescue activities.

The XCAT World Series is determined from the points accrued from all the XCAT World Series events held during a calendar season. The scoring for boats during the course of the series is simple with the winner collecting 400 points for first place, followed by 300 points for second, 225 points for third, 169 points for fourth, 127 points for fifth, 95 points for sixth, 71 points for seventh, 53 points for eighth, 40 points for ninth, 30 points for tenth right down to a single point for the boat ending in 20th place.

All races carry points with no discards and in case of a tie in the overall standings at the end of the season, the number of first places shall be considered, then the number of second places, etc. to arrive at a clear champion. And in case the series is still tied then the boat with the fastest average speed in any of the series races will be deemed champion.
Rules stipulate that the XCAT race lap should be a minimum of 2.8 Nautical Miles and a maximum of 4 Nautical Miles. Race Laps must be repeated till the minimum distance for race duration is 60 Nautical Miles or one hour plus an additional lap.

Way back in 2006, on a routine flight after attending a Class III, 6-litre powerboat race in Doha, a group of drivers mulled their future in that particular class of racing with Sid Bensalah of the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC). On his part, Sid Bensalah conveyed the drivers’ sentiments to DIMC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Saeed Hareb, who in turn, asked that a feasibility report be prepared to have a separate class of racing which would have an appeal to a worldwide audience while also making it a very approachable and trust-worthy brand of powerboat racing – one that would blend the high-octane Class One and the more sedate Formula One.

In the picture above: Matteo Nicolini, driver of the boat Six and owner of Nicolini Offshore. Below Matteo Nicolini with his copilot Tommaso Polli leading the GP of Stresa.

XCAT Powerboat Racing in Dubai - Matteo Nicolini leading GP of Stresa

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