The Blue Roo buoyed by XCAT Shanghai Grand Prix win

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Pål-Virik Nilsen and Jan Trygve Braaten driving The Blue Roo, finished second at the XCAT Shanghai Grand Prix today, only to be told after the race that the winners on the water, Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori in Team Abu Dhabi 5 had taken a 30 seconds penalty for destroying a buoy.

The 2018 UIM XCAT World Championship leaders, Arif Saif Al-Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi in Dubai Police dramatically retired just a few shorts laps before the conclusion of the race this morning.

Team Abu Dhabi 4 have closed the gap to Dubai Police to 33 points in the Championship standings.

Team Abu Dhabi 5 made a superb start, as did Dubai Police and the pole-sitting Blue Roo at the start of the 17-lap race.

The Blue Roo extended their lead to 4.5 seconds over Team Abu Dhabi 5 through the opening two laps, as the likes of Yacht Club Como and Viniexsport ran their two compulsory long laps early in the race.

By lap four, the Blue Roo continued to lead from Team Abu Dhabi 5 and 4, Dubai Police, HPI 96, Kuwait, Swecat Racing, 222 Offshore, New Star Racing and the rest of the field followed in their wake with long lap strategies exaggerating some of the gaps in the running order through the early stages.

The Blue Roo extended their lead to over seven seconds as the leading four boats held station through six laps.

Red Flag!
Then, the Videx 22 boat dug in at a turn buoy, spun and flipped out of the running with neither Alfredo Amato nor Daniele Martignoni injured in the crash.

The race was red flagged, as the stricken boat began to take on water and the crew were taken to the pits for medical checks.

Action resumed in the shortened race with an official restart behind the pace cat that nullified the gains made in the original race. The Blue Roo retained its lead from Team Abu Dhabi 4, Dubai Police and Team Abu Dhabi 5, although the leading four boats all still had to take their long laps. Soon afterwards, Team Abu Dhabi 4 slipped to sixth after taking their first long lap.

Dubai Police ground to a halt with a technical issue in the closing stages and lost their place in the top three and threw the title race wide open.

The Blue Roo took their long laps and this strategy gifted the lead to Team Abu Dhabi 5, as Team Abu Dhabi 4 ran a second long lap.

With time and laps running out, Team Abu Dhabi 5 held on to claim the win on the water from the Blue Roo and Team Abu Dhabi 4, however the 30-second time penalty was later imposed on the winner and the Blue Roo was promoted to first.

2018 Shanghai Grand Prix – race 1 result:
1. The Blue Roo 8 – Pål-Virik Nilsen (NOR)/Jan Trygve Braaten (NOR) 35pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 4 – Shaun Torrente (USA)/Faleh Al-Mansoori (UAE) 30pts
3. HPI 96 – François Pinelli (FRA)/Giuseppe Schiano di Cola (ITA) 26pts
4. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) 22pts
5. Kuwait 17 – Abdullatef Al-Omani (KUW)/Moustafa Al-Dashti (KUW) 18pts
6. 222 Offshore 10 – Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Joakhim Kumlin (SWE) 15pts
7. Swecat Racing 2 – Erik Stark (SWE)/Sebastien Groth (SWE) 12pts
8. New Star 9 – Mikhail Kitashev (RUS)/Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) 10pts
9. Viniexsport 46 – Andrea Comello (ITA)/Rosario Schiano Di Cola (ITA) 8pts
10. Yacht Club Como 20 – Serafino Barlesi (ITA)/Domenico Caldarola (ITA) 6pts
11. Dubai Police 3 – Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir bin Hendi (UAE) 5pts
Videx 22 – Alfredo Amato (ITA)/Daniele Martignoni (ITA) DNF

2018 UIM XCAT World Championship – positions after race 5:
1. Dubai Police 3 145pts
2. Team Abu Dhabi 4 112pts
3. The Blue Roo 8 109pts
4. 222 Offshore 10 107pts
5. Team Abu Dhabi 5 89pts
6. Kuwait 17 66pts
7. HPI 96 59pts
7. New Star 9 59pts
9. Venus Bali/Viniexsport 46 55pts
10. Yacht Club Como 20 39pts
11. Swecat Racing 2 38pts
12. Videx/Ribot 22 36pts
13. Maritimo 12 0pts