Dubai-based Victory Team plots five-discipline assault

By Angel Chan

DUBAI 26 March 2019: Dubai-based Victory Team will once again plot a five-discipline assault during the 2019 watersports season that is scheduled to get under way later this month.

With an array of a majority local Emirati champions, Victory Team has lined up participation in at least five disciplines starting off with the Class 1 alongside the F1, F2, F4 and Aquabike calendars.

After a successful foray that included the Victory Team’s first-ever venture across the Atlantic Ocean at the annual Super Boat International in Key West, World Champions Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali will once again head for a full six-race calendar starting with the opening round at Cocoa Beach, Florida from May 17-19 followed by rounds on Lake Ozark (May 30-June1), Sarasota (July 5-7), St Clair (July 26-28) and Michigan (August 2-4) and the final round from September 27-28 at a venue to be disclosed at a later date, said Wam.

“Last season was an eye-opener for the team on the whole experience of racing in the USA. As a world-class unit, we learnt a lot of lessons and these experiences will come into play as we head to the same venues this season,” Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated.

“This year is the ‘Year of Tolerance’ as declared by our leaders and I can feel the sense of purpose shown by our drivers and crew in further stamping our class across the Atlantic Ocean,” he added.

Joining the challenge on behalf of the men in blue once again will be the duo of Ahmed Al Hameli and four-time world champion Alex Carella from Italy as Victory Team heads into its fifth season at the annual UIM F1H2O World Championship held over eight rounds and a traditional culmination with the final leg in Sharjah.

Carella and Al Hameli will want to put behind a 2018 season that saw the team end in seventh with 27 points. A year earlier, Victory Team had ended just shy of the podium in fourth place with 58 points, while their best season came in 2016 where the two drivers combined for Victory Team’s first-ever team podium with a third place overall with 86 points.

“We have seen the ups and downs of racing over a period of time. Those experiences have only given us the will to learn and do better with each season. We’ve started testing early this year and I am confident the drivers from Victory Team will be among the early challengers this year,” Bin Huraiz said.

Heading into the F2 season will be Mansoor Al Mansoori once again with the opening round in Kaunas, Lithuania (May 25-26) followed by runs in Tonsberg, Norway (August 2-4), and final round in Ribadouro, Portugal (September 14-15).

Starting with the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at the end of March, Victory Team will have the familiar duo of Emirati champion Ahmed Al Fahim and Asian gold medallist Ali Al Lanjawi participate in the F4-S category in a world championship that is held alongside the F1 races. The F1 and F4-S opening round will be in Dammam, Saudi Arabia (March 28-30) followed by stops in Portimao, Portugal (May 17-19), Evian, France (July 5-7), another venue in Europe (September 27-29), Qingdao, China (October 11-13), Amaravati, India (November 15-17), another venue in Asia (December 5-7) and the finale in Sharjah (December 18-21).

Victory Team’s Kevin Reiterer, a new signing from last season, will start the defence of his world title in the Ski Division GP1 category at the opener in Portimao, Portugal (May 10-12), followed by stops in Olbia, Italy (June 1-2), China (October 18-20), Amaravati, India (November 12-14) and the season finale in Sharjah (December 17-20).

Making their debut in the world of water sports way back in 1986, Victory Team tasted its bit of action in the Class 1 category in 1992 while entering two boats in the guest appearance category. But from 1993, the men in blue flew the flag for Dubai and the UAE picking up a record 14 Class 1 world crowns till the last one in 2014.

“Once again we are prepared for a challenging and busy season ahead. As representatives of Dubai and the UAE, our drivers and riders will be travelling to various parts of the world as true ambassadors of the team. We are a professional set-up and each one knows what is expected of him to ensure Victory Team carries forward its success,” Bin Huraiz noted