Teams taking part in the UIM Class 1 World Championship were permitted to practice on the course at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater for over an hour on Wednesday morning.
The session certainly didn’t lack drama and a spectacular crash for Team Abu Dhabi 5 dampened local spirits, despite the fastest time of the session falling to Team Abu Dhabi 6.
Video: Fiona Pascoe
Team Abu Dhabi 5 and 6 were the first two boats on to the water in a slight breeze and the two carded laps of 2min 48.187sec and 2min 44.322sec, respectively.
Relekta ran a 3min 01.46sec opener, but the session was red flagged soon afterwards when Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori carried a little too much speed into the top turn by the Marina Mall approach road and spectacularly spun and flipped their MTi.
We had a little too much speed, spun the boat and we got some lift. Thankfully we managed to get out very fast and are both perfectly okay.
Team Abu Dhabi’s team manager Randy Scism was realistic after the crash;
If it was just a case of drying everything out that would be perfect, but salt water, electrics and engines don’t go together. It will be a re-rig, two new motors and, hopefully, all by tomorrow!
With Victory 3 sitting out the session, Tomlinson and Ballough claimed the fastest lap of 2min 44.322sec, with Al-Tayer and Al-Mansoori in second and Relekta running a best tour of 2min 58.557sec to secure third.
Aquasport managed to put in one lap of 3min 30.088sec in the closing seconds of the session.
UIM Class 1 practice times
1. Team Abu Dhabi 6 – John Tomlinson (USA)/Gary Ballough (USA) – 2min 44.322sec
2. Team Abu Dhabi 5 – Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) – 2min 48.187sec
3. Zabo Racing-Relekta 91 – Giovanni Carpitella (ITA)/Ian Blacker (GBR) – 2min 58.557sec
4. Aquasport 99 – Nick Huybens (BEL)/Daniel Cramphorn (GBR) – 3min 30.088sec
Victory 3 – Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Nadir Bin Hendi (UAE) – DNS