x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Emirati powerboat pair take confidence into Portugal race

Thani al Qamzi and Ahmed al Hameli can kick-start their season after qualifying third and seventh ahead of tomorrow's Grand Prix of Portugal.

Thani al Qamzi and Ahmed al Hameli qualified in third and seventh place for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Portugal, the second round of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship.

In warm and windy conditions on the Arade River, near the town of Portimao, the Team Abu Dhabi pair set a competitive pace from the start of the morning’s practice session giving both some confidence to kick-start their season after a disappointing result in the opening round in Qatar in March.

The day belonged to the Norwegian female racer Marit Stromoy, who was using her new Team Nautica DAC boat for the first time. She set the fastest time in the final time-trial to claim pole position — a first for a female competitor. Jay Price, the championship leader from Qatar, qualified in second.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Majed al Mansoori qualified second for the first of the weekend’s two UIM F-4S races but he suffered a disappointing outing on the Arade River course.

After slipping down to fourth midway through the race, the Emirati eventually sustained engine problems on Lap 17 and dropped to seventh overall in a race won by Sweden’s championship leader Bimba Sjoholm from Qatar’s Khalid Saleh al Shamlan.