Kite Beach lived up to its fearsome reputation with strong winds and rough seas testing the skills and stamina of the 61 riders from 22 countries who competed at last weekend’s Grand Prix of Dubai, the penultimate round of the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship, with the toughest and most brutal of conditions served up for the last of three Motos.
Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq
After breaking down in Moto 1 defending champion Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq came from behind in the points to take the overall victory in Runabout GP1, winning the final two Motos to extend his lead in the title race, with Lars Akerblom in second.
Brit James Bushell saw his title hopes dashed after being black-flagged in the final Moto for a course infringement, but a win and a fourth place was good enough to put him on the third step of the podium, which leaves him 29 points adrift of the points’ leader.
In Ski GP1 Kevin Reiterer and Quinten Bossche slugged it out in a winner-take-all decider, and tied on points with a win apiece, Reiterer leading from start-to-finish to take the win. Bossche who now leads the title race, from Mickael and Jeremy Poret. Marten Manni sealed the final podium place with third in Moto 1 and two fourths.
Despite finishing down in fifth spot in the final Moto, back-to-back wins on the penultimate day gave defending champion Emma-Nellie Ortendahl overall victory.
But it was Estelle Poret who produced the outstanding performance of the weekend with a brilliant win in the worst of conditions in Moto 3 to secure second overall and reduce Ortendahl’s championship lead to one point, with Krista Uzare getting her first podium on the UIM-ABP tour.
The absence of the injured champion Rok Florjancic in Freestyle opened the door for his younger brother Nac, but it was Dubai resident Rashid Al Mulla who stole the show, winning all three Motos with an array of breath taking aerial trickery. Second place, surprisingly, went to Roberto Mariani with Nac Florjancic somewhat off his best in third, but now leads the championship standings.
Rashid Al Mulla
The final round of the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship takes place in Sharjah on the 18-20 December.