Organised by H2O Racing, the promoters of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship, the UIM H2O Nations Cup hasn’t run since March 2015 – when the now defunct Qatar Marine Sports Federation ran a race meeting in Doha Bay that was won by Team Russia.
Eight teams will line up in one of China’s most exciting cities to do battle over two days and various racing disciplines to determine which team is the king of the UIM H2O Nations Cup for a sixth time.
Team UAE will be represented by the two regular Team Abu Dhabi drivers, Rashed Al-Tayer and Rashed Al-Qamzi, both drivers fresh from an outing in France in the UIM F2 Championship and both eager to continue the remarkable run that the United Arab Emirates has in this prestigious racing competition.
Team UAE has won the title on three occasions in the past, with Ahmed Al-Hameli and Majed Al-Mansoori leading the way for Team UAE in 2011, after they pipped Team Qatar by four points at the inaugural event in Marina Bay, Singapore.
Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori teamed up to again pip Team Qatar to UIM H2O Nations Cup success in Khor Fakkan in 2012. Rashed Al-Qamzi and Mohammed Al-Mehairbi represented the UAE to give the country a hat-trick of successes in the double-header in Qatar and at their home venue in Abu Dhabi in 2013.
Salem Al-Romaithi, assistant general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) commented on the series,
The UIM H2O Nations Cup is an important event in the UIM calendar and I am delighted that Team UAE will be represented with a strong team and looking to claim a fourth victory.
The boats are built to similar specifications and that levels the playing field for everyone. The format is challenging, but our team drivers are not short on recent racing experience and I am sure that they will push hard to bring the victory back to the United Arab Emirates.
The competition will be intense.
Team Russia will be making their third appearance and are out to defend the title they won in Qatar in 2015. Their driver line-up will consist of the experienced Roman Vandyshev – a winner with Team Belarus in 2014 – Konstantin Ustinov and Andrey Panyushkin.
Team Australia has entered for the first time with the talented young duo of Brock Cohen and Corey Davoll. Wu Bingchen is better known for his performances in the UIM F4-S series that runs in tandem with rounds of the F1 H2O series and he heads the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China team that makes its UIM H2O Nations Cup debut on home waters.
An all-new driver pairing of Dietmar Kaiser and Jorn Lassig represent Team Germany, which finished third overall in Doha in March 2015.
Team Italy impressed in the match and sprint races in Doha last year and Roberto Lo Piano teams up with Stefani Paoletti, who was fastest in qualifying last time out and won both the Sprint and Match races to guide Italy to the runner-up spot behind Team Russia.
Alfian and Mohammed Affendey Bin Kadri will represent Team Malaysia, who finished third in 2014.
Team USA is also on the provisional entry list.
Each team runs identical boats provided by race promoters and this provides a level playing field for everyone in each of the points-scoring disciplines. Boats will be assigned to teams tomorrow (Monday, September 19) and there will be two free practice sessions on Tuesday (September 20).
Competitive action fires into life with the time trials at 10.00hrs (06.00hrs UAE time) and the Match Race at 14.00hrs (10.00hrs UAE time) on Wednesday, September 21.
After a further free practice session, there will be two races to determine the winners of the UIM H2O Nations Cup on Thursday, September 22. Race one gets underway at 13.30hrs (09.30hrs UAE time) and it will be imperative that drivers do not damage their boats, as the second race fires into life two hours later at 15.30hrs (11.30hrs UAE time).