Sunday, 20 November, MARINA BAY (Singapore): Ahmed Al Hameli completed his Marina Bay hat-trick winning a dramatic and incident-filled UIM F1H2O Nations Cup Singapore Grand Prix, with teammate Majed Al Mansoori’s fourth place securing the overall F1H2O Nations Cup Team Trophy for the UAE over Middle East rivals, Qatar. “We are delighted with our drivers,” said team manager Scott Gillman. “Ahmed is really on top of his game at the moment and he was well supported by Majed who has been doing a great job for us in different series for many years. Overall I think it was a good event for everyone and I think Nations Cup has a big future.”
Despite a heroic effort by Team Qatar’s Khalid Al Shamlan, who once again finished second and an impressive third place by Khalid Al Kuwari on his international racing debut, the duo missed out on overall success by just four points. “We did everything that we could but in the end it was not quite enough, but to have both of us on the podium in the race was a great effort and a very good result for the team.” said Al Shamlan.
After Team South Africa’s Timothy Fetherstonhaugh’s crash yesterday ruled him out of the Match Race and picking up points, the team’s prospect of any trophy success looked doubtful, but fifth place for Mark Shepherd, finishing immediately ahead of his teammate, catapulted them from eighth into third place in the overall standings. “If you look at where we were yesterday it’s a great result for the team,” said Shepherd. “We made the decision in the team meeting that we had to keep both boats on the water and get the most points possible and not do anything rash. The second restart helped me and I was able to jump two boats. It was a good race to be in with some exciting stuff going on due to the conditions.”
Despite atrocious weather with thunder rolling overhead and torrential rain sweeping across Marina Bay, the twenty drivers from ten countries served up a feast of spectacular racing, with the scheduled 45 lap race interrupted by three crash-enforced yellow flag sessions.
Al Hameli led for the opening five laps before being passed by Team Brunei’s Ismail Haji Kabon who stayed out front until lap 16, when he suddenly slowed and was passed by both the Team UAE and Qatari duos - when Team Brazil’s Paul Gaiser crashed-out bringing out the first yellow.
The restart on lap 23 was very short-lived, with Al Hameli again out front and Al Shamlan, Al Kuwari, Mansoori and Team Finland’s Risto Painio running line astern when Team Singapore’s Laurence Wong Seong barrel-rolled out of the race on the first corner and the yellow flag again raised.
The boats remained under a long yellow before being released on lap 33; Al Hameli maintained his lead, Al Shamlan and Al Mansoori momentarily traded places behind him with Khalid Al Kuwari running in fourth ahead of Team Hungary’s Kornel Vo and Team South Africa’s Mark Shepherd.
The third yellow flag came out on lap 36 with the exit of the young Hungarian and the race eventually ended under the yellow flag as the 45 minute time limit kicked-in.
Team Brunei’s Haji Kabon eventually finished in seventh ahead of Risto Painio, with Team Malaysia’s Robert Fernandez and Brazilian Lebos Chaguri completing the top ten. Team Malaysia finished fourth overall in the standings with Team Finland in fifth place.