Thursday, 24 October: H2O Racing has confirmed sixteen boats representing eight countries for the UIM Nations Cup opener in Doha, Qatar on 20-22 November.
Joining the series for the first time will be teams from Italy, Lebanon, Norway and Russia, with Saudi Arabia, who competed in the inaugural event in Singapore in 2011, making their second appearance.
All will face the daunting task of taking on the defending Champions and two-time winners of Nations Cup Team UAE and their arch-rivals Team Qatar who have finished second two years running. The eighth team and all driver line-ups will be announced in the coming weeks.
Nations Cup logistics director Alec Cavallero will head to Abu Dhabi in the next few days to oversee the final preparations and the shipping of the boats to Doha. “We have carried a considerable amount of work this year on all the boats, and although the teams may not immediately notice when they see them, they certainly will when they get in them,” he said. “All engines have been thoroughly checked by Mercury and we have gone over all the electrics and mechanical elements to ensure that everything is working and equal. The main differences to the boats are the canopies which have all been rebuilt, with new opening and closing mechanism installed. All boats have also been fitted with safety seats specifically designed by Sparco for circuit boats.”
Activities begin on Tuesday, 19 November when teams will be assigned their boats, engines and propellers, getting their first opportunity to test the circuit and the waters of Doha Bay on Wednesday with two free practice sessions.
Qualifying and the Match Race take place on Thursday with both Sprint Races on the Friday.