Wednesday, 21 September: Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Qamzi was too strong for Australia’s Brock Cohen in the final of the UIM H2O Nations Cup Match Race, taking the overall victory with two straight wins and putting Team Abu Dhabi at the top of the standings with 39 points heading into tomorrow’s two sprint races.
The shoot out for the final podium slot was an all-Russian affair between Andrei Panyushkin and teammate Roman Vandyshev, who earlier in the day went quickest in qualifying to take pole position for race 1, but it was Panyushkin who won the duel, with Russia moving into second place overall just one point behind the leaders.
Despite facing a raft of more experienced drivers in the knockout stages it was the two youngsters, Al Qamzi 24 and Cohen 19, who starred and upstaged their more illustrious peers in the match race format of two boats racing against each other on an alternate course over the best of three runs.
Al Qamzi’s route to his second Nations Cup match race final saw him defeat Cohen’s teammate Corey Davoll, then his own teammate Rashed Al Tayer and pole-sitter Roman Vandyshen in the semi-final. “It was a tough final and I had to push really hard for the team. But I was very pleased after only managing tenth in qualifying after my throttle cable broke.” said Al Qamzi. “Tomorrow the first race will be tough but I need to make a good start and see what happens.”
Cohen will remember his Nations Cup debut for some time after first taking the scalp of four-time UIM F1H2O World Champion Scott Gillman, then beating defending Nations Cup Champion, Russia’s Andrei Panyushkin, and with Davoll picking up 11 points Australia are challenging for the title in third.
UAE – 39pts
Russia – 38pts
Australia – 33pts
USA – 27pts
Germany – 25pts
China – 18pts
Malaysia – 14pts
Italy 7 pts
Both sprint races of the UIM H2O BUND Holding Group Nations Cup Grand Prix of Shanghai will be broadcast and streamed live on cuph2o.net
Thursday 22 September
13.10 / 05:10 GMT – programme titles / intro / race 1
15.30 / 07:30 GMT – programme titles / intro / race 2