Friday, 22 November, DOHA (Qatar): Team UAE’s Rashed Al Qemzi completed a memorable double easily winning both of today’s 20-minute sprint races on a dramatic afternoon on Doha Bay, with Al Qemzi’s teammate Mohamed Al Mehairbi and Team Lebanon’s Lebos Chaguri crashing out in race 1 and Team Qatar’s Mohamad Al-Obaidly crashing out early in the second race.
But it was Team Russia’s four-man squad who proved too strong for their five country rivals over the two days of competition, taking overall victory in the Nations Cup Qatar Grand Prix thanks to consistent top four finishes in yesterday’s Match Race and today’s sprint races to top the standings on 94 points. Team Saudi Arabia finished a surprise second on 88, with the defending Champions Team UAE in third with 81.
Rashed Al Qemzy dominated in an incident-filled first race which ended under the yellow flag, Al Mehairbi crashing out on lap 7, followed by Chaguri turning his boat over immediately after the re-start on lap 12.
Yesterday’s Match Race winner Qatar’s Khalid Al-Kuwari finished second with Russia’s Mikhail Kitashev in third ahead of teammate Dmitry Vandyshev.
Al Mehairbi led briefly from pole but was passed on lap two by Al Qemzi who immediately started to pull away on the 1475 meter four-pin circuit, pulling out a six second lead by the end of lap 3 and cruised to the chequered flag.
Khalid Al-Kuwari led the chase to try to stay with the UAE duo, followed by teammate Mohamad Al-Obaidly, but his race was short-lived, retiring on lap 5 with an engine problem.
Lebos Chaguri looked comfortable in fourth, ahead of the battling Russian duo with Mikhail Kitashev passing his teammate to move into fifth place followed by Norway’s Christian Carlsen, up into sixth after starting at the back of the grid, with Team Saudi Arabia racing line astern at the back.
The first of two yellows came out on lap 7 when Al Mehairibi’s Nations Cup challenge ended on turn one, the second yellow waved almost immediately after the re-start when Chaguri went over at the same turn.
Al Qemzi started race 2 where he finished race 1, out front, with Al-Kuwari in second ahead of Russia’s Roman Vandyshev when Qatar’s Nations Cup debutant, Mohamad Al-Obaidly, barrel-rolled at the end of the start-lap bringing out the third yellow flag of the afternoon.
The young UAE driver managed the re-start well and disappeared off into the distance and was untroubled throughout the 26-lap race, despite a late charge by Norway’s Stian Slattendalen who took over race duties from Christian Carlsen.
The 22-year-old Norwegian produced the team’s best performance of the weekend moving up from fourth place passing the Russian driver on lap 7 and then set about overhauling Al-Kuwari, passing him on lap 12 to finish second.
Al Kuwari held off a strong challenge from Russia’s Roman Vandyshev to finish third, but there was disappointment for his teammate Andrei Paniushkin who failed make the start due to technical problems, but came out late into the race managing just a handful of laps.
The Saudi duo repeated their race 1 fight with Saud Hamad finishing fourth, after the Russian driver was given a penalty lap for a jump start, again outdriving his teammate Naeem Al Kedawi, coming home in sixth, to complete a very successful event, picking up solid points with both boats in all three competitions to take an unexpected second place overall.
2013 UIM Nations Cup Qatar Grand Prix – sprint race 1 result
1. Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) - 16 laps
2. Khalid Al-Kuwari (QAT) + 2.09 sec
3. Mikhail Kitashev (RUS) +5.85 sec
4. Dmitry Vandyshev (RUS) + 10.15 sec
5. Christian Carlsen (NOR) + 23.79 sec
6. Saud Hamad (KSA) + 1 lap
7. Naeem Al Kedawi (KSA) + 1 lap
Lebos Chaguri (BRA/LBN) - DNF
Mohamed Al Mehairbi (UAE) - DNF
Mohamad Al-Obaidly (QAT) - DNF
2013 UIM Nations Cup Qatar Grand Prix – sprint race 2 result
1. Rashed Al Qemzi (UAE) - 26 laps
2. Stian Slattendalen (NOR) + 3.00 sec
3. Khalid Al-Kuwari (QAT) + 26.19 sec
4. Saud Hamad (KSA) + 1 lap
5. Roman Vandyshev (RUS) + 1 lap
6. Naeem Al Kedawi (KSA) +2 laps
7. Andrei Paniushkin (RUS) + 19 laps
Mohamad Al-Obaidly (QAT) - DNF
Mohamed Al Mehairbi (UAE) Team UAE - DNS
Lebos Chaguri (BRA/LBN) Team Lebanon - DNS
2013 UIM Nations Cup Qatar Grand Prix– final positions
1. Team Russia - 94pts
2. Team Saudi Arabia - 88pts
3. Team UAE - 81pts
4. Team Qatar - 79pts
5. Team Norway - 38pts
6. Team Lebanon - 20pts