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TEAM ABU DHABI’S XCAT WORLD CHAMPIONS AIM TO RETAIN TITLE IN DUBAI GRAND FINALE

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Torrente, Al Mansoori head into final round with focus on double race victory

Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente and Faleh Al Mansoori will blank out off-race matters in the 2019 UIM XCAT World Championship and focus on securing a double race victory in this weekend’s decisive Dubai Grand Prix.

The defending XCAT world champions, who opened the season with back-to-back race wins in Italy, hope that a repeat performance will be enough to see them retain the title they secured with victory in China’s Hangzhou Grand Prix last year.

“Our focus is purely on getting maximum points from the weekend, and the entire team will have nothing else on their minds,” said team manager Talib Al-Sayed.

After a third place finish in race three at last month’s Shanghai Grand Prix, Torrente and Al Mansoori thought they would arrive at this weekend’s final round of the championship in Duhai holding a five-point lead over the Dubai Police crew of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi.

But XCAT Racing later reversed their decision to penalise Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi for hitting a boy, removing a 30-seconds time penalty. They also imposed two 30-seconds time penalties on Torrente and Al Mansoori in Abu Dhabi 4 for buoy infringements at the start.

Team Abu Dhabi have appealed against the penalties, but as no decision has yet been reached, Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi currently lead the championship by six points from Australians Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton in Maritimo, with Torrente and Al Mansoori another point behind in third.

Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori return to action in Dubai looking to build on an impressive run of performances in China where they claimed a hat-trick of podium finishes in Abu Dhabi 5.

The XCAT boats take to the water at Dubai International Marine Club for two official practice sessions on Thursday starting at 11am and 3.30pm.

The pole position qualifier gets underway at 9am on Friday, with race one roaring to life at 3pm and race two following at the same time on Saturday.

XCAT World Championship positions

  1. Dubai Police 143
  2. Maritimo 137
  3. Abu Dhabi 4 136
  4. Abu Dhabi 5 113
  5. 222 Offshore 71
  6. HPI Racing Team 60
  7. The Blue Roo 48
  8. New Star Racing 47
  9. Swecat Racing 44
  10. Kuwait 42
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AL QEMZI CROWNS SEASON WITH ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX VICTORY

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Team Abu Dhabi’s F2 world champion rounds off brilliant campaign with historic win on home waters

Rashed Al Qemzi crowned his brilliant season in the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship today with an emphatic home victory in the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.

The Team Abu Dhabi driver, already installed as F2 world champion for the second time in three years, led from start to finish to record his fourth Grand Prix triumph of the year with 4.63 seconds      to spare from Portugal’s Duarte Benavente, with Lithuanian Edgaras Riabko third.

This success on home waters is the one that means most to Al Qemzi, particularly as he goes into the record books as the winner of the first ever UIM F2 race staged in the UAE capital.

The Emirati looked in complete control throughout, resisting Benavente’s challenge to pull away on the first lap, and refusing to be unsettled when the race was interrupted twice in quick succession following crashes by Sweden’s Johan Österberg and Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen.

It has been an outstanding season for Al Qemzi from his opening round victory in Lithuania in June. Other victories followed in Italy and Portugal to clinch the title with one round to spare, adding to the Nations Cup and F4-S world championships he secured before his first F2 triumph in 2017.

He has benefitted enormously from the vast experience and influence of ten-times former F1H2O champion Guido Cappellini, who has guided Team Abu Dhabi to nine world titles in five years.

To broaden Al Qemzi’s experience of different race conditions and pressure, the shrewd Cappellini included him in the team’s top four-man crew for this year’s World Endurance Championships, which they duly won in Poland in July.

The opening free practice session in Abu Dhabi on Thursday saw Al Qemzi start in a boat being tested for next year’s championship, meaning Cappellini and the Emirati driver were already thinking ahead to a third F2 world crown.

Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, leading positions:

  1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE                44 laps
  2. Duarte Benavente POR               +4.63
  3. Edgaras Riabko LT +15.28
  4. Stefan Hagin GER               +16.69
  5. Nikita Lijcs LAT +47.03
  6. Kalle Viippo FIN +19.56 (43)
  7. Uvis Slakteris LAT +23.35 (43)
  8. Ahmad Al Fahim UAE +29.60 (43)
  9. Héctor Sanz SPA +33.60 (43)
  10. Mette Bjerknæs NOR +31.75 (42)
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A Win for Habtoor Polo Team on the Second Day of the Sir Winston Churchill Cup 2019

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The usual Friday Polo Picnic at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club was complemented by clear skies as spectators witnessed a match between Habtoor Polo and AM Polo teams.

The tournament is sponsored by Bukhatir Group, one of the largest and most diversified business houses in the United Arab Emirates. Its main interests straddle Construction, Education, Information Technology, Real Estate, Shopping & Retail, Sports & Leisure and Services.

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F1 VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix 2020: Hanoi Circuit is On Track

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  • VGPC releases new images of Hanoi Circuit construction in progress
  • Pit Building to be completed December 31, 2019
  • Hanoi Circuit to be completed by early January 2020

The Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation (VGPC), Promoter of the Formula1 VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix 2020, today released some new images showcasing the progress being made on Formula 1’s newest track, the Hanoi Circuit.

Taking place from 3rd to 5th April 2020, the inaugural Formula 1 race in Vietnam will see the pinnacle of motorsport debut in the South East Asian country for the third round of next year’s 22-race FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The Hanoi Circuit – which runs to 5607m in length and features 23 corners, some of them inspired by iconic F1 tracks – is a unique hybrid design, fusing a street circuit’s characteristics with a permanent track layout. The first of its kind to be developed in partnership by Tilke Engineers and F1’s own Motorsports Division, it is set to become one of the most challenging and sensational circuits in the sport. With high speed corner sequences not seen at any other pure street tracks and as many as three overtaking points where cars will have the potential to duke it out side-by-side, this is a track designed to deliver spectacular racing.

Overlooking the action will be the awe-inspiring sight of the 300m long Pit Building – purpose built for the arrival of F1 in Vietnam. Its design has been inspired by Hanoi’s famous Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, representing this proud nation’s long history and strong cultural heritage. This stunning permanent structure is expected to be completed by December 31st.

The images released today show the asphalt levelling process in progress along the 1.5km long back straight beginning at the exit of Turn 9 and running down to Turn 11. This section of the track will be the point where the world’s greatest drivers will be able to go flat out as they battle for victory in Hanoi next April, with expected speeds estimated to reach 335km/h. The levelling process is being done on the whole 5607m track and expected to near majority completion by the new year.

The Hanoi Circuit is set to be one of the most breathtaking circuits in F1. A feat of design, innovation & construction, the track will pose a stern examination of the drivers’ strength and skills, whilst providing fans with a weekend of non-stop, adrenaline-fuelled racing action.

Tickets on Sale NOW!

Tickets for the Formula 1 VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix 2020 are on sale now.

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and the world’s most prestigious racing competition, as well as the world’s most popular annual racing series. April 2020 will be the first time this race is held in Vietnam.

For more information on how to book your tickets, as well as for the list of official resellers, please go to: www.f1vietnamgp.com.

Customers wishing to buy in bulk packages or that have specific requirements

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 hansgrohe extends title sponsorship of the BORA-hansgrohe racing team until 2021

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At the close of the professional BORA-hansgrohe cycling team’s most successful season yet, hansgrohe has made an early announcement declaring the extension of its title sponsorship until the end of the 2021 season.

This year the team claimed a total of 47 season wins with Pascal Ackermann securing the Ciclamino jersey at the Giro d’Italia and Peter Sagan the green jersey at the Tour de France, both for best sprinter.

That, and the fourth place held by Emanuel Buchmann at the Tour de France, made it an exceptional season for the team. BORA-hansgrohe is now the second-best cycling team in the world. With its renewed commitment, the hansgrohe brand is showing its recognition of the team’s top performance.

For more than three years now, hansgrohe has been the team’s reliable partner. As one of the world’s experts for unforgettable water experiences, the sanitary fixtures brand headquartered in the Black Forest has been providing its athletes with a daily dose of energy. This means that the team’s members start refreshed and in top form, enabling them to perform their best and, after a strenuous race, to recharge their batteries and renew their strength.

Hans Jürgen Kalmbach, CEO Hansgrohe SE commented:

“We are proud of the team’s great performance, which, in addition to being a terrific sports success, is also a win for the hansgrohe brand. The positive effect this has on the brand and its popularity confirm that we are right in deciding to extend our sponsorship. We want to continue to write this success story together with the team and we look forward to two more seasons as sponsor and partner of the BORA-hansgrohe team. We wish the riders and the team’s management continued success.”

Emanuel Buchmann, fourth in the overall rankings of the 2019 Tour de France commented:

“I thank hansgrohe for its trust and support. This season was extremely successful for our team. We all share the same vision and are working hard at being even more successful next year.”

Ralph Denk, BORA-hansgrohe team manager commented:

“The team welcomes the early extension of our partnership with hansgrohe. That gives us the stability we need to be able to plan and pursue our vision without worries until 2021. I am confident that this will enable us to achieve our ambitious sporting goals.”

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AL QEMZI CLAIMS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX POLE WITH BRILLIANT SURGE

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Team Abu Dhabi’s F2 world champion lines up home victory as series reaches grand finale in UAE capital

Rashed Al Qemzi underlined his dominance of the 2019 UIM F2 World Championship today with another sparkling display to claim pole position for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.

The Team Abu Dhabi driver, who wrapped up his second F2 world title in three years at the penultimate round of the series in Portugal, maintained his 100% qualifying record to move within reach of a fourth Grand Prix victory of the season.

Saving his best until last, Al Qemzi produced a brilliant second lap in the qualifying shoot-out to set a fastest time of 45.13 secs and deny Portugal’s Duarte Benavente (45.59) who had edged out Britain’s Owen Jelf (46.09) moments earlier.

A home triumph on the championship’s first ever visit to the UAE capital will be the crowning glory for Al Qemzi, who has led the way from his opening round success in Lithuania, and also won the Grand Prix of Italy.

He clinched a fifth successive pole succession on the day a new academy was officially opened adjacent to Abu Dhabi’s Grand Prix race venue to teach and train the next generation of water sports enthusiasts and world champions in the UAE capital.

Immediately following the qualifying action, Thomas Kurth, Secretary General of the UIM, the international governing body of powerboating, officially inaugurated the new Abu Dhabi Marine Academy.

The academy has been set up by Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club to build on the outstanding powerboat racing success of Team Abu Dhabi who have won nine world titles since Guido Cappellini arrived as team manager in February, 2015.

Using a team of internationally and nationally qualified academy course instructors, it offers expert tuition in a range of water based sports from swimming and flyboard to waterski, aquabike, and powerboat racing as well as rescue, recovery and safety.

Leading qualifying times:

  1. Rashed Al Qemzi UAE                45.13
  2. Duarte Benavente POR                45.59
  3. Owen Jelf GBR                45.75
  4. Tobias Munthe-Kaas NOR 46.03
  5. Stefan Hagin GER                46.56
  6. Edgaras Riabko LT                   46.75
  7. Ola Pettersson SWE                46.94
  8. Ferdinand Zandbergen NL 47.57
  9. Kalle Viippo FIN                 47.91
  10. Ahmad Al Fahim UAE                51.53
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CAPPELLINI TIPS WORLD CHAMPION AL QEMZI TO ROUND OFF SEASON WITH HOME WIN

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Team Abu Dhabi boss says Emirati driver is a real talent and pressure is off him for Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

Team Abu Dhabi manager Guido Cappellini expects Rashed Al Qemzi to round off a brilliant season with victory on home waters this weekend.

Already installed as the 2019 UIM F2 world champion, Al Qemzi has the chance to claim another place in the record books by winning on the series’ first visit to the UAE capital, and team manager Cappellini expects the Emirati driver to do just that.

“If the championship was still wide open, the pressure on the team and the driver would be incredible,” said the Italian ten-times former F1H20 world champion ahead of Saturday’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

“But Rashed is already champion so there is no pressure. He just wants to do a good job. He’s thinking only to win this race, and we believe he will.”

As Al Qemzi and the rest of the 20-strong F2 line-up assembled at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club for this afternoon’s free practice, Cappellini paid tribute to the 27-year old Emirati driver who was Nations Cup and F4-S world champion before his first F2 triumph in 2017.

“I have known Rashed for five years and in this time I’ve seen a big difference in him,” he said. “He is more disciplined, he works harder, and this is the combination that brings results. I’m not surprised by what he has done this season. I saw his potential a long time ago. He is a real talent.

“Since he stepped up a grade he has won the F2 world title twice in three years. That’s not easy, as this is one of the most difficult race categories in the world.”

Reflecting his team manager’s confidence, Al Qemzi said before free practice: “I feel very good, and I’m happy to race in my country. It will mean a lot to me to win here in Abu Dhabi, but I’m relaxed for this race.”

Al Qemzi expects “a big fight” to ensue in Saturday afternoon’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi between Portugal’s Duarte Benavente, Sweden’s Ola Pettersson, Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen and Germany’s Stefan Hagin, the four drivers battling for second place in the championship.

The starting grid for the race will be decided in the three-stage qualifying session getting under way at 3.30pm on Friday over the 1.825m Grand Prix circuit providing ideal viewing for spectators between the Corniche and the Breakwater.

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CAPPELLINI TIPS WORLD CHAMPION AL QEMZI TO ROUND OFF SEASON WITH HOME WIN

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Team Abu Dhabi boss says Emirati driver is a real talent and pressure is off him for Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

Team Abu Dhabi manager Guido Cappellini expects Rashed Al Qemzi to round off a brilliant season with victory on home waters this weekend.

Already installed as the 2019 UIM F2 world champion, Al Qemzi has the chance to claim another place in the record books by winning on the series’ first visit to the UAE capital, and team manager Cappellini expects the Emirati driver to do just that.

“If the championship was still wide open, the pressure on the team and the driver would be incredible,” said the Italian ten-times former F1H20 world champion ahead of Saturday’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

“But Rashed is already champion so there is no pressure. He just wants to do a good job. He’s thinking only to win this race, and we believe he will.”

As Al Qemzi and the rest of the 20-strong F2 line-up assembled at Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club for this afternoon’s free practice, Cappellini paid tribute to the 27-year old Emirati driver who was Nations Cup and F4-S world champion before his first F2 triumph in 2017.

“I have known Rashed for five years and in this time I’ve seen a big difference in him,” he said. “He is more disciplined, he works harder, and this is the combination that brings results. I’m not surprised by what he has done this season. I saw his potential a long time ago. He is a real talent.

“Since he stepped up a grade he has won the F2 world title twice in three years. That’s not easy, as this is one of the most difficult race categories in the world.”

Reflecting his team manager’s confidence, Al Qemzi said before free practice: “I feel very good, and I’m happy to race in my country. It will mean a lot to me to win here in Abu Dhabi, but I’m relaxed for this race.”

Al Qemzi expects “a big fight” to ensue in Saturday afternoon’s Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi between Portugal’s Duarte Benavente, Sweden’s Ola Pettersson, Dutchman Ferdinand Zandbergen and Germany’s Stefan Hagin, the four drivers battling for second place in the championship.

The starting grid for the race will be decided in the three-stage qualifying session getting under way at 3.30pm on Friday over the 1.825m Grand Prix circuit providing ideal viewing for spectators between the Corniche and the Breakwater.

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Emirates raises the excitement at the 50th running of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens

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Celebrating the great strides forward that rugby has taken in the UAE and the milestone 50th anniversary of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, Emirates is ramping up activities during the tournament, with exciting initiatives to engage with tournament visitors and fans of all ages over the three-day event.

 

The 2019 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens kicks off tomorrow at the Sevens Stadium, with what promises to be the largest and most action-packed event on record with over 100,000 fans expected ready to watch over 900 rugby and netball matches across the three days.

 

Along with activating its world-class hospitality and brand presence across the tournament, Emirates will also be engaging with young rugby fans and their families through the Emirates Kids Zone. Ernie the Penguin and Emirates Cabin Crew will be visiting the zone every day to hand out goodies, including Emirates Kids Zone passports.

 

For Snapchatters out there looking to customise their tournament experience and content, Emirates will be rolling out a bespoke augmented reality lens during all three tournament days. The lens can be unlocked by scanning the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens logos across the tournament premises. Snapcatters will also be able to experience the region’s first augmented reality flypast through a special lens that will be activated at the stadium. In addition, a special face lens will be activated across the UAE, allowing Snapchatters to show their support for their favourite teams during the tournament. Throughout the tournament days, Snapchatters across the UAE will also have access to various custom-built filters allowing them to capture memories of the event. The filters will change based on the various events taking place in and around the stadium.

 

Emirates Everyday, the newly launched location based app that gives Skywards members the power to earn Skywards Miles anytime, every day at their favourite retail, entertainment and dining outlets across the UAE, will also be rewarding fans throughout the tournament. Branded rugby balls will be handed out to those who sign-up for the App, and fans will have a chance to win 50,000 miles if they download the app over the Dubai Rugby Sevens weekend. Spectators in the stands can also look forward to the Emirates Everyday Cannon, which will send out Skywards Everyday branded t-shirts six times daily during matches.

 

Joining Jack, the Emirates-sponsored Legends team who are the reigning champions of the International Vets group are coming back this year to the Dubai Rugby Sevens to defend their title. Joining Jack features some of the most famous names in rugby, who are working to raise money and awareness in the fight to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Joining Jack will be regularly visiting the Emirates hospitality chalet for talks and Q&As with guests and media.

 

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ICC EXTENDS GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP WITH OPPO

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced it has extended its global partnership with leading smartphone brand OPPO through until the end of 2023.

OPPO will continue to be the official Mobile Handset and Headset partner of the ICC and all associated ICC events starting with the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 in South Africa and both the Men’s and Women’s T20 World Cups in Australia next year. The partnership, which began in 2015, will continue to provide OPPO a platform to connect with cricket’s 1.2 billion fans who unite behind their nations at ICC events around the world.

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: “We’re delighted OPPO is continuing as a Global Partner of the ICC and our events. As a sport we pride ourselves on our digital first approach and that makes OPPO with their innovative approach to technology such a natural partner.”

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