DUBAI // Nadir bin Hendi will make his long-awaited return to XCAT racing at the final round of the UIM Skydive Dubai XCAT World Series this weekend.
Bin Hendi is returning from a two-year suspension following a failed doping test in 2011; the Emirati vigorously fought the ban, saying it was triggered by his use of a legal nasal spray, but the suspension was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
Bin Hendi will join his former teammate Arif Al Zaffain in Fazza with the aim of securing the championship for the current series leaders.
The four-time world champion, who is also deputy executive director of Victory Team, already made a return to competitive action, racing in a Class 1 event last weekend.
“Nadir is back with Arif, and will be replacing Mohammed Al Marri. They were together before Nadir’s suspension so it’s good for the team and hopefully they will do well,” the Victory Team manager Ragesh Elayadeth said.
“He is very excited. He raced in the last Class 1 race in Abu Dhabi and they came first in the first race. He’s back in shape and the whole team is excited.”
Bin Hendi will want to be at his best – he and Al Zaffain need to stay ahead of challengers Mouawad, crewed by Omar Danial and Gary Ballough, to win the championship this weekend.
Elayadeth has complete confidence in the Victory Team pilots.
“We know this is a big one. We are prepared but we need a little luck. We had some back luck in China and in Arona so we are expecting that luck factor back again to win the race and the championship,” bin Hendi said.
“When I looked two weeks ago the weather forecast was horrible, very bad. But now it looks better. It’s going to be a little bumpy but not extremely bumpy. There should be good racing conditions.
“It’s not only about the boat; it’s also about the crew in the boat, so with experienced crew they can manoeuvre the boat according to the conditions. All our pilots are capable of handling any kind of situation,” he added.
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