UAE pair keep world crown with victory in Abu Dhabi

They are now, in terms of race victories, the most successful pairing in the history of the world¿s greatest powerboat racing team.

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With two races remaining, the UAE's Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi clinched the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship yesterday with yet another storming performance at race two of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Piloting the black Victory Team-built cat Fazza, bin Hendi led from start to finish to retain the title the pair won in such brilliant fashion in 2009. They are now, in terms of race victories, the most successful pairing in the history of the world's greatest powerboat racing team.

"We came here looking to wrap up the championship and that's what we've done," said a jubilant Bin Hendi. "Arif is a magnificent driver, while the back-up crew is the best around. It's a tribute to their hard work and now we can go on to Dubai, relax and enjoy the last two races of the season."

The day started off in near disastrous fashion as two separate and spectacular crashes involving Victory Team 2010, Negotiator and SkyDive Dubai forced race officials to stop the action less than one lap into the race off the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

Meanwhile, Team Abu Dhabi's Thani al Qamzi and Ahmed al Hameli will provisionally start today's Grand Prix of Qatar, round six of the 2010 UIM F1 World Championship, from second and 13th positions after yesterday's afternoon's timed trials in Doha Bay.

Al Hameli mastered the near perfect conditions on the fast Doha Bay course to seal second position - after being edged out of a potential pole by Qatar's Jay Price in the closing minutes of the third qualifying session. But al Qamzi was eliminated in the second qualifying session with a broken crank after running for just one lap. He was classified down in 13th position at the end of the session.

* Agencies