Long dominant in Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 offshore racing, the Dubai-based Victory Team has committed to defend its 2012 World Championship title in the first races of the 2013 season, March 26-30, in the inaugural China Grand Prix in Sanya, China. The decision reverses the team’s reported late-February choice to withdraw from the UIM Class 1 World Championship Series.
The controversy involved what the Victory Team believed was tardy final scheduling by the UIM for the 2013 season. According to a Sport360 story, the nationally funded team was unable to place a plan before both its government and its sponsors because a 2013 Class 1 calendar had not been finalized.
Apparently, Victory Team and UIM Class 1 leaders were able to resolve their differences. The No. 3 boat from the Victory Team is presently in transit via container ship, and is due to arrive to arrive at the Hainan Island Port around March 15 with eight other high-powered catamarans that will start the race.
“We will be making several announcements in the coming weeks,” said Nicolo di San Germano, chairman of Class 1 and president of F1 H20 World Championship. “We’ve said six events this year, and that is our target. We fully understand the frustrations of some teams, but we were always confident that once the issues that we could influence had been addressed and discussed face-to-face that we would have a strong lineup going to China. Victory is the defending champion, and we are very pleased that the team will be with us to start the defense of its title.”
The official nine-catamaran lineup for this month’s historic Class 1 debut in China is: Victory Team, Team Abu Dhabi, Victory Australia, Subseapilot, LFFendi, FA.RO ACCIAI, Poliform, Visun-Sanya, and Zabo Isiklar.