Team UAE pipped to Uim H2o Nations Cup glory by Team Russia in Shanghai

Team UAE celebrates after winning the match race at the UIM H2O Nations Cup in Shanghai. (AN photo)
Updated 22 September 2016
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Team UAE pipped to Uim H2o Nations Cup glory by Team Russia in Shanghai

SHANGHAI: Rashed Al-Qamzi and Rashed Al-Tayer came up just short in their valiant attempt to secure a record-breaking fourth UIM H2O Nations Cup title for Team UAE on Shanghai’s Dishui Lake on Thursday afternoon.

Two yellow flag incidents in the first of two 25-lap Sprint races meant that the Emirati duo had insufficient laps to mount a charge for the podium and this gave the initiative to Team Russia, as Team UAE became embroiled in a tussle with Team USA to fight it out for second place in the second Sprint race.

Team Russia’s Roman Vandyshev led from the start of the yellow flag interrupted opening race to edge out Team Australia’s Corey Davoll. But veteran American drivers, Jay Price and Scott Gillman, were the main beneficiaries and third and fourth places moved Team USA into contention to topple Team UAE and snatch second place.

Vandyshev controlled the second race and was supported by a fifth-placed finish for Andrey Panyushkin to confirm the UIM H2O Nations Cup title for the Russians. Third and sixth positions for Price and Gillman was enough to pip Team UAE to the runner-up spot by a single point after Al-Qamzi and Al-Tayer finished fourth and seventh in race two.

“It was another exciting weekend of racing, but we came up just short against strong competition,” said Salem Al-Romaithi, assistant general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). “The UIM H2O Nations Cup is a team event and an excellent racing format. Both Rashed Al-Qamzi and Rashed Al-Tayer gave their best and we will come back next year and try to win back the UIM H2O Nations Cup.”

Sprint Race 1

Fifteen boats lined up for the first of the two Sprint Races over 25 laps, with Al-Tayer and Al-Qamzi lining up in seventh and 10th positions and Team Russia’s Vandyshev heading out in front from pole position. The Russian held his line and the lead, as Davoll and Price followed in his wake and the Team UAE duo settled into ninth and 10th.

The leaders held station until a yellow flag was raised on lap four when Team Australia’s Brock Cohen spun out of contention. His demise lifted Al-Qamzi and Al-Tayer to seventh and eighth, but the Emirati duo knew that they needed to close in on the Russian duo when racing resumed on lap nine.

Vandyshev maintained his lead after the restart from Davoll and Price, although Scott Gillman passed Andrey Panyushkin to snatch fourth for Team USA. Al-Qamzi overtook Team Germany’s Jorn Lassig on lap 11 and climbed to sixth place. With 10 laps to go, Vandyshev led Davoll by 1.77 seconds from Price and Gillman, but a second yellow was raised on lap 18 when Roberto Do Piano of Team Italy collided with a turn buoy. Both Ni Haojun and do Piano retired their Team China and Team Italy boats, the latter after he hit the turn buoy and was disqualified.


Sprint Race 2

Team Russia headed into the second 25-lap Sprint race with a 12-point lead over Team UAE and a 14-point advantage over Team USA. It was all to play for, but a good start was crucial for both Al-Qamzi and Al-Tayer. Boats left the start pontoon in the order that they had finished the previous race and that gave Team Russia a big advantage with Vandyshev and Panyushkin lining up in first and fifth positions. Brock Cohen was not able to start for Team Australia after his first race incident.

The Russian maintained his lead from the start, but Al-Qamzi managed to overtake Gillman to snatch fifth place. The Emirati was now on a charge and he began to pressurise Panyushkin and soon gained fourth place.

Vandyshev maintained his lead from Davoll, Price and Al-Qamzi through eight laps and the fact that Panyushkin held fifth kept Team Russia in prime position to clinch the UIM H2O Nations Cup. Gillman began to slow and slipped to ninth place and Jorn Lassig and Alffian Kadri were forced to retire with technical issues.

The top four continued to edge clear of fifth-placed Panyushkin, as Team Russia remained on course to retain their UIM H2O Nations Cup title. Gillman continued to head Al-Tayer in the tight contest for the runner-up spot.

There were no late dramas for Team Russia, however, and Vandyshev held on to claim victory from Davoll by just 0.68 seconds, as Team USA pipped Team UAE to second position by a single point.

UIM H2O Bund Holding Group Nations Cup – result (unofficial):
1. Team Russia 120 pts
2. Team USA 100 pts
3. Team UAE 99 pts
4. Team Australia 77 pts
5. Team Germany 62 pts
6. Team Malaysia 47 pts
7. Team China 28 pts
8. Team Italy 19 pts


FOUR THINGS WE LEARNED: A classic clash, sublime New Orleans Saints and a bad break for Alex Smith

Updated 20 November 2018
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FOUR THINGS WE LEARNED: A classic clash, sublime New Orleans Saints and a bad break for Alex Smith

  • Saints once again show why they are serious Super Bowl contenders.
  • Unlucky Alex Smith suffers a horror injury.

LONDON: This is the time of year that can either make or break a team’s regular season. Are they headed for the playoffs or are they set to be on holiday in January? Here is what we learned after week 11 of the NFL.

RAMS AND CHIEFS SERVE UP A CLASSIC

Where to start analyzing Monday night’s epic in Los Angeles? It was certainly one of the best games of gridiron I have ever seen. From the first kick-off to the final seconds, both sides threw caution to the wind, with the Rams winning by three points in a 54-51 nail-biter — on the way to producing a classic clash that will still be talked about for years to come. 
American Football is often criticized for being too “stop-start,” but watching these two Super Bowl favorites go hammer and tongs for four quarters would have been enough to convert any detractor.
To put into context just how explosive both teams were, it was the first time two teams have scored more than 50 points in a match in the history of the NFL.
While many are praising the defensive qualities of a playoffs-bound Chicago, we are just glad the defensive units did not bother showing up for this one and we had the privilege of watching two blistering offenses in full flow. If either of these teams goes on to win the Super Bowl, they can pinpoint this match as one of the key moments of their season.

It was raining touchdowns in the all-time classic between the Chiefs and the Rams.



SAINTS CHANNELLING THE SPIRIT OF 2009

When the league fixtures were announced in the summer, the Saints-Eagles match-up was singled out as a test of the two team’s NFC championship credentials. Unlike the Rams and Chiefs extravaganza, though, this ended up being a damp squib of a game. 
Philadelphia just did not turn up, while the Saints — the hottest team in the league at the moment — were imperiously led by Drew Brees to a blowout 48-7 win, which now sits in the record books as worst defeat in the Eagles’ history. 
Brees threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns, meaning that the 9-1 Saints have now scored 40-plus points in three matches in a row and have become the first team in the Super Bowl era to post at least 40 points six times in the first 10 games of the season. It will take a very good team to stop this Saints side from claiming glory in Atlanta next February.

Drew Brees was once again in imperious form for the ever-improving and dangerous Saints. 



PURE ATHLETICISM TRUMPS TACTICAL PLAY-CALLS

Gridiron is an extremely technical and tactical sport, with coaches and players spending weeks perfecting certain plays. But sometimes a moment of sheer athletic prowess wins out and blows all the spreadsheets and playbook analysis out the window. Week 11 saw its fair share of brilliant moments — from Kenny Golladay’s sublime touchdown catch for the Lions against Carolina, to Juju Smith-Schuster’s unbelievable grab for the Steelers on a late, game-winning drive, not forgetting Odell Beckham’s strength to hold on in the end-zone for a Giants score against Tampa Bay. And those moments are exactly why millions of people tune in to the NFL every week.

Kenny Golladay with his moment of magic during Detriot's 20-19 win over Carolina. 



THOUGHTS WITH ALEX SMITH

Much progress has been made in preventing concussion and serious head injuries in the NFL in recent years. Rule changes and safety measures have been implemented, and we are beginning to see a reduction in the number of head and neck traumas. But in sport, horror injuries can happen — and there is little the league can do to prevent the kind of leg breaks Washington’s Alex Smith suffered during their game against the Texans. Everyone watching immediately knew the severity of the break, and it is clear Smith faces a lengthy recovery. Such injuries can end careers. Here’s hoping he makes it back.

Alex Smith being stretchered off after his horror injury suffered against the Texans.