Sustainability on the road
In the Moroccan desert, in a 4-wheel drive Fiat Panda to support biodiversity projects: welcome to the 2018 Panda Raid.
During the first weekend of July the town of Stresa, on Lake Maggiore, hosted the second round of the UIM XCAT world championship. This spectacular, sporting event exclusively dedicated to motor catamarans took place with the collaboration of FIM (Italian Powerboat Federation) and UIM (International Union of Powerboating).
The event marked XCAT’s return to Italy after the competitions held in 2013 and 2014, with the same renowned city as a setting. The return of powerboat racing to Italy has sparked general curiosity and interest, with a program full of events and initiatives. The success of the previous editions, with tens of thousands of people cheering from the shores of the lake, is the reason why Giuseppe Bottini, the mayor of Stresa, strongly believes in the event: «We hosted the races between 6 and 9 July, and added a number of events to the nautical competitions to bring Stresa to life throughout the weekend. The exhibition «From the Origins to XCAT», dedicated to powerboat racing and celebrating over 100 years of this sport from the first world records until today, was one of these initiatives».
The Regina Palace Hotel was the splendid backdrop for an exhibition of paintings, photos and clothes of Anna Magnani: the perfect occasion to celebrate the 110th birth anniversary of the actress, who starred in one of her many films - «Il fiore sotto gli occhi» by Guido Brignone - in Stresa itself. Curiously enough, Anna Magnani’s year of birth, 1908, coincides with the opening year of the prestigious hotel where the event took place, and which has seen many illustrious personalities from the world of culture, aristocracy, politics and music pass through its doors. On this occasion XCAT riders were able to ease the tension of the race in two unusual competitions: the X-tail Performance, a cocktail contest where they were helped and judged by experts in the field (including Alberto Fugulin, the IBA - International Bartender Association - European champion), and a table football tournament to set the scene for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This last event was conceived as the continuation of a project promoted by the «Dalla Scuola allo Stadio» (From the School to the Stadium) association: this project aimed to promote Fair Play and to affirm that any sport, from football to powerboat racing, can be both a true passion and a fun experience at the same time. The weekend also included an event within an event. As well as the Formula Junior race, visitors also had the chance to watch a grand parade of evocative, elegant historic boats ranging from small wooden hulls to their very different, colourful enormous modern relatives: 10 metres long, 3 metres wide, weighing about 2 tonnes, powered by two powerful Mercury Racing ROS 400 engines with low environmental impact. With their 400 horsepower engines these boats seemed to «fly» just above water, speeding at over 200 kilometres an hour. This powerboat discipline turns out to be as environment-friendly as it is spectacular: the mix used to fuel the outboard engines reduces consumption by 70% compared to the past. This is fitting, since several events to raise awareness on environmental protection and reducing waste are often held during race weekends involving competitors, staff and the public.
The UIM XCAT World Championship is divided into 7 rounds: it started in April in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; following the event at Stresa, the only one held in Italy and Europe, it has moved to China for 4 stages before returning to the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai GP, scheduled for the end of November. The circuit, located on the waters in front of the town, wound through the iconic Borromee Islands. The catamarans followed the highly evocative scenery between Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori, just under the green slopes of Mottarone, adding a touch of history and beauty to the excitement and adrenaline of the competition. The 12 teams (from different parts of the world including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, New Zealand, Sweden, Russia, Spain, France and Italy) competed along a course of 3.32 nautical miles, a little over 6 km, that was covered 17 times for a total distance of 55.43 miles. The Dubai Police were triumphant: after winning Pole Position on Friday afternoon they won Races 1 and 2, held on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8. The boat driven by Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi maintained control of the race for the whole weekend, in front of an incredible, packed crowd. Several Italian competitors took part, and the occasion marked the XCAT début of former car racing champion Nico Caldarola, accompanied by an exceptional patron: tennis legend and multiple powerboat champion Adriano Panatta. The weekend was a celebration of great sporting excellence that has more than a century of tradition in the city of Stresa, with two days filled with excitement and events that combined sport and entertainment. The verdict of the competitors was enthusiastic, enchanted by the city of Stresa and its amazing scenery, both worthy of a world competition. Raffaele Chiulli, President of UIM, declared himself well satisfied at the end of the race, saying: «As soon as I got to Stresa I had wonderful feelings. The event was well planned and enjoyed notable success. The administration and local partners gave positive feedback and the event enjoyed good media coverage, thanks to live streaming broadcasts. All these factors helped to bring people closer to powerboat racing, which is not just an elite sport.
Efficiency, sustainability, love of the land and... water, lots and lots of water. Nobili has always loved and respected this element: we obviously couldn’t miss this extraordinary event, so we formed a great partnership with the city of Stresa to bring World XCAT back to Italy. Carlo Alberto Nobili, chief operating officer, is clearly proud: «We’re delighted to have been one of Stresa’s partners, helping such a wonderful town make this spectacular discipline better known. We hope that sustainability, will be an incentive for us all to improve the world in which we live, just as we do every day in our company».