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Powerboat-racing has an extremely strong following in the UAE, especially since national teams, competing both at home and abroad have achieved world-prominence in this sport. As is usual each year the final round of the Formula One World Championship was held at the Corniche breakwater on 2 and 3 December, along the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Water Festival 'Gulf Aqua '98'. Over 26 participants from 13 countries competed for the coveted 1998 World Champion title. However, following the retirement of Humaid Bakhit in 1997, the UAE we re unable to field a team. This was remedied in 1999 when ADIMSC recruited the American Scott Gillman, the 1997 World Champion. Gillman, who also trains the UAE ís Formula Two and Four teams, had a number of wins during the season on the international circuit.
The UAE's Dubai-based, world-famous Victory Team, including Khalfan Harib and Mohamed Al Ghaith, Saeed Al Tayer and Felix Seralles, and Ali Nasser and Randy Scism, also had many successes in the heats leading up to the UIM Class One World Offshore Championship which is held each December in Dubai. Harib was Class One World Champion in 1993 and twice winner of the Class Two title. The only two-man team to have won more Class One titles are fellow Victory Team stars Saeed Al Tayer and Felix Serralles who have won 11 races. In September Nasser and Scism were confirmed as the 1999 UIM Class One European Champions and were well ahead in the World Championships.