Emma-Nellie Ortendahl makes her Team Abu Dhabi debut in next weekend’s Grand Prix of Kuwait with her points of interest set firmly on a fourth Ski Ladies GP1 title in the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship.
Sweden’s golden girl of aquabike racing teams up for the first time with reigning world freestyle champion Rashid Al Mulla, Runabout GP1 contender Rashed Al Tayer and Ski GP1 rider Salman Al Awadhi in the opening round of 2020 season.
Ortendahl, who has firstly signed a 12-month contract with Team Abu Dhabi, however this is expectedto improve into a long-term relationship.
“We prefer to provide her the chance to win many more world titles, and the entire crew is glad to have her on board to begin the new season in Kuwait,” stated Salem Al Remeithi, General Manager of Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).
Ortendahl won all but one moto and Grand Prix last season and the 21-year-old tops the all-time rankings with ten Grand Prix wins and 19 podiums.
She expects a hard title defence however, with fellow Swede and 2019 runner-up Jonna Borgstrom, France’s third-placed Estelle Poret, Estonia’s Jasmiin Ypraus and Latvia’s 2018 champion, Krista Uzare, among her major challengers.
Despite slipping to tenth overall in Runabout GP1last season after a series of mishaps, Al Tayer won the opening Grand Prix in Portugal and did adequate to recommend he can be a serious challenger this time to France’s reigning champion, Jeremy Perez
Al Awadhi also starts the new season looking to construct on his ninth position overall in the 2019 Ski GP1 series, and both he and Al Tayer will be motivated by the presence of two world champions as team-mates.
There is no bigger pre-season favourite than Al Mulla, who has dominated the freestyle championship for the previous two seasons and is aiming to stretch his winning run to 11 Grand Prix in Kuwait.
The Grand Prix of Kuwait starts on 13th February 2020, with practice and Pole Position. 14th February brings Moto 1 for Runabout and Freestyle and Motos 1 and 2 for Ski followed by Parallel Slalom and a Freestyle show in the evening. 15th February morning sees a second free practice leading to the final Motos for all categories.