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Meet the man behind the XCAT World Series

Meet the man behind the XCAT World Series

by November 15, 2015

Interview with CEO Ronan Morgan on his thoughts about the Gold Coast – August 2015 welcomed a new spectator water sport on the Gold Coast waters. The UIM XCAT World Championships Series 4 was held on the Gold Coast for the first time. This free event included an impressive XCAT boat fleet from __ countries, shorelines lined with spectators, long stretches of sandy beaches, bikini babes, perfect blue skies and sunny days, and the Surfers Paradise skyline—all promoting the Gold Coast boating lifestyle.

Adding to the international excitement, a spectacular high speed power boat crash directly in front of Wave Break Island saw the Dubai boat summersaulting end to end. With all this publicity, it subtly helped promote Gold Coast’s major local industries—tourism and events.

UIM XCAT World Series - Gold Coast GP - Day 2    gold coast x cat


The man who spearheaded the competition is Ronan Morgan, the CEO of World Professional Power Boating Association (WPPA). He arrived with his impressively coordinated race production comprising boats, pilots, support crews, officials, media centre, technology, equipment, floating pit lane and a wealth of experience.

Ronan is no stranger to motorsport as he personally boasts more than 50 FIA International Rallies wins, 10 Middle East championships, and a remarkable curriculum vitae of global motorsport management including Formula 1 and WRC.


What do you think of the Gold Coast as an XCAT race venue?

We couldn’t have asked for a better venue for our first race in Australia. It was stunning for the teams and all involved and stunning for our massive global TV audience.

Which aspect of the Gold Coast City did you enjoy the most?

To be honest it’s almost the complete package so it’s hard to pick just one, however on my next visit I do plan to stay on for a mini vacation after the event to try and see more because there is plenty on offer in the region.

What did you learn from the conditions of the 2015 race course?

That, as ever, in this great sport, you need to be flexible and adapt accordingly.

Are there plans to improve the race course for the 2016 event? 

Very much so, and we are currently consulting all stakeholders to help us in that planning process. We are constantly evolving and growing in order to provide the best possible platform for all involved.

Did you personally see the Team Dubai boat flip over? What were your thoughts at the time?

Yes I did! And despite a lifetime in motorsport, my heart missed a beat. Naturally, my first concern was for the welfare of the crew but as always, our safety crew did an immaculate job in reaching the boat in no time at all and ensuring that all was well.

Were you surprised that Gold Coast Team of Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton were able to take the second place honours?

Not at all, as they had the advantage of local knowledge, but also they are serious sportsmen who put plenty of hours of work into preparing for the event. They also had the backing of the local crowd, which was a big factor.

What do you think is the secret to success of the XDubai Team of Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir bin Hendi?

They are the ones to ask, but I feel they are true world champions in every aspect of their approach to the sport and have years of experience behind them. That said, I think they need to keep an eye on Tom Barry-Cotter going forward!


By Andy Kancachian