TGR Sheikh Hassan announces new Edox Trans Gulf record bid

November 13th-15th, 2008

For immediate release
Wednesday, October 15th, 2008, 19.30hrs


· QMSF President aims for record books with twin gas-turbine engined Nor-Tech
· November date set for high-speed Gulf crossing from the UAE's capital to Qatar

DOHA (Qatar): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, the President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), announced exciting plans for a powerboat speed record attempt on the route between Abu Dhabi and Qatar at a press conference in Doha on Wednesday (today).

Sheikh Hassan, who is better known as the driver of Qatar 96 in the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, has been planning the ambitious record attempt for some time and has now taken delivery of the new boat that he hopes will cross the Arabian Gulf between the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in record time.

The boat is sponsored by Performance Marine, the local Nor-Tech dealer in association with NBJ Group, as the main partner for the event.

The exact timing of the record attempt will depend upon weather conditions in the Gulf area, but Sheikh Hassan is hoping to make the crossing on November 13th, 14th or 15th.

"We will be starting the attempt from the Corniche in Abu Dhabi and crossing the Gulf to Doha," enthused Sheikh Hassan. "We have studied the distances very carefully to ensure enough fuel is on board to make the maximum distance of 315 kilometres on the planned route.

"The actual route we take on the day depends on the weather conditions, as we have selected a primary route for calm conditions and a second route, which is 10 to 15 kilometres longer, if we have rougher waters. We have carefully devised the route so that we are outside the regular shipping lanes, so we can have a cleaner, uninterrupted run."

The choice of course was selected during closed meetings between a QMSF representative and the NBJ Group's technical co-ordinator to ensure safety on the run. The UIM is also involved as this record run needs to be verified by the sport's governing body and registered as an official record.

Both routes use a passage to the south of Das Island, with the second, less-direct passage crossing shallower waters near the coast. Sheikh Hassan hopes that the record crossing will take less than two hours and has chosen the month of November because he envisages calmer seas and more stable weather at this time of year.

His new Nor-Tech 50 supercat boat weighs around 9000 kg and is powered by a pair of powerful Lycoming T-53 L-13 BA gas turbine engines.  The power plants have been adapted for marine use by the fitting of ceramic coatings on the hot ends and compressor, powdered coatings on the compressor valves and inlet housing and the fitting of a screened inlet housing with water injection."

Both engines have been fully dyno-tested before being installed in the race boat, with the first unit delivering 1630 hp and the second also giving 1630hp. "The boat looks beautiful and I am sure it is ideal for the record run," enthused Sheikh Hassan.

Nor-Tech is America's leading high-performance boat manufacturer and also launched the Class 1 Nor-Tech experience this year to enable VIPs and guests to take a ride in a leading Class 1-type race hull.

The Lycoming T53 engine is a turboshaft unit used in helicopter applications and fixed-wing turbo prop aircraft. It was originally designed by a team headed by Anselm Franz, who was the chief designer of the Junkers Jumo 004 aircraft. The engine has a five-stage axial compressor and a one-stage centrifugal compressor.

Gas turbine engines work in a relatively straightforward manner. The compressor compresses the incoming air to high pressure and fuel is burned in the combustion area and produces a high-pressure, high-velocity gas. The turbine extracts the energy from the high-pressure, high-velocity gas flowing from the combustion chamber and creates the power.

Edox is the official timing partner for the event, with Performance Marine and the NBJ Group, while Extreme Marine of Dubai and Mercury Racing supplied the required maintenance parts to ensure the boat is ready on time.

Sheikh Hassan hopes to announce his co-pilot for the record attempt nearer to the date of the record run.


For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).


Date issued: 15/10/2008

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