TGR Sheikh Hassan and Abdullah Al-Sulaiti enter the record books in Doha


Wednesday, February 10th, 2010


For immediate release

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010





·   Qatar duo complete Abu Dhabi-Qatar crossing in 1hr 55min 14sec

  • Guinness World Records registers fastest 300km ever recorded in speed boat

DOHA (Qatar): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Qatari racing colleague Abdullah Al-Sulaiti entered the record books by completing the Trans-Gulf passage between Abu Dhabi and Qatar in a time of 1hr 55min 14 sec today (Wednesday).


The duo found an excellent window in recent sea weather conditions to complete the Gulf crossing without a hitch in Qatar Challenger and crossed the finish line in Doha Bay ahead of the expected schedule. They reached speeds well in excess of 200km/h during the thrilling run through some of the most demanding and busiest waters in the world.


The record for recording the fastest 300km ever raced by a speedboat was officially accepted by representatives from Guinness World Records, who duly presented Sheikh Hassan and Abdullah Al-Sulaiti with a plaque to remember their success.


“This has been the target for nearly two years and I am so happy to have achieved the goal,” said a delighted Sheikh Hassan, President of the QMSF.


“When I saw the Doha skyline in the distance I would have carried the boat to the finish! To have broken down in 2008 just 10 miles after leaving Abu Dhabi was heartbreaking, but we were better prepared this time and this is a fantastic achievement for Abdullah, myself and all the team at the QMSF.


“We had planned our route carefully beforehand, leaving the series of islands to our right. One of the helicopters from the Emiri Air Force in Qatar was flying around three miles in front of us and we were in constant communication with them to check there were no obstacles or hazards in the way. It was nice and calm when we left Abu Dhabi, but there were a few small swells out on the open sea – nothing too serious.


“We could have gone a little faster, but we averaged just over 150km/h and when I saw Doha in the distance we speeded up a bit. I noticed 218 km/h on the GPS at one point on the run into Doha. It was a great feeling to reach the finish.”


“We, at The Pearl-Qatar, are pleased to be part of this courageous and world record-breaking race. Having the largest marinas in the region makes The Pearl-Qatar a natural choice for all marine sporting events,” added Jaume Marco, general manager of Ronautia Middle East, operating and managing company of the marinas at The Pearl.


“We are pleased to announce that the Power Cat Nor-tech 5000 used in this record-breaking race will be docked at The Pearl-Qatar for the next three days (Wednesday–Friday) from noon to 10pm for public viewing.”


Throttleman Sheikh Hassan and driver Abdullah Al-Sulaiti began the run from Abu Dhabi this morning and were scheduled to reach the finish off the Doha Corniche after a two-hour Gulf crossing. The crew then headed to the Pearl Qatar in the twin gas turbine-engined Qatar Challenger for the official finish ceremony and press conference.


Staff at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) had been closely monitoring the sea weather conditions over the last few days and the run was delayed twice at the start of the month to try and give the crew the best possible water conditions.


A representative from Guinness World Records was also on hand to oversee the Trans-Gulf record bid and access its authenticity.


Fans and interested parties were able to follow Qatar Challenger’s progress across the Gulf via a vessel tracking system and a Google Earth programme that had been planned on the federation’s official website – www.qmsf.org - in conjunction with Alfa Telecom. This gave the live speeds of the boat and the route taken across the Gulf.


The record run would not have been possible without invaluable support from Illinois-based global shipping company Peters & May, who took responsibility for the shipping and transportation of parts and equipment needed to bring the record attempt to fruition.


The attempt was held under full UIM guidelines and attracted additional support from Performance Marine and Mercury Racing. The run was also fully supported by the Qatar Air Force, who provided two helicopters to ferry paramedics from Hamad Medical Hospital along the route in case of an emergency.


Sheikh Hassan also thanked the coastguard for supplying divers and safety crews along the route, staff at Pearl Qatar for arranging the finish reception, Edox Watches through the Blue Salon importer in Doha for their support, Al-Reem Transport for transporting Qatar Challenger to Abu Dhabi and the Photographers’ Association of Doha.


The Qatar Challenger is based on the streamlined Nor-Tech 50 supercat boat and is powered by a pair of powerful Lycoming T-53 L-13 BA gas turbine engines. Sheikh Hassan attempted the record run for the first time in 2008, but the bid was thwarted by transmission problems in UAE waters.




For further information:

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




Date issued: 10/02/2010

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