OPA Sheikh Hassan announces 2010 OPA programme for Spirit of Qatar Team


2010 American racing programme announcement


For immediate release

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010





·        Sheikh Hassan and Abdullah Al-Sulaiti set for US race programme

  • Steve Curtis MBE and Matteo Nicolini set to partner Qatar drivers


DOHA (Qatar): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani has announced that the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) will enter the Spirit of Qatar Team in a full programme of American Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) races and the 30th Key West World Championship in 2010.


Speaking after returning from a recent trip to Florida to finalise key details of the exciting new race programme, the President of the QMSF confirmed that Spirit of Qatar 95 and Spirit of Qatar 96 will be entered in six rounds of the OPA Offshore series in the United States, in addition to the Key West World Championship for the second successive season. Plans are also afoot to host a brand new offshore race in Qatar in January 2011.


“We are putting the finishing touches to the programme of events in the USA at the moment,” enthused Sheikh Hassan, who will also act as the team manager for the Qatar Team’s exciting new racing programme.


The Qatar Team withdrew from Class 1 racing after last July’s Norwegian Grand Prix and achieved a fine class victory in the Superboat category at the 29th Key West World Championship in Florida last November.


Sheikh Hassan and Abdullah Al-Sulaiti will now team up with British throttleman Steve Curtis MBE and Italian racer Matteo Nicolini again in 2010.


The first event in the American OPA calendar will be the opening round at Ocean City in Maryland on May 28-30.


The Qatar Team will then move to Sunny Isles Beach, situated between Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach on the Atlantic Ocean in Florida, on June 11-13 and then head north to Michigan for the third race in the Qatar Team’s programme at St. Clair on July 23-25.


The fourth event for Spirit of Qatar 95 and 96 will take place at Atlantic City in New Jersey on September 10-12 and there is a further optional race in the programme at Cambridge in Maryland two weeks later.


The final round of the series takes place at Orange Beach in Alabama on October 19-24, before the Qatar Team’s attention switches to the defence of the Superboat class title at the 30th Key West World Championships in Florida on November 7-14.


Sheikh Hassan achieved two Class 1 victories and six Pole Positions in an offshore racing career that began in 2003, but he was so impressed with the support and atmosphere at last year’s Key West meeting that he decided to base this year’s race programme around the American races.


Sheikh Hassan was educated in the United States and is relishing the new challenge of the OPA race programme. Throttleman Curtis has extensive experience Stateside and has won numerous races and class awards in his illustrious career. Al-Sulaiti won two Class 1 races in Qatar and the UAE and his partnership with Nicolini – a winner of three Class 1 races and four Pole Positions - goes from strength to strength.




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: 28/04/2010

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