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Qatar announces ambitious UIM Class 1 Powerboat plans

UIM CLASS 1 WORLD OFFSHORE POWER BOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
For immediate release
Tuesday, March 18th, 2003 - (16.00 Qatar time)

QATAR ANNOUNCES PLANS TO ENTER UIM
WORLD OFFSHORE POWER BOAT CHAMPIONSHIP

Dubai's Victory Team to build new boat

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Marine Sports Federation today (Tuesday) announced exciting plans to enter the UIM Class One World Offshore Powerboat Championship in 2004 and a tie-in with the all-conquering Dubai-based Victory Team.

The State of Qatar is planning to enter a boat in the final three rounds of the 2003 Middle East Championship with a view to entering the coveted UIM Class One series in 2004. At today's press conference in Doha, the Qatar Marine Sports Federation announced Qatar's first ever entry into the sport, using a 42' Lamborghini-powered boat built to full 2003 UIM regulations.

The boat will be manufactured by the Victory Team in Dubai, which has dominated UIM Class One power boating since the 1990s. It will be powered by a pair of V12 petrol engines, delivering a massive 850 bhp apiece. UIM 2003 regulations make it necessary for teams to develop lighter boats with improved lift and cornering to be competitive.

The Qatar Marine Sports Federation expects to take delivery of the new boat before the start of the Middle East championship and is planning to debut the new team in Qatar in October.

The driver and throttleman have yet to be finalised, but the Qatar boat will then be entered on other rounds of the regional series in Fujairah and Dubai.

~We are yet to finalise the driver and the throttleman, but the entire Qatar Marine Sports Federation is excited about the new project,~ said Sheikh Nawaf Bin Nasser Al-Thani, President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. ~The throttleman will be carefully selected to run alongside a local Qatari driver and we will be identifying and recruiting the remainder of the team in the coming weeks.

~We are planning to hold a training programme thbis summer to ensure that our new team is prepared for the first race in Qatar,~ added Sheikh Nawaf. ~It is fitting that the competition debut of the new boat will be here in Qatar later in the year.~

~The entry by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation will be for three rounds of the 2003 Middle East series and then the entire 2004 UIM Class One Offshore Power Boat World Championship,~ enthused Sheikh Hassan Al-Thani, Vice President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. ~These races take place in all corners of the world.~ Initial support for the project comes from the State of Qatar.

Qatar's first ever entry into powerboat racing was in 2002, when a team of three Qatari drivers reached third overall in the Formula 2000 Championship.

Dubai's Victory Team has dominated the world of UIM Offshore racing since the 1990s and all its engineering and development expertise and initiative will be passed on to the Qatar Marine Sports Federation.

Victory Team has chalked up no less than three Class One and two Class Two world titles since its inception. It has been at the forefront of the technological progression of safety cells, the escape tunnel hatch, suspension seats, telemetry and data reception, a lifting rudder system and dry sump development for the Lamborghini engines.

Qatar is one of the fastest growing sporting nations in the world. It played host to a World Championship round of Formula 2000 in October 2002 and hosted round seven of the Class One offshore series in the same month.

Ends

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Date issued: 18/03/2003

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