AQUA QMSF to host second Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar this weekend

Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, March 1st-3rd – round 1

For immediate release
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012


· Sixty-three entrants from 13 countries set for Doha showdown
· Four World Champions start title defences in Qatar opener
· Eleven Qatari entrants set for Doha Bay challenges

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) begins a hectic three weeks of international marine sports competition with this weekend’s UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar.

The event is being organised by the QMSF under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, in collaboration with H20 Racing and under the auspices of the UIM.

The Aquabike bonanza precedes the 2012 Qatar Grand Prix, the opening round of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship, on March 9th-10th and the Pearl Qatar Grand Prix, the opening round of the prestigious UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, on March 15th-17th.

“It is certainly all systems go for everyone at the QMSF over the next few weeks,” enthused the QMSF’s Mona Nasser. “It all starts with this weekend’s Aquabike Grand Prix and then we will welcome the F1 and Class 1 teams over the subsequent two weeks. It’s the busiest time of the year for us all.”

The UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar has attracted a superb 63 entrants from 13 countries. They will take part in four racing disciplines from Thursday, March 1st through to Saturday, March 3rd on the Doha Bay course.

Runabout is the most popular of the four categories and a provisional 34 drivers feature on the entry list, including defending Italian World Champion Matteo Fracasso and the French trio of Franky Zapata (winner in Qatar last year), Francois Medori and Cyrille Lemoine.

An impressive nine Qatari entrants - Mohammed Al-Haidus, Waled Al-Sharsani, Amer Al-Mannai, Abdullah Ali, Bader Al-Zaini, Mohammed Bujassoum, Khamis Al-Hosni, Rashid Al-Mannai and Thamer Bo-Faisal – are also entered in the competitive Runabout section.

Medori will be out to avenge the defeat he suffered at the hands of Fracasso in China last year that went a long way to deciding the outcome of the World Championship. Lemoine, a twice-former World Champion, will also be looking to start the new season with a win as he aims for a hat-trick of Runabout titles.

Fifteen racers have provisionally entered the Ski F1 category, with French World Champion Jeremy Poret likely to be the strong favourite in a competitive category that also includes the UAE duo of Hamden Al-Qubaisi and Fahed Zayed Al-Mansoori. Poret won his race at the inaugural Qatar Aquabike Grand Prix meeting on Doha Bay last March.

Eight ‘artists on the water’ will feature in the glamorous Freestyle category, where entrants perform acrobatics and are judged on their performances. Qatar will be represented by Abdullah Al-Suwaidi and Ahmed Gheyathi, who line-up against the likes of Italian hotshot and defending double Freestyle World Champion Valerio ‘Showtime’ Calderoni and French rival Romain Stampers.

Six female riders complete the entry for this year’s opening race meeting in Doha Bay. The French defending World Champion Julie Bulteau will start as the overwhelming favourite to continue her string of international successes in the Ski Ladies category.

Competition is likely to be fierce, however, and Portugal’s Stefania Balzer and Slovenia’s Pija Sumer will also be out to claim a podium placing. Bulteau claimed six heat victories and three race wins in 2011 and is determined to start her challenge for a fourth consecutive Ski Ladies’ world title with victory in Doha.

2012 Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events

Thursday, March 1
08.45 – 09.45 Drivers’ briefing
10.00 – onwards Official practice
10.00 – 10.20 Ski Ladies F1
10.25 – 10.45 Ski Division F1
10.50 – 11.10 Runabout F1
11.15 – 11.35 Freestyle
12.10 – 12.30 Ski Ladies F1
12.35 - 12.55 Ski Division F1
13.00 – 13.20 Runabout F1
14.00 – onwards Pole Position
14.30 – 15.00 Ski Ladies F1
15.30 – 16.00 Ski Division F1
16.05 – 16.35 Runabout F1
16.35 – 17.00 Freestyle


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



Date issued: 28/02/2012

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