SBI Sheikh Hassan heads to the USA to begin Super Boat International programme


For immediate release
EMBARGOED - Wednesday, May 1st, 2013


· Sheikh Hassan hopes for SBI turbine racing debut in Cocoa Beach
· Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Nasser and Ali Al-Neama set for 750 class
· Kip Brown to race ’95- The Spirit of Qatar’ in H1 Unlimited
· Carella, Torrente and Khalid Al-Kuwari to head F1 and F-4S line-up
· Hectic Junior training and race programme planned for summer

DOHA (QATAR): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani announced his and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation’s (QMSF) final programme of racing events for the 2013 season at a press conference in Doha today (May 1st).

The defending Key West World Champion confirmed that he and British throttleman Steve Curtis will begin their testing programme in the United States of America this week and that the new Qatar/Mystic turbine boat may make its racing debut at Cocoa Beach in Florida on May 17-19.

Curtis has been in the USA recently piecing together details of the programme and overseeing the building of the boat. He and Sheikh Hassan will begin a five-day test from May 5th before the pair take on the might of the American offshore competition in what has been referred to as the ‘Qatar v USA’ version of golf’s Ryder Cup.

“We are hoping to officially introduce the team in Cocoa Beach and this would be the first participation of the turbine team in Super Boat International,” enthused Sheikh Hassan, who missed the opening round of the SBI series in Biloxi last weekend.

“I don’t know if it will be a disadvantage or not to miss the first round as we were not sure how many boats were going to race. As the season progresses we will get a good indication whether it was a mistake to miss the first round or not. Hopefully, we can make up any deficit throughout the season. In any case, our target is to dial the boat in during the year as our test session will be short. The main target will be the World Championship at Key West later in the season.”

Sheikh Hassan’s new turbine boat has been built in the USA in collaboration with Whispering Turbines, Five-Axis Industries and Mystic Powerboats. The new Mystic Spirit of Qatar Extreme turbine hull is powered by a pair of T53 turbine engines, delivering around 1,600hp apiece and capable of propelling the boat to a top speed of 354km/h (200 mph) using Five-Axis technology.

Sheikh Hassan also confirmed that the Spirit of Qatar Team has acquired the ex-Tony Abrahams Reliable Carriers offshore raceboat and this will be entered in the Superboat 750 class with Qataris, Mohammed Al-Nasser and Ali Al-Neama, at the helm. The 42-foot Marine Technology catamaran is being fitted with twin 750hp Scorpion Racing engines for the Superboat 750 class.

“Both Mohammed and Ali have good experience and represented the Qatar Team in the last XCAT race and proved that they are competitive,” said Sheikh Hassan. “They will be in charge of this boat and I would hope that they could win their class at Key West as well.”

The final stages of the build of the turbine boat are now in full swing and Sheikh Hassan arrives in the USA on May 4th with a view to testing the new hull later that week. “Steve (Curtis) is in the USA and has been making sure that the rigging is done as per our standard. We will carry out an initial shakedown and then test the boat’s performance. But, I admit, that the real test will be in race conditions on the racecourse. Our initial target was for six races and Key West, but we may go for seven races.”

Both the Class 1 Spirit of Qatar 95 and 96 boats are now at the QMSF’s headquarters in Doha but Sheikh Hassan admits that he does have plans to use them in the near future.

Kip Brown will represent the Spirit of Qatar Team for the remainder of the 2013 H1 Unlimited Championship. Our Gang’s 17 Miss Red Dot hydroplane changed livery for February’s Oryx Cup in Doha and Sheikh Hassan, Ellstrom Racing and Our Gang Racing have now reached an agreement that will enable Brown to run ’95 – The Spirit of Qatar’ for the rest of the H1 season, starting with the Big Wake Weekend in Sacramento, California, on May 31-June 2.

The President of the QMSF also confirmed that two-time World Champion Alex Carella will attempt a second defence of his UIM F1 H20 World Championship title alongside Shaun Torrente in the Qatar Team and that Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari will represent the team in the UIM F-4S Championship for the Eurofin Trophy.

“We will also be busy throughout the summer months closer to home running training programmes for juniors,” enthused Sheikh Hassan. “This will include swimming, diving and testing courses, using both aqua bikes and junior hydros. There will also be two aqua bike races for the juniors, a fly board competition and four junior hydro races.”

Later in the season, the QMSF will then host the Qatar Aquabike Grand Prix on November 14-16 and the Qatar F1 H20 Grand Prix on November 22-23.

2013 Super Boat International (SBI) calendar (Spirit of Qatar Team)
May 17-19 Cocoa Beach, Florida
May 31-June 2 Orange Beach, Alabama
July 5-7 Sarasota, Florida
July 19-21 *Miami, Florida
August 2-4 Michigan City, Michigan
September 6-8 New York, New York State
September 27-29 Clearwater, Florida
November 3-10 Key West World Championships, Florida

2013 UIM F1 H20 World Championship calendar
June 1-2 Brasilia, Brazil
July 27-29 Kiev, Ukraine
September 21-22 TBA, China
October 3-4 Liuzhou, China
November 22-23 Doha, Qatar
November 28-29 Abu Dhabi, UAE
December 12-13 Sharjah, UAE

2013 H1 Unlimited Championship calendar
May 31-June 2 Big Wake Weekend, Sacramento
July 5-6 Madison Regatta, Indiana
July 12-14 APBA Gold Cup, Detroit
July 26-28 Colombia Cup, Kennewick, Washington
August 2-4 Seattle Seafair, Washington
August 30-Sept 1 Coeur d’Alene Diamond Cup, Idaho
September 14-16 San Diego Bayfair, California


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



Date issued: 01/05/2013

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