SBI Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis delay new Qatar turbine racer's debut until Sarasota


‘Thunder on the Gulf’ Super Boat Grand Prix, Orange Beach, Alabama –June 1-2, 2013

For immediate release
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013


· Qatar’s Al-Neama and Al-Nasser set for Superboat class battle

ORANGE BEACH (Alabama, USA): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis will not make their turbine class racing debut in Sunday’s ‘Thunder on the Gulf’ Super Boat Grand Prix at Orange Beach in Alabama.

The eagerly awaited new Spirit of Qatar 96 boat is still been prepared and completed in the USA with support from Whispering Turbines and Five-Axis Industries and Sheikh Hassan is now planning to race the boat for the first time at the 25th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival at Sarasota in Florida on July 5-7.

The new Mystic 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).

“The boat is behind schedule due to the supplier not delivering the parts on time,” said His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF). “But the crew have been working around the clock to get it ready and tested. We are now targeting Sarasota and we should be ready. A shakedown is planned for mid-June. The engines are in the boat and we are doing the final modifications to the exhaust and the final bits of rigging.”

The Turbine, Superboat Unlimited and Superboat Extreme entrants will take to the water at the same time as the Superboat class entries in this weekend’s Alabama race sanctioned by Super Boat International Inc.

Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and Mohammed Al-Nasser finished fifth overall in the Superboat class in the Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix at Cocoa Beach two weeks ago. They will race the Spirit of Qatar 20 boat in the same class again against the likes of class leader WHM Motorsports and rivals Team CRC, Team Stihl, Warpaint and JD Byrider.

“Ali and Mohammed will still need to be conservative this weekend,” said Sheikh Hassan. “Maybe this time they need to stay with the pack, but we don’t know what the water will look like until Sunday. At the end of the day, we need them to finish and gain more seat time in the boat and Steve and I have time now to support the guys to run faster.

“We will also be following the progress of the H1 Unlimited race in California and our Qatar Team racing in F1 H20 in Brasilia. It has been our objective at the QMSF to race everywhere and this very busy weekend is a case in point.

“It wasn’t surprising to see some boats pushing harder than others in Cocoa Beach. WHM is no stranger to running fast in rough conditions. We raced with SBI before and like the set-up and the format. It was an awesome sight in Cocoa Beach watching such a large number of boats on the water at the same time.”

Race registration and inspections will take place at The Wharf on Orange Beach on Friday morning and teams will be able to test on Saturday afternoon from noon.

The first of the two races for the smaller engine classes starts at 13.00hrs on Sunday afternoon (June 2) and the Qatar boat will take to the water for the main race at 15.00hrs (23.00hrs Qatar time).


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



Date issued: 29/05/2013

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