SBI Sheikh Hassan shows clean pair of heels to rivals with stunning Clearwater race win
SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL 2013
5th Annual Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championships – September 27-29, 2013
For immediate release
Monday, September 30th, 2013
SHEIKH HASSAN AND STEVE CURTIS SHOW CLEAN PAIR
OF HEELS TO FIELD IN CRUSHING CLEARWATER RACE WIN
· Third position in Superboat for Al-Neama and Spirit of Qatar 20
· Team Stihl claims Superboat title after winning Clearwater class
CLEARWATER (USA): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis cruised to a stunning victory at Sunday’s 5th Annual Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championships, round eight of Super Boat International (SBI), in Florida.
The Al Adaa’am 96 (Spirit of Qatar 96) crew became embroiled in a frantic tussle over the early laps with Marc Granet and Scott Begovich in Miss Geico until the American duo spun their boat out of second position and retired.
From then on, the Qatar Team crew provided a racing master class to crush the opposition and take a second successive SBI win, lapping the leading Superboat entrants in the process.
Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore continued their impressive form in the second boat entered by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and finished third in the Superboat class behind Team Stihl and WHM Motorsports at the helm of Spirit of Qatar 20. Victory for Team Stihl earned them the unofficial Superboat title from their WHM rivals.
“The race was very close for the first lap,” reflected Sheikh Hassan. “They (Miss Geico) ran into the right side of the boat and we lost a couple of seconds due to the incident. But we pushed hard for two laps and overtook them on lap three and didn’t look back after that. We continued to push until the crew contacted us and told us that Miss Geico had spun out. We slowed down then and cruised to the finish line.”
The main talking point in the build up to the start was the news that Granet and Begovich had decided to run Miss Geico in the turbine class and set up a fascinating duel with Sheikh Hassan’s Al Adaa’am 96 for the first time, even if the two boats were running different engine applications.
Boats lined up at the start on the shortened 4.4-mile course with the backdrop of Clearwater Beach. Smaller class boats raced at noon and the Qatar boats joined the fray at 2pm with rival Turbine boat Miss Geico and four Superboat entrants for their 18-lap race. Five Superboat Extreme runners lined up for a 14-lap contest.
Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis made a superb start and reached the first turn well clear of Miss Geico, although they ran slightly wider and lost a little of their lead coming out of the corner before powering off down the back straight. But Miss Geico hit back and managed to pass Al Adaa’am 96 on the far side of the course, only to be overtaken again on the next lap.
Team Stihl snatched the lead in the Superboat class from WHM Motorsports, Spirit of Qatar 20, JD Byrider and Warpaint.
Sheikh Hassan managed to hold a quicker line through the tighter corners in the 50’ Mystic and stayed clear of Miss Geico as the laps progressed. But their American rivals dramatically spun out of second place on the far side of the course and this left Sheikh Hassan to head off into the distance, as he and Curtis had the boat dialled in perfectly. Team Stihl continued to lead from WHM Motorsports and Spirit of Qatar 20 in the Superboat class.
Al Adaa’am 96 lapped Team Stihl soon afterwards and continued to charge towards the chequered flag, although Team Stihl stayed clear of WHM Motorsports and Spirit of Qatar 20 in the quest for the Superboat title, as the three held station to the chequered flag in the last race Stateside before the Key West World Championships in November.
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail:
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).