AQUA QMSF to host fourth Aquabike Grand Prix this weekend


Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, March 6-8 – round 1

For immediate release
Monday, March 3rd, 2014


· Kuwait’s Al-Abdulrazzaq out to start defence of Runabout title
· Florjancic brothers target Freestyle glory; bumper Ski GP1 field

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Marine Sports Federation’s (QMSF) international racing season kicks into overdrive over the next two weeks and first up for the Doha-based organisation is this week’s fourth UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, which runs from March 6th to 8th.

A star-studded line-up of international competitors from at least 17 countries are expected to join Qatar’s own budding aqua bike racers in the three-day event to be held on Doha Bay and hosted by the QMSF, which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani. The 2014 Qatar Nations Cup and Qatar F1 H20 Grand Prix will take place next week.

“This is an exciting period for the QMSF and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our visiting teams to Doha for what promises to be the most exciting of the aqua bike races so far,” enthused Sheikh Hassan.

Aqua bike competitors will take part in Runabout, Ski GP1 and Freestyle competitions, with the world’s finest racers lining up for the flagship Runabout GP1 category. Kuwait’s defending world champion Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq tops the entry, but knows that he will need to be at his very best to topple last year’s runner-up and 10-time champion Cyrille Lemoine of France.

He heads a quartet of French stars, including 2012 world champion Francois Medori, 2009 champion Teddy Pons and the 2013 UIM-ABP World Ranking points leader Jeremy Perez. Italian Mattia Fracasso is also likely to feature among the leading pack. Mohammed Al-Haidus may well top the local Qatari entry.

Frenchman Mikael Poret tops the field in the Ski GP1 category. He sealed the 2013 title in Abu Dhabi last autumn and faces the likes of Portugal’s European champion Tiago Sousa and the talented Italian Alberto Monti. Macc Racing’s 18-time world champion Chris MacClugage, from Arizona, also features on the entry list.

The ladies category includes last year’s runner-up Marta Sorrentino, French rider Jennifer Menard and youngster Estelle Poret.

The Slovenian Florjancic brothers have dominated the Freestyle category in recent seasons and Rok Florjancic will be determined to defend his title. He is now unbeaten in eight Grand Prix outings on the UIM-ABP tour and faces the likes of brother Nac, Serbia’s Aleksandar Petrovic and the 2009 and 2011 world champion Valerio Calderoni. Qatar’s Sultan Al-Kuwari also impressed during last November’s QMSF-organised competition.

The weekend’s timetable starts with registration ands technical scrutineering on Wednesday, March 5th and riders then take to the water on Thursday morning for free practice, pre-qualifying and pole position heats in the afternoon.

Further free practice is permitted on the Doha Bay course on Friday morning and the first of the World Championship heats start with Ski Division GP1 between 2pm and 2.30pm. Freestyle entrants take centre stage for 30 minutes from 2.30pm and the Runabout GP1 heats start at 3.15pm. There will be a spectacular parallel slalom ski, runabout and freestyle show for spectators between 7pm and 9pm on Friday evening.

Saturday’s (March 8) action starts with free practice and the second set of heats begin at similar times to Friday, with the Runabout GP1 riders rounding off the action at 3.15pm. The prize giving ceremony and press conference bring proceedings to a close from 4pm.


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: 03/03/2014

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