SBI Sheikh Hassan and Nasser Al-Attiyah to front Qatar challenge in Sarasota
SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL 2014
30th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival, Sarasota, Florida –July 4-6, 2014
For immediate release
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
SHEIKH HASSAN AND NASSER AL-ATTIYAH TO
FRONT QATAR CHALLENGE IN SARASOTA
· Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and Billy Moore entered in Superboat class
· Sheikh Hassan prepares for busy summer of racing Stateside
SARASOTA (Florida): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani will front the Spirit of Qatar Team’s challenge at this weekend’s 30th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival at Sarasota in Florida.
Sheikh Hassan hopes to give Al-Adaa’am 96 its 2014 debut in the near future and is racing against time to get it ready for its opening offshore race and an exciting new shootout race in August.
Meanwhile, Qatari rally star and power boating enthusiast Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah will join forces with Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini to race at the helm of Spirit of Qatar 613 in the Superboat Unlimited class in Sarasota on Sunday.
Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore complete the team line-up in Spirit of Qatar 20 entered in the Superboat class.
Sheikh Hassan had taken part in the last race of Super Boat International at Cocoa Beach alongside Matteo Nicolini in Spirit of Qatar 613 entered in Superboat Unlimited. The crew pushed Miss Geico in a thrilling race before finishing second overall after late technical issues, but the president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) is raring to go at the helm of the turbine-engined Al-Adaa’am 96.
“The turbine was not ready for Cocoa Beach,” admitted Sheikh Hassan. “We had to get two new engines and the preparation to get the boat ready for the new season took so much time. We are also planning to go to the Lake of the Ozarks shoot out races in August and, therefore, have to make sure the boat is ready for this. We are still missing some parts, but I just hope that we can make this race.”
A fuel leak prevented Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis from taking part in the 29th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival last season, although Ali Al-Neama and Mohammed Al-Nasser did claim third place in the Superboat class with Spirit of Qatar 20.
“Sarasota is one of the best venues in SBI,” added Sheikh Hassan. “It is quick and the water conditions are ideal. It’s perfect.”
While rival Marc Granet and Miss Geico stole the bragging rights in the pair’s first encounter of the season at Cocoa Beach in May, the Spirit of Qatar Team driver cannot see that happening again.
“I think that Geico had their best race of the season against 613 in Cocoa Beach. It won’t be the same for them this time. We had not carried out many changes to the boat since the last race and we knew that there were weak points and worked it out. Now Nasser and Matteo will keep the fleet and the rest of their Unlimited rivals more than busy in Sarasota as they are there to win and not just to race!”
The Superboat class has been the most competitive section of SBI racing over the last couple of seasons and Team Stihl and WHM Motorsports have stolen a march on their rivals this year, with the former leading the championship after two races.
Ali Al-Neama and Billy Moore will represent the Spirit of Qatar Team in the number 20 MTi boat and Sheikh Hassan is confident that they can produce a top performance.
“Spirit of Qatar 20 missed some of the races last season, but Ali and Billy were competitive in Cocoa Beach. I would expect them to be even better this weekend. I believe that Billy will be pushing the boat to the maximum and Ali will be able to bring it to the front of the fleet. The goal is wins in each of the categories.”
Inspections, dunk tests and testing will take place on Saturday, July 5th and SBI competitors will take to the water for a pair of races on Sunday afternoon. The Spirit of Qatar Team will be involved in the second of the Sunday races off Lido beach, starting at 1pm (8pm Qatar time) on Sunday afternoon.
Super Boat International – positions after Cocoa Beach (race 2):
1. Miss Geico 113 967 pts
2. Lucas Oil Silverbrook 77 911 pts
3. Gasse 8 558 pts
4. CMS 3 507 pts
5. Spirit of Qatar 613 496 pts
1. Stihl US-1 1109 pts
2. WHM Motorsports 5 961 pts
3. Broadco 05 920 pts
4. Automation-Racing for Cancer 33 680 pts
5. Spirit of Qatar 20 453 pts
6. Cleveland Construction 4 421 pts
7. Warpaint 38 375 pts
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail:
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).