SBI Powerful three-boat Spirit of Qatar Team heads to Clearwater race
SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL 2014
6th Annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship, Clearwater, Florida - September 26-28, 2014
For immediate release
Monday, September 22nd, 2014
POWERFUL THREE-BOAT SPIRIT OF QATAR TEAM HEADS
TO CLEARWATER FOR SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE
· Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis to run 96 in turbine class
· Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Ali Al-Neama to race in 613 and 20
CLEARWATER (Florida): Fresh from rewriting the history books with a stunning record run of 244mph at the Ozarks Shoot-out in Missouri, His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis front a three-boat Spirit of Qatar Team challenge at this weekend’s 6th Annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship race in Florida.
The popular round of Super Boat International (SBI) is the final opportunity for the world’s most competitive offshore racers to fine tune their boats and give them a final shakedown before the coveted Key West World Championships in November.
Joining Sheikh Hassan and Curtis and representing the Spirit of Qatar Team is the usual line-up of Qatari Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore in Spirit of Qatar 20 and rally driver Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini at the helm of Spirit of Qatar 613.
While Sheikh Hassan has entered the history-making Al-Adaa’am 96 in the turbine class he won at Clearwater last season, Al-Neama lines up in the competitive Superboat category and Al-Attiyah looks set to lock horns with Marc Granet in Superboat Unlimited. All three boats run under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).
Granet won the Superboat Unlimited class last time out in Pensacola in the absence of his Qatari rival, although Al-Attiyah will be hoping to make amends for a disappointing outing at a car rally in Cyprus last weekend, when he suffered an engine issue after the first special stage.
“Basically, we will use Clearwater as a shakedown for Key West,” enthused Sheikh Hassan. “Key West runs for three days and we want to make sure the equipment will hold together and we can make all three races. After Ozarks, we know more about turbines now. We have made what we think were weak parts into heavy solid parts and we think they will last.
“The Shoot-out was an excellent test of acceleration for the boat but, when it gets to rough conditions and open waters, things need to be a little bit more reliable.
“Nasser and Matteo will race against Miss Geico at Clearwater. I don’t know if race officials would permit us to race in the same class as Extreme, but we will be there and hope that we can race against another turbine class boat. Clearwater is a fast course. I raced it for the first time last year and think it will be a challenging racecourse. It’s also a beautiful venue.”
Team Stihl, Broadco and WHM Motorsports have been the three boats to beat this season in Superboat and Al-Neama and Moore face a tough challenge to overcome the American trio at Clearwater and boost their confidence before Key West. Team Stihl won the last round of SBI and was the victor over WHM Motorsports in Clearwater last year, but Al-Neama ran well on this course in 2013 and finished in the final podium position.
“We have been working hard on the 20 boat since the last race,” added Sheikh Hassan. “I think it’s time now to test our new upgrades and, hopefully, this will give Ali and Billy an advantage and see them come out on top. We are aware that Stihl, Broadco and WHM are very strong and we will also need to look out for the rest of the Superboat fleet. They might have upgraded their game as well. WHM are rumoured to be introducing their new boat at Clearwater and that would also change the game plan.”
After technical inspections and registration on Thursday (September 26), boats take to the water for official testing on Friday. Two races will then take place on Saturday afternoon (September 28) at noon (local time) and 2pm (local time).
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail:
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).