AQUA Fifth UIM-ABP Aquabike GP of Qatar takes centre stage in Doha Bay


Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, March 4-6 – round 1

For immediate release
Monday, March 2nd, 2015


· French quartet start as clear favourites to shine in Runabout class
· Rok Florjancic returns to entertain Qatar crowds in Freestyle show
· Qatari entrants join racers from 20 other countries in Doha Bay

DOHA (Qatar): Less than a month after the Qatar Marine Sports Federation’s (QMSF) hosted the successful UIM Qatar Cup, race officials will be back in action again to host this weekend’s fifth UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar, which runs from March 4-6 and precedes the UIM Nations Cup and the UIM F1 H20 Grand Prix of Qatar the following week.

The QMSF is looking forward to hosting a provisional 46 competitors from 21 countries to take part in racing in the Runabout, Ski Division GP1 and Freestyle competitions from Wednesday through to Friday afternoon on Doha Bay.

The Runabout category has been fiercely contested in recent years and French defending World Champion Teddy Pons will head a quartet of French stars chasing glory on Qatar waters. Jeremy Perez narrowly missed out on the world title last time out, but had the consolation of ending his season atop the world rankings.

Francois Medori won the title in 2012 and 2010 champion Cyrille Lemoine starts the new season afresh after a run of bitter retirements followed his success at the Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar last year.

Mattia Fracasso leads the non-French challenge, with Poland’s Andrezj Wisniewski and Sweden’s Lars Akerblom keen to put a stop to the French domination of the discipline.

Kuwait’s Youssef Al-Abdulrazzaq was the champion in Qatar two years ago and has the pace and guile to match the leading Europeans. Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Haidus and Waleed Al-Sharshani finished second and third in a respective heat last year and Thamer Al-Darwish is more than capable of pushing towards the podium for the host nation. Also joining the tour in Doha will be the 2014 Karujet winner, Ugo Fidelin, from Martinique.

Defending World Champion, Jeremy Poret, will be out to defend his Sky Division GP1 title. The four-time winner of the coveted UIM-ABP honour faced stiff competition last year from the American racer Chris MacClugage. Spain’s Nacho Armillas, Slovenian Tomaz Kete, Italian veteran Alberto Monti and Poret’s brothers, Mickael and Morgan, will not make life easy for the Frenchman.

The ladies will be mixing it with their male rivals and last year’s Qatar winner Jennifer Menard joins a group in Doha that includes Estelle Poret and Sandra Fernandez Rodriguez.

The talented Slovenian Freestyle artist Rok Florjancic cruised to both heat wins in Qatar and went on to score a staggering 99 marks out of a possible 100 during the season. He is the firm favourite to win the spectacular Freestyle category, while the host nation’s hopes rest largely with Sultan Al-Kuwari, who finished third in Doha Bay last year.

The weekend’s timetable starts with registration ands technical scrutineering tomorrow (Tuesday, March 3) and riders then take to the water on Wednesday for free practice and pre-qualifying in the morning and pole position heats in the afternoon.

Further free practice is permitted on the Doha Bay course on Thursday 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 Thursday evening.

Friday’s (March 6) action starts with free practice and the second set of heats begin at similar times to Thursday, 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 onwards.


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: 02/03/2015

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