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Sixth place in Norway GP for Sheikh Hassan and Damas

SUPERFUND CLASS 1 WORLD POWER BOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
For immediate release
Sunday, August 10th, 2003

QATAR'S SHEIKH HASSAN TAKES SECOND
CONSECUTIVE SIXTH POSITION IN CLASS 1 SERIES

Qatari gains vital experience before Middle East races

OSLO (Norway): Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, the President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, finished sixth overall in the Color Line Scandinavian Grand Prix, today (Sunday), in Oslo.

The event was the fourth round of the 2003 Superfund Class 1 World Power Boat Championship and Sheikh Hassan's second event in the series since renting the Victory-built Damas boat for the remaining rounds of the world series. He also finished sixth in his debut event in Plymouth two weeks ago.

~It was not an easy race today,~ said Sheikh Hassan. ~The waters were calm, there was little wind and the boat was steady, but maybe we made the wrong choice of propeller settings. It was all good experience for me before the races in the Middle East, but the boat is old now and lacks the development of the front runners.~

Hassan, 35, again teamed up with the Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini - the 1997 Class Two World Champion. The Qatari will race a new Victory-built boat on the remaining three rounds of the world series and races in Qatar.

The Spirit of Norway boat set its third successive pole position in Saturday's qualifying session. Briton Steve Curtis - the recent winner of the coveted Seagrave Trophy - then steered the Spirit of Norway boat to its third win of the season and extended his and team mate Bjorn Gjelsten's lead in the Sureguard Class I Championship.

Dubai's Victory 77 took second place and Maritimo completed the top three. Highlander and Jotun were fourth and fifth in the overall standings.

Damas is one of the oldest boats on the world circuit and is powered by a pair of 8.2-litre, V12 Lamborghini petrol engines. But it lacks the outright top speed of the latest boats in the championship.

The Norway race was held over 17 timed laps of a 6.1Nm course across the Oslo fjord, with competitors passing close to the city centre during one of two 180 degree turns.

Ends

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Date issued: 10/08/2003

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