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C1 Qatar Team announces revised Class 1 team for 2007 UIM World Powerboat Championship

2007 UIM CLASS 1 WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP

For immediate release
Thursday, March 8th, 2007

QATAR TEAM ANNOUNCES REVISED CLASS 1 TEAM
FOR 2007 UIM WORLD POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP

• Qatar’s Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani back with Matteo Nicolini
• Italy’s Luca Nicolini set to partner Qatar’s Abdullah Al-Sulaiti in 2007

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) will field two Qatar Team boats in the 2007 UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, although the Doha-based team have confirmed that throttleman Luca Nicolini will replace fellow Italian Lino Di Biase in the Qatar 95 line-up.

His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani remains at the helm of Qatar 96 and will again be partnered by Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini, when the seven-round series gets underway with a new event in Athens on June 8-10th.

At a recent test session in Doha, Luca Nicolini, the younger brother of Matteo, took to the water with Al-Sulaiti for the first time and the Qatar Team’s reserve driver Mohammed Al-Nasser was also able to gain a little more Class 1 experience. Sheikh Hassan and Matteo Nicolini also carried out a brief test session together.

“Things are coming together and we have a strong line-up for the new season,” said Sheikh Hassan, President of the QMSF. “We are still undecided about the engines for the new season with the new regulations. We will finalise plans over the coming weeks, but the team is working on some exciting new developments and everything will be ready in plenty of time for the first race of the season.”

The Qatar Team finished third and fifth in last year’s UIM Class 1 series, with Al-Sulaiti and Di Biase winning the Middle East Grand Prix in Doha to mark the Qatari’s first ever Class 1 GP success and his throttleman’s second overall win. Sheikh Hassan narrowly missed out on the Class 1 Middle East title, but is determined to set the record straight this year.

Both Michael Peters-designed Qatar boats were competitive throughout the 2006 season, but Sheikh Hassan admits that team personnel are currently working on a new boat and engine specification to ensure that the Qatar Team is competitive against the likes of Spirit of Norway and the Dubai-based Victory Team.

“Matteo and the team at Nicolini Offshore in Italy have been developing a new boat for the future,” enthused Sheikh Hassan. “We have always been impressed with the Michael Peters boat, but this new hull could be a natural progression for us. We are not sure whether this boat will be used at the start of the season, but the option is there. It looks like being a very exciting year for the Qatar Team.”

This year’s Class 1 series will feature new races in Greece and Constanta in Romania and existing meetings in Qatar, the UAE and Norway and potential, yet to be confirmed, calendar dates in Slovenia and France or Spain. The two back-to-back Doha races will take place on November 8th-10th and November 15th-17th.

Ends

For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).

Date issued: 08/03/2007

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