C1 QMSF prepare for 2008 Qatar Grand Prix


Qatar Grand Prix, round 1 – February 28th-March 1st


For immediate release

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008






Qatar Team carries out crucial pre-race shakedown test in Doha Bay

Qatar’s Mona Nasser to work as race secretary alongside Mohammed Al-Jaidah


DOHA (Qatar): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and staff at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) in Doha are putting the finishing touches to planning for next weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, round one of the 2008 WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, which gets underway in Doha Bay on Saturday, March 1st.


“We are maintaining the same course in Doha Bay as last year,” confirmed Sheikh Hassan, who will team up with Britain’s Steve Curtis MBE at the helm of Qatar 96 and is one of the favourites to win the event. “But we have moved the pit location next to the Sheraton Hotel on the other side of the Corniche to give more exposure for the general public who may want to see the boats up close.”


While the QMSF will receive the full support of WPPA personnel for the general running of the race, the QMSF’s Mohammed Al-Jaidah will again work as Officer of the Day and Mona Nasser will work as race secretary for a second year.


“MJ (Mohammed Al-Jaidah) will be the focal point of the organisation, as well as Officer of the Day,” admitted Sheikh Hassan. “Mona will be the race secretary. She had her first Class 1 experience in Doha last year and proved to everyone that she can do the job, even though she will be working in a male-dominated sport. She has gained the respect of all officials that worked with her last year and I view her as one of the top assets at the QMSF.”


Sheikh Hassan admits that the move from November to March may well present a surprise on the weather front. “March can often throw up some strange weather in Qatar. You can not anticipate the sea conditions. It is nice and cool and not as humid as early November. Unexpected weather changes are something that all drivers may have to cope with. It may mean altering the boat set-up to suit the changing conditions and that adds to the thrill of Class 1 racing.”


The Qatar Team will carry out a test with both Qatar 95 and Qatar 96 before race week begins, with Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Matteo Nicolini also keen to start the season with a win in their Skema V12-engined Qatar 95 hull. “Both crews will test together to become familiar with the boats and each other and to make sure that we are able to work together. We will not be testing any new configurations. It will merely be a shakedown to acclimatise to each other and the boats.”


Race weekend will get underway next Thursday (February 28th) with the first free practice sessions and race registration, before the Pole Position competition and a second free practice session take place on Friday, February 29th. This will be followed by the actual Qatar race on Saturday, March 1st.




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: 23/02/2008

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