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Qatar 96 Team heads to Fujairah for UIM Class 1 Grand Prix

SUPERFUND CLASS 1 WORLD POWER BOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
FUJAIRAH GRAND PRIX, Round 7 of 8
December 4-5th, 2003

For immediate release
Sunday, November 30th, 2003

QATAR'S SHEIKH HASSAN HEADS
TO FUJAIRAH FOR CLASS 1 GRAND PRIX

Second outing for Qatar 96 Team in Middle East's premier race

DOHA (Qatar): Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani, the President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, and his experienced Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini will tackle the Fujairah Grand Prix this weekend. The event is the seventh round of the Superfund UIM Class 1 Power Boat Championship and the second round of the Middle East Championship.

The pair debuted their new Michael Peters-designed boat in Qatar last month and finished sixth overall, but are confident that they can improve on this position when the race takes place off the coast of Fujairah on Friday afternoon.

Sheikh Hassan's boat was built at the Victory workshops near to the purpose-built Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), which plays host to action in two weeks time for the final round in Dubai.

~It was fantastic for me to get into our new race boat for the first time on my home event in Qatar,~ said Sheikh Hassan. ~It was an incredible feeling to be racing in front of a large home crowd. But the Fujairah race is also a very special occasion and attracts a lot of interest, both locally and on a global scale.

~Matteo and I learned alot from our experiences in Qatar. It will not be easy to take a podium place, but that must be our goal. The course is quite challenging and the weather off the coast of Fujairah in December can never be guaranteed.~

Throttleman Nicolini, 39, was the 1997 Class 2 World Champion and won both the 1990 and 1991 Class 3, 6.0-litre Italian Championships. He has over 60 race wins to his name in various classes.

This year's UIM world title has already been won by the Spirit of Norway team of Norwegian Bjorn Gjelsten and Britain's Steve Curtis. The pair also clinched their third successive Pole Position title.

The Qatar 96 Team lies seventh overall in the series, despite missing the first two races of the season in Portugal and Germany.

Ends

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Date issued: 30/11/2003

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