|QMSF Prepares To Host Aquabike Grand Prix Of Qatar This Weekend|
|Wednesday, 09 March 2011 11:40|
DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) is continuing its hectic start to the 2011 season by making final preparations for this weekend’s UIM Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar.
The event is being organised by the QMSF under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, in collaboration with H20 Racing and under the auspices of the UIM.
It marks the first time that the QMSF has hosted a round of this exciting marine sport’s discipline, which is now in its 17th season, and comes less than four days after the QMSF hosted the opening round of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship.
“This weekend’s event has attracted a provisional 74 entrants,” enthused Khalid Bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the QMSF. “We have over 50 from Europe and a good number from the Gulf states, including 11 from Qatar.”
A provisional 13 nationalities grace the impressive entry lists for the various classes and divisions that will take to the water and compete on the Doha Bay course from Thursday to Saturday.
“I would like to welcome all our international visitors to Qatar this weekend and wish them a safe and successful stay in Doha,” said Sheikh Hassan. “We are delighted to host a round of the Aquabike World Championship for the first time.”
Among the top stars to enter are Frenchman Cyrille Lemoine, the defending 2010 Runabout F1 and Slalom Runabout World Champion, and Mickael Poret, the 2010 Slalom Ski world champion. Lemoine clinched both titles in Liuzhou and earned two wins and a third place
The aquabike discipline is also popular with female competitors and the likes of Julie Bulteau, 2010 Ski F1 Women’s world champion, and Stefania Balzer, the 2010 Slalom Ski Women’s world champion, top the female side of the entry list.
Racers are competing for no less than eight world titles in 2011 at seven race meetings in Qatar, Italy, France, China and Guadeloupe. Seven titles are up for grabs in the Aquabike World Championship, with six titles available in the Runabout F1, Freestyle and Ski F1 categories for both men and women.
The seventh title will be decided at a spectacular shoot-out on the island of Guadeloupe and involves both male and female racers.
French riders won six of eight world titles in 2010, with the Freestyle title heading to Russia and the women’s Slalom Ski F1 award going to Portugal.
An impressive 11 Qatari racers will compete during race weekend. Seven drivers – Yousef Al-Zeyara, Murad Ahmed Omar, Ali Al-Meraizeeq, Majed Al-Sharshani, Khamis Al-Hosni, Mohammed Al-Haidus and Abdullah Ali - are entered in the Runabout F1 category.
Rashid Al-Kuwari will take part in both the Runabout F1 and Freestyle sections and Hassan Al-Mannai and Waled Al-Sharshani have registered in both the Runabout F1 and Ski Division F1 classes. Khaled Al-Qubaisi joins Al-Kuwari in the Freestyle class.
Tomorrow’s (Thursday) timetable gets underway with technical inspections and administration between 09.00hrs and noon. Following the rivers’ briefing, racers will be permitted their first official practice sessions on the Doha Bay course.
The sessions will be split into 20-minute stints, with the Ski Ladies F1 entrants leading the way at 14.00hrs for their first of two opportunities to test on the course. Ski Division F1 and Runabout F1 runners take to the water at 14.20hrs and 14.40hrs for the first of their two sessions and Freestyle entrants precede a second stint for each of the classes.
2011 Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar - timetable of events
Thursday, March 10
09.00 – 12.00 Technical inspections and administration
13.00 – 13.30 Drivers’ briefing
14.00 – 16.20 Official practice
14.00 – 14.20 Ski Ladies F1
14.20 – 14.40 Ski Division F1
14.40 – 15.00 Runabout F1
15.00 – 15.20 Freestyle
15.20 – 15.40 Ski Ladies F1
15.40 - 16.00 Ski Division F1
16.00 – 16.20 Runabout F1
For further information:
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).www.qmsf.org