|U-96 Spirit Of Qatar’s Dave Villwock Sets Doha Course Record In Qualifying|
|Thursday, 17 November 2011 18:27|
DOHA (Qatar): Dave Villwock shattered the unofficial record for the Doha Bay course to cruise to the fastest time in qualifying for the Oryx Cup World Championship, the final round of the 2011 Air National Guard Hydroplane Championship, on Thursday afternoon.
Villwock also remains on course to seal the Boats’ High Points title in the first of Friday morning’s heats in advance of the all-important Oryx Cup final on Saturday. He stopped the clocks with a stunning tour of 150.244s (241.794 km/h) to provisionally set a course record during the early stages of the qualifying session, but the lap was thrown out after the Washington State driver was found to have contravened a fuel flow (N2) ruling.
Steve David set a quickest stint of 148.023 mph (238.219 km/h) to secure the provisional lead, but Villwock was not to be denied and clocked a speed of 153.547 mph (247.109 km/h) to shatter his rivals and claim 100 points for topping qualifying. David duly secured the runner-up spot and Scott Liddycoat finished the qualifying session in third position in U-7 Valken.com, with J. Michael Kelly in fourth.
Mona Nasser has been appointed as the QMSF race and event co-ordinator, and has a team of Qatar-based staff working alongside her on a diverse range of duties at the Oryx Cup World Championship meeting on Doha Corniche.
Khaloud Saed Al-Sahoti has been charged with looking after VIPs, Eman Al-Saadi and Fitana Al-Emadi are responsible for the childrens’ section in the public area, Nawal Ali looks after all the various race passes and Maryam Al-Mohannadi is responsible for the podium area and local media.
Munera Al-Dosari’s duties revolve around the marine stands and food court areas, Nora Hisham looks after the QMSF stand, Wael Khalid liaises with catering staff, Abdulla Mubarak ensures that customs duties run smoothly, Mohd Ramadan is the QMSF’s designer and Mahmoud Al-Sayed is responsible for equipment supplies. Nasser Al-Nuaimi looks after the technical and pit areas, while Mohammed Al-Qaryouti and Reji Jayan monitor the Internet and IT connections and update the world via Twitter and the QMSF’s website, www.qmsf.org.
“We have an excellent team of full-time staff working on various projects during the course of the Oryx Cup,” said Nasser. “It is their responsibility to ensure that every cog in the engine works smoothly and the event runs like clockwork.
“It is a major operation to run an event of this scale and our team needs to be fully briefed and knowledgeable about their roles to ensure everything runs smoothly.”
Sheikh Nawaf bin Hassan Al-Thani, the 11-year-old son of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, had an opportunity to show off his junior hydroplane on Thursday.
“We are keen to encourage and promote a junior discipline of hydroplane racing in Qatar and I would love to see a small class for these racing boats included in the timetable of events next year,” enthused Sheikh Hassan, the president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, who was delighted to see so much interest in the boat by a group of Qatari youngsters visiting the pit area.
What is a hydroplane?
Powered by T-55/L-7 turbine engines delivering around 3,000 horsepower and often found in Chinook helicopter applications, H1 Unlimited hydroplanes are the fastest racing boats in the world and are different in design to more conventional race vessels.
The set-up of the wing, sponsons and skid fin are crucial for a competitive hydroplane performance on a course like Doha. The rear wing stabilises the boat and is adjusted to obtain maximise speed, the sponsons are the large running surfaces on the front of the craft and provide hydrodynamic lift when the boat is at speed, while the skid fin is a blade bolted to the left sponson to prevent the hydroplane from sliding into turns. The driver can adjust the flight of the boat in rougher water conditions, such as those prevalent in Qatar, by operating the canard with foot pedals in the cockpit.
Hydroplanes also use three-blade stainless steel propellers to deliver power to the water and the rudder, mounted on the transom, enables the driver to steer the boat. The cowling or top cover directs air into the turbine and reduces the risk of water entering the engine. Several teams have even added their own ‘door’ to prevent salt water being ingested by the turbine.
As Jim Harvey, ex-boat owner and current crew chief of U-88 Degree Men, explains: “Doha is around two miles (long) and similar to our course in Seattle. On short courses like this you want to be able to accelerate quickly out of a corner, so we use lower gear ratios. That determines the size of the propeller we use. The course shape will also determine what adjustments we make to the skid fin on the side of the boat, which is the turning fin. We can put more angle into it when needed.
“The ride of the boat on straights will determine the angle of the rear wing. This is to do with the wake angle of the propeller. If there is too much lift on the front, we will put the trailing edge down. The only change a driver can make is to the front wing. He has an up and down pedal. As he comes out of a turn and heads down a straight he wants no drag. When he comes to a turn he wants to complete a switch on the pedals and to drop the front wing. If he does this too soon, the hydro could blow over!
“People talk about rooster tails (spray behind the boat at speed). If it is too high, the boat is not running efficiently. You need a fairly low profile and continuous rooster tail to be on the money.”
Tomorrow (Friday), teams will be permitted 90 minutes of testing on the course before the first of the day’s four heats fires into life at 13.00hrs. Each pair of two heats will be followed by a podium ceremony and draw for subsequent heats, with the pit area open to the general public from 15.40hrs onwards on Friday afternoon.
Oryx Cup World Championship – timetable of events
Friday, November 18
09.00-10.30hrs Unlimited testing
13.00hrs Unlimited Heat 1A
13.30hrs Unlimited Heat 1B
13.50hrs Podium for Heat 1 winners and draw for second heats
14.45hrs Unlimited Heat 2A
15.15hrs Unlimited Heat 2B
15.35hrs Podium for Heat 2 winners and draw for third heats
15.40-17.00hrs Pit area open to public
Oryx Cup UIM World Championship – qualifying times (unofficial @ 16.15 hrs)
1. Dave Villwock U-96 Spirit of Qatar 247.109 km/h (153.547 mph)
2. Steve David U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto 238.219 km/h (148.023 mph)
3. Scott Liddycoat U-7 Valken.com 236.623 km/h (147.031 mph)
4. J. Michael Kelly U-88 Degree Man 235.426 km/h (146.287 mph)
5. Jeff Bernard U-5 Graham Trucking 232.909 km/h (144.723 mph)
6. Kip Brown U-17 Miss Red Dot 232.759 km/h (144.630 mph)
7. Brian Perkins U-21 Lakeridge Paving 228.391 km/h (141.916 mph)
8. JW Myers U-11 Peters & May 221.485 km/h (137.625 mph), etc
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