|Sheikh Hassan Confirms Qatar’s Entry In Key West Races In November|
|Thursday, 20 September 2012 19:46|
DOHA (QATAR): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani has confirmed that the Spirit of Qatar Team will take part in the 32nd Annual Key West World Championships in Florida on November 4-11.
Sheikh Hassan and throttleman Steve Curtis will challenge for honours in the world famous American boating festival at the helm of the spare Spirit of Qatar 96, the Class 1 racing catamaran that they are using on select rounds of this year’s UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. Shipping partner Peters & May has handled the logistics of transporting the hull and equipment from Doha to Key West.
“We had the idea in mind to compete at Key West for some time,” enthused Sheikh Hassan. “We reviewed the current calendar and we have upgraded the engines to give us the maximum power possible so that we can compete with the more powerful boats in the series and show how competitive we can be.
“We carried out a test of the boat in Doha before Ramadan, but it was in very hot conditions, so maybe that will have been an ideal test environment.”
The team last took part in the 29th Annual Key West World Championships in November 2009, with Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Matteo Nicolini joining Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis in a two-boat team.
On that occasion, Al-Sulaiti and Nicolini won the opening Superboat 850 class race in Spirit of Qatar 95 from second-placed Sheikh Hassan in Spirit of Qatar 96.
Sheikh Hassan won the second of the week’s 850 races and Al-Sulaiti finished third. Sheikh Hassan, the president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), then won the third race of the series to claim outright victory in the Superboat 850 Extreme class and clinch the 2009 Superboat 850 Extreme World Championship.
The Key West festival consists of a week of maritime racing activities and three actual racing days. Registration takes place on November 4th and testing will take place on November 6th after further administration and technical checks.
The actual races will take place on November 7th, 9th and 11th with the intermediate days being used for testing, marketing and boat displays.
“I actually prefer the longer and more social events,” added Sheikh Hassan. “It gives you more time to be available for competitors and fans and enables everyone to create an even bigger fan base. Key West is a one-off race. It’s where any racer needs to be at. It’s a fun event and very challenging.”
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