Sheikh Hassan victory at Key West
Monday, 08 March 2010 23:49
Qatar’s Sheikh Hassan clinches victory in Second Superboat 850 race at Key west
- Abdullah Al-Sulaiti slips to third place late on
- Spirit of Qatar Team all set for Sunday race showdown
KEY WEST (Florida): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and British throttleman Steve Curtis MBE snatched a hard-earned victory in the second Superboat 850 race at the 29th Key West World Championships in Florida.
Spirit of Qatar 95 rivals, Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Matteo Nicolini, failed to complete the seventh and final lap of the 41.8-mile race and were classified third overall behind the Team CRC boat and Sheikh Hassan’s triumphant Spirit of Qatar 96.
“It was really tough out there on the water,” admitted Sheikh Hassan. “We had calm conditions and, when you are also racing in the same heat as the lighter Superboat 750 entries, they have an advantage in the calmer conditions.
Abdullah and Matteo dropped back at the end, but we had a terrific battle with the Team CRC boat and managed to squeeze past and take the win. Now I hope we have a little more wind and rougher conditions for the third race on Sunday, because we have a heavier boat and it will run better in these conditions.”
Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis collected 250 points for the race win and now lead the three-race mini series by 22.5 points from their colleagues heading into the final showdown on Sunday.
The American number 30 boat, Talk N Trash, entry won the Superboat 750 class from JD Byrider, although 50 boats were entered in the various Superboat, Turbine, Super Cat and Production class categories.
“The whole team is enjoying the meeting enormously. The competition out on the water is intense. We would expect that, but the whole Qatar Team have been made to feel very welcome by everyone in the paddock and we have been able to tell as many people as possible about Qatar and the culture we have back in Doha.”
The Spirit of Qatar Team runs under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and took the decision to enter the Florida meeting after withdrawing mid-season from the UIM WPPA Class 1 World Championship.
The final race of the Key West meeting will be twice as long as the first two heats and will run for 14 laps of the demanding 6.3-mile course on Sunday.
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis MBE stand aboard Spirit of Qatar 96 at Key West in Florida.
The Spirit of Qatar Team boats head for a final showdown at Key West on Sunday.
Spirit of Qatar 95 passes the Superboat 750 class-winning Talk N Trash at Key West during the second race of the 29th World Championships.