Spirit of Qatar 96 finish second, keep title hopes alive in Florida

November 11, 2012 - 9:40:30 am

KEY WEST (USA): Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al Thani and throttleman Steve Curtis were classified second overall for the second time in two days. 

The pair is also second in the Superboat Unlimited class in race two at the 32nd Annual Key West World Championships in Florida yesterday.

The result keeps the Qatar duo in contention after two races of the three-event boating festival. 

The result means that victory in today’s  finale, which counts for double points and runs over twice the race distance, would be enough for the Spirit of Qatar 96 crew to win the 2012 Key West World Championship. 

Victory in a dramatic second race fell to Tor Staubo and John Tomlinson in Gasse 8. 

The Norwegian and the American now head into the final race with an unofficial 500 points after taking two successive wins. 

Despite a problem with a broken water hose, Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis managed to complete one more lap than Marc Granet and Scott Begovich in Miss Geico to take second position. 

“We managed to snatch second place and finish ahead of Miss Geico, even though we broke a water hose and had to go into the pits,” admitted Sheikh Hassan, the president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and driver of Spirit of Qatar 96.

“We were able to coast round and do one more lap and finish the race in front of Miss Geico, which had broke down and was stranded on the course,” he added yesterday. 

Sheikh Hassan arrived in the United States last Sunday and spent the last two days working with the team to piece together for the final preparations.

The 32nd Annual Key West championship is the highlight event of the year.

The competition attracts team from all parts of the world.

Over 60 teams are participating in this event.

This year’s running of the 32nd race will play host to more international powerboat teams than previous years and to a new Superboat and Extreme Class of racing. THE PENINSULA