CLEARWATER, USA: Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al Thani and Steve Curtis will take to the waters for the last time competitively before the Key West World Championships in November, when they take part in this weekend’s 5th Annual Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championships, round eight of Super Boat International (SBI), in Florida.
A minor technical issue prevented the racing team from the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) from entering their new turbine racer, Al Adaa’am 96, in Sarasota in late summer, but the eagerly awaited first appearance in New York at the start of September did not disappoint and the Mystic boat, powered by Whispering Turbine engines, crushed the opposition and lapped the rest of the field in a one-sided debut.
Sheikh Hassan knows that he will face much more difficult competition in Key West, but he was delighted with first impressions of the stunning new boat in racing conditions.
“We had a very good feeling that the boat would be competitive as we have seen similar boats in action before,” admitted the president of the QMSF.
“The decision to go with Mystic was a good one. There is just no comparison between the turbine and the Class 1 boats we ran before.
“We are now running twice as much power on each side. The acceleration is second to none. Those WTI (Whispering Turbines) engines are excellent. They sure delivered what they promised and the rigging of the boat did help set us up with an excellent package. We do have a few modifications lined up for Key West, but we will run the same spec in Clearwater as we did in New York,” added Sheikh Hassan.
Qatar’s Ali Al Neama and new throttleman Billy Moore finished in second position in the Superboat class in the New York race on the Hudson River behind Team Stihl.
Spirit of Qatar 20 now holds fourth in the points’ standings heading into this race behind WHM Motorsports, Stihl and JD Byrider. It promises to be a thrilling showdown, with a mere 86 points separating the top two.
Plans for Qatar rally star Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah to join the team with a third boat in Key West are progressing well.
“The boat is on schedule and we received the engines on time from Mercury Racing,” said Sheikh Hassan. THE PENINSULA