PERFORMANCE NEWS - Key West World Championships

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Qatar superboats take out top places in Florida meet

PERFORMANCE NEWS -  Key West World Championships
PERFORMANCE NEWS — Key West World Championships

In international performance boatracing, the Spirit of Qatar 95 superboat, crewed by Qatar’s Abdullah Al-Sulaiti and Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini, led from start to finish to record an excellent victory in the first of the Superboat 850 class races at the 29th Key West World Championships in Florida, USA.

His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and British throttleman Steve Curtis MBE were classified in second position in the Skema V12-engined Qatar 96, after fending off a challenge from the American Team CRC boat of Michael DeFrees and Jeff Harris on the demanding 10km course.

Guy Costa and Ray Delaney were fourth at the helm of Fujitso Fury, after failing to complete the final tour of the seven-lap, 67.3km. Al-Sulaiti and Nicolini recorded a winning average speed of 153.5kmh in their Sterling V8-engined hull and eventually finished three seconds in front of Spirit of Qatar 96 to take 250 points for the race win.

"It was a really enjoyable race and quite a different experience," enthused Sheikh Hassan, who earned 225 points for second place in the first event of the three-race series. "Abdullah and Matteo made a good move and there was no way for us to catch them after that, but we had a really good dice for second position and managed to secure the one-two for Qatar.

"Our whole team has been made to feel really welcome at this race meeting and there was no unsportsmanlike conduct on the race course. Each of the boats kept to their racing lines and it made for a safe and exciting first race.

"I was quite happy with the set-up and will probably sit out the practice and testing time before the second race on Friday."

The Spirit of Qatar team runs under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and entered the Florida meeting after withdrawing mid-season from the UIM WPPA Class 1 World Championship.


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