By Matt Trulio
Qatar Offshore Racing Fleet Expanding
Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani presses ahead with his go-fast program.
Thanks to the passion of Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, Qatar’s offshore racing campaign in the United States will soon grow to the three boats. News out of the Qatar camp is that the team is repowering its existing 41-foot Victory catamaran, which formerly ran on the Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 Offshore racing circuit in Europe and the Middle East, with a pair of 1,350-hp turbocharged engines from Mercury Racing.
The repowered 41-footer will debut in the Superboat Unlimited class during the 2013 Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships in early November. Qatar automobile rally star Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah will drive the boat with veteran Union Internationale Class 1 racer Mateo Nicolini handling the throttling duties.
“It’s now being set-up,” said Sheikh Hassan in a press release from the Qatar Marine Sports Federation. “I think Matteo and Nasser will be impressed when they get their hands on it.”
With a Turbine-class and overall win of Al Adaa’am 96, Qatar’s turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic catamaran driven by Sheikh Hassan and throttled by Steve Curtis at the SBI National Championships in Clearwater, Fla., the three-boat team is looking solid heading into Key West. Though it didn’t earn a podium finish in Clearwater, the Spirit of Qatar 20, a 42-foot Marine Technology, Inc., catamaran formerly run as the well-known Reliable Carriers racer, has been looking stronger with every race in the Superboat class.
- Matt Trulio is the co-publisher and editor in chief of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site with a weekly newsletter and a new bi-monthly digital magazine that covers the high-performance powerboating world. The former editor-in-chief of Sportboat magazine and editor at large of Powerboat magazine, Trulio has covered the go-fast powerboat world since 1995. Since joining boats.com in 2000, he has written more than 200 features and blogs.
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