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'QMSF'S BIG DEAL...

 

 

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and the recently-formed Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix (OPGP) will jointly promote and run the brand new Qatar Cup, a four-day powerboat racing festival, in Doha Bay on February 4-7, 2015.
 Speaking during last weekend’s Oryx Cup in Doha, His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), said: “Everyone knows that we wanted to expand the power boating and we wanted to do it the right way and grow with it as much as we can. The Qatar Cup idea was born last year, but we couldn’t get the American teams here last time. 
 “This time the formula is completely different and we have signed with a number of teams who will come here in February. This will be a stand-alone championship approved by the UIM and APBA. This will create bigger recognition, both here and abroad, and we are confident it will grow. It is also a perfect opportunity for our up-and-coming racers in Qatar to compete alongside international rivals.”
 Sheikh Hassan’s racing partner and throttleman Steve Curtis has been appointed as the interim president of OPGP and confirmed that the Qatar Cup will feature exciting classes for Super Cat, Super Vee Light, Super Vees and a new handicap racing-type format.
 Race craft will be shipped from the USA on December 8th aboard a vessel arranged by GAC Pindar. “Some boats will also come from New Zealand and maybe Australia and we have been talking to some of the XCat racers from Dubai and some of the boat owners in other classes. The idea is to make this a big event with as many classes as possible” said Curtis. 
 “We will also run the Pro Class Championship category for the local boats in Qatar and the Turkish boats in a separate Offshore 225 class,” added Sheikh Hassan. “It will be a full week of racing activities with some additional jet-ski racing and I am sure these classes will attract a lot of support from the region.
 “If things look good for 2016 - with a new five-race series in the United States - we could maybe do the same thing as we do with H1 and the Oryx Cup, whereby you accumulate points all year and have the final race in Qatar. We could, perhaps, have a National Championship and a Qatar Cup title at stake. It’s premature to go into details about this, but this could be the good aim for 2016 onwards.”
 It’s only a three-week sail time from Australia to Qatar, so we hope to see other teams here as well in February,” added the QMSF president, who also confirmed that Ali Al-Neama and Billy Moore will represent the host nation at the helm of Spirit of Qatar 20 in the Super Cat class.
 Curtis also enthused about another boat class for the Qatar Cup: “We also have the Cat Lights coming. These are very similar to XCats - where we hope to have 8 to 10 boats competing. Mohammed Al-Nasser (Qatar’s XCat driver) has also been invited, but the engine rules are slightly different so he will need to do some work with his engines. 
 “Super Cats, with around 800hp, is the main class we are bringing over, but we also have the V hulls and we will try a new handicap system that is used in sailing to have all the boats on the course at the same time. 
 “This has never been done before. Basically there will be two laps on the course – the fastest boats may do 10 of the longer laps and the smaller boats may do 10 of the shorter ones. A handicap will be determined to put the racing on a level playing field and they will use the same chequered flag. This format was used before in a series called Offshore 2000 in the 1990s and was very successful.”
 The precise timetable of the 2015 Qatar Cup has yet to be finalised, but Curtis confirmed that Tuesday, February 3rd would be the set-up day on Doha Corniche and qualifying and practice would take place on February 4th. 
 The first of the races are scheduled for Thursday, February 5th and further testing would be carried out on Friday, February 6th before the main races take centre stage on Saturday, February 7th. 
                       ******************



LIUZHOU (CHINA): Qatar’s defending UIM F1 H20 World Champion Alex Carella led from pole position to chequered flag crushing the opposition in Monday’s 39-lap UIM F1 H20 Grand Prix of China on Liuzhou’s Liu River.
The Italian led from a disjointed start and edged away from all his rivals, lapping all but three boats to reach the chequered flag 31.66sec ahead of the impressive Swedish rookie Erik Stark to record his third successive win in Liuzhou. He now takes a 25-point championship lead to the next round in Qatar in mid-November.
Qatar team-mate Shaun Torrente started the race in 15th place after an engine change and fought back through the field to finish fourth overall behind Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al-Qamzi. But Stark was deemed to have hit a turn buoy and received a penalty, which demoted the dejected Swede to fifth and lifted Al-Qamzi to second and Torrente into the final podium place.
“Today was a big challenge for me,” said Carella. “This was the first time racing in this boat for me. I started from pole and I just wanted to have a good race for the team and keep up our momentum. Everything was perfect.”
“I am really happy with this result,” said Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
“Alex did another fantastic job and made it look easy. I suppose it is the secret of qualifying on pole and managing your own race from the front. Shaun did well to come back to third after starting the race in 15th. I am sure he would have been up there fighting with Alex if he had not had a problem on Sunday. Now we take a good lead to Doha for the next race.”
“My plan was to charge hard from the start, from 15th, to try and get through the middle of the field and try and make up as much time as possible and get through the first corner clean,” said Torrente. “I was confident that I could make up the rest of the time towards the end of the race.”
The Qatar Team’s Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohamed Al-Obaidly finished sixth and eighth overall in the second of the F-4S Trophy races. Germany’s Mike Szymura claimed pole position for the second day and went on to record his second win, with Australian youngster Rigby Briney in second place

UIM F1 H20 Grand Prix of China
Carella and Torrente lined up in pole and 15th position amongst the 18 boats at the start of the race on the 2.13km course on the Liu River after Torrente was forced to change the engine before the start.
Carella held his lead after a disjointed start and maintained his advantage through lap one, with Yousef Al-Rubayan moving ahead of Sami Selio to take second place. Duarte Benavente retired and Torrente climbed from 15th to eighth through lap two. Philippe Chiappe also withdrew after two laps.
Carella had extended his lead over Al-Rubayan to 8.25sec after five of the 39 laps and Torrente maintained eighth place. The Italian was in superb form and he began lap eight with a 16.09sec advantage, although officials claimed that Al-Rubayan had jumped the start and would be awarded a penalty lap, lifting Selio back to second and Stark into third. 
Carella’s lead was a massive 17.81sec through 13 laps and Torrente climbed to sixth once Francesco Cantando hit trouble and Al-Rubayan dropped back. At the halfway point, after 19 laps, Carella led Selio by 23.94sec.
Carella had lapped all but his six closest rivals by lap 25 and led the race by 27.20sec, but Torrente was not able to pass Al-Qamzi and snatch fifth place. Andersson was forced out with technical problems on lap 28 and this handed fourth place to Al-Qamzi and moved Torrente up to fifth.
Selio also hit mechanical trouble on lap 32 and the Finn slipped down the order. His problems moved Stark into second, Al-Qamzi into third and Torrente into fourth place with seven laps remaining.
The Qatar Team duo held station through the remaining laps and Carella reached the chequered flag 31.66 seconds in front of the impressive young Swede Erik Stark. Al-Qamzi finished third and Torrente reached the finish in fourth. Stark’s collision with a turn buoy duly moved Al-Qamzi and Torrente up to second and third.
Torrente bounced back to form following his mistake in qualifying on Sunday and set the fastest lap during Monday morning’s second practice session. The Qatar Team driver ran for 19 laps in his repaired boat and carded a quickest lap of 45.30sec. This was a mere 0.03sec faster than the time set by Ahmed A-Hameli of Team Abu Dhabi. Carella ran for just eight laps with a best of 45.64sec.

 F-4S – race 2
Mike Szymura continued where he left off on Sunday with victory in race one to qualify on pole position for the second of the two F-4S races. A quickest lap of 46.76sec during a 23-lap stint was sufficient to claim pole from Aussie rookie Rigby Briney. Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Obaidly qualified in sixth, but ongoing work on Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari’s boat meant that the second Qatari missed the session.
Szymura completed the clean sweep of two F-4S wins in the 22-lap race and reached the chequered flag 10.72 seconds in front of Briney, with Norway’s Joachim Halvorsen in third. Al-Kuwari started from the rear of the field and managed to climb to sixth place, with Al-Obaidly reaching the end two laps down in eighth.

 
The next round of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship will be the Middle East Grand Prix in Doha Bay, Qatar, on November 15th.

 

Grand Prix of China – results

1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                        39 laps

2. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi                      @ 35.35sec

3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                              @ 36.92sec                   

4. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team           1 lap behind

5. Erik Stark (SWE) Team Nautica                                       1 lap behind

6. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 GC Atlantic Team            2 laps behind

7. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team            2 laps behind                   

8. Sami Selio (FIN) Md-Croc Baba Racing Team            2 laps behind

9. Ahmed Al-Hameli (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi                      RET

10. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team                        4 laps behind                                                

2014 UIM F1 H20 World Championship – positions after round 2:

1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                        40 pts

2. Philippe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team                     15 pts

2. Thani Al-Qamzi (ARE) Team Abu Dhabi                      15 pts

4. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                              12 pts     

4. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team           12 pts

4. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team           12 pts

7. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team            11 pts

8. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team            9 pts

2014 F-4S Trophy – latest positions:

1. Mike Szymura (DEU) F1 GC Atlantic Team                      55 pts                 

2. Rigby Briney (AUS) Team Sweden                                        30 pts     

3. Joakim Halvorsen (NOR) Team Nautica                              21 pts

3. Jan Andre Landsnes (NOR) Motorglass F1 Team                    21 pts     

5. Jesper Forss (SWE) Team Sweden                                        20 pts                         

6. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Qatar Team                    14 pts

7. Mohamad Al-Obaidly (QAT) Qatar Team                               13 pts     


                                    *****************
HASSAN SUPERMAN..

LAKE OF THE OZARKS ‘TOP GUN’ SHOOTOUT (Missouri, USA): Sheikh Hassan Al-Thani and throttleman Steve Curtis obliterated the existing speed record of 224mph with a stunning speed of 244mph in their second run at the 26th Annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in central Missouri on Saturday. It was in every sense the most amazing powerboat occasion those present had ever witnessed
 Cheered on by an estimated 100.000 race fans Sheikh Hassan and Curtis decided to make their first attempt at the speed record as soon as the course opened in hot, humid conditions.They left the gate as the fourth boat with a legal start, only for the safety parachutes to deploy midway through the run. This failed to stop them posting an impressive first speed of 210mph through the flying finish.
Later in the session the pair took to the water again and a clean run was rewarded with a faultless run and a stunning speed of 244mph.
“I was confident we could do it on our second run,” said a delighted Sheikh Hassan. “It was so nice to get it spot on. We had the boat under control all the time. Steve did an awesome job throttling it to the gate. He was on and off the throttles all through the mile run and I actually believe that the boat is capable of even more mph!
 “We considered postponing the second run until Sunday, but I know the team wanted to get the runs out of the way. We were approaching the finish about 230mph and it felt like Steve backed off a little bit because that’s what we wanted to do. Then we started back on and I saw 240 and I’m pretty sure we reached 250 after the gate. It’s a huge milestone achieved with this boat, now it’s time to relax and look ahead to see what’s next.”
The Euphoria that followed their triumph was astounding, literally every one of the huge crowd wanted to shake their hand.
The Spirit of Qatar Team runs under the auspices of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and Sheikh Hassan entered his turbine-engined, 50 foot Mystic ‘Al Adaa’am 96’ boat in one of the world’s biggest non-sanctioned powerboat events on the planet in the successful bid to overhaul the 224mph top speed recorded by Bill Tomlinson and Ken Kehoe at the helm of ‘My Way’ in 2013.

                          ************                    

'SHANE AGAIN' WHILE QATAR'S NEW H1 MISSILE LAUNCHES WITH A THIRD

HAPO Colombia Cup victory for Jimmy Shane in 6 Oberto - Villwock returns to action -Stunning new 96 Spirit of Qatar takes to the water for the first time on the Colombia River  

 
TRI-CITIES (USA): Kip Brown gave Ellstrom Racing’s new 96 Spirit of Qatar its H1 Unlimited race debut at the HAPO Colombia Cup, round three of the 2014 H1 Unlimited Championship, on the Colombia River at the weekend and finished third in the final.
 
Victory in the 59th HAPO Colombia Cup fell to Jimmy Shane in a slightly damaged 6 Oberto and Jon Zimmerman took second place with 9 Les Schwab-Team Red Dot.
 
Brown was forced to miss the opening two races of the series in Madison and Detroit, while the new Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF)-backed project was completed. In the meantime, the QMSF – running under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani - threw its support behind Jon Zimmerman and the Team Red Dot/95 Spirit of Qatar entry, before Brown returned to action for the Qatar Team in Tri-Cities.
 
A bumper entry of 12 boats headed for the start, led by National High Points leader Jimmy Shane in 6 Oberto and J. Michael Kelly in 1 Graham Trucking. The HAPO Colombia Cup also saw the return to racing of H1 legend and former Spirit of Qatar Team driver Dave Villwock at the helm of 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing.
 
Shane qualified at the top of the leader board with a speed of 163.247mph on Friday and Zimmerman slotted into third behind Kelly after the Team Red Dot driver had seen a quicker time erased for an N2 violation. Brown carded a time of 142.517mph and qualified in 10th position. “I love the boat, it’s really easy to drive,” said the 96 Spirit of Qatar man. “We need to do some tweaking on the set-up and the speed will come, but it handles beautifully.”
 
Shane, Kelly, Villwock, Jamie Nilsen, Tom Thompson and Kelly Stocklin lined up in heat 1A, but Stocklin was the only driver to make a clean start and Kelly and Shane were forced to lap the rookie to have any chance of taking the heat win after a penalty was imposed. The heat developed into a frantic tussle between Kelly and Shane and Kelly duly took the win from Shane and Villwock.
 
Zimmerman was the fastest qualifier for heat 1B, but there was disappointment for the Spirit of Qatar team when the new 96 boat failed to start. Zimmerman duly led from start-to-finish to claim the heat win and Mike Webster headed Cal Phipps for second place.
 
 
Kelly jumped the gun in heat 2A and the crew discovered structural damage on the boat and he was withdrawn for the rest of the weekend, as Shane headed Brown to the chequered flag and Nilsen came in third.
 
Heat 2B had to be rerun after an incident involving Jeff Bernard in 17 Our Gang Racing at the first turn of lap two. Villwock led both Bernard and Zimmerman into the turn, but Bernard’s boat headed through Zimmerman’s rooster tail, gained lift and nosed violently into the water, damaging the hull but not injuring Bernard. Villwock was deemed to have made a legal turn and duly claimed the heat win in the rerun from Phipps and Webster.
 
Shane and Villwock appeared to have wrecked their chances of taking the Colombia Cup title in heat 3B. Villwock brushed a buoy at turn two and his boat veered right and struck Shane in the Oberto. Both boats coasted to a stop and were towed to the pits, with Shane’s crew somehow able to patch up his boat for the final. Zimmerman went on to claim the 400 points from Thompson. Phipps had earlier won heat 3A from Brown.
 
Shane managed to coax his damaged boat to the finish to secure victory in the Colombia Cup final after a hole had appeared on the left sponson. Zimmerman followed up two heat wins to take second in 9 Les Schwab-Team Red Dot and third on the water went to Cal Phipps in 7 Graham Trucking before he was handed a one lap penalty and this handed third and the final podium place to Brown in the new 96 Spirit of Qatar. Tom Thompson finished fifth.
 
The fourth round of the series will be the Albert Lee Cup at Seattle Seafair in Washington State on August 1-3.
 
H1 Unlimited – National High Points after round 3 (unofficial):
1. 6 Oberto/Miss Madison                   Jimmy Shane                     4769 pts
2. 7 Graham Trucking                            Cal Phipps                        3654 pts  
3. 1 Graham Trucking                            J. Michael Kelly                 3626 pts  
4. 21 Go Fast Turn Left Racing           Brian Perkins/Jamie Nilsen  3232 pts
5. 95 Red Dot/Spirit of Qatar            Jon Zimmerman                   2807 pts
6. 22 Webster Racing                     Mike Webster                          1622 pts
7. 11 Peters & May                        Tom Thompson                       1455 pts
8. 96 Spirit of Qatar                      Kip Brown                                  855 pts
9. 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing                  Dave Villwock                     675 pts
10. 18 Bucket List Racing                Kelly Stocklin     
                                    **************

MIXED EMOTIONS FOR QATAR TEAM IN SARASOTA

SARASOTA (Florida): The Spirit of Qatar Team suffered mixed emotions at the 30th Annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival at Sarasota in Florida on Sunday.
 
Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore entered Spirit of Qatar 20 in the Superboat class and reached the chequered flag of the 18.75-race in 4th position after late overheating issues. But Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Matteo Nicolini lost a potential second overall in the Superboat Unlimited class after withdrawing with engine issues on lap five. They were eventually classified third.
 
Marc Granet and Scott Begovich clinched victory in the Superboat Unlimited class and Team Stihl won its third successive Superboat class race of the season.
 
Al-Attiyah and Nicolini faced Marc Granet and Scott Begovich in Miss Geico, Bob Bull and Randy Scism in CMS and Nigel Hook in Lucas Oils Silverhook in the Superboat Unlimited class on the 8 kilometre course.
 
Team Stihl’s J.R. Noble and Mark Kowalski came into the third SBI Superboat race of the season with consecutive wins from rounds one and two and started as favourites to extend their lead in the title race over WHM Motorsports. Cleveland Construction, Broadco, Racing for Cancer, Warpaint and Spirit of Qatar 20 who completed the Superboat line-up.
 
CMS led from Miss Geico and Spirit of Qatar 613 through the opening turns in Superboat Unlimited and Spirit of Qatar 20 held fourth in Superboat behind Team Stihl, Broadco and WHM Motorsports. CMS then became locked in a fascinating early tussle with Miss Geico for Unlimited superiority, as Stihl began to edge away from Broadco.
 
Miss Geico passed a struggling CMS on the next lap, but Stihl stayed well clear of Broadco and WHM in Superboat. Miss Geico and Stihl continued to lead their respective classes as the race progressed. CMS was eventually sidelined with technical issues, Cleveland Construction flipped out of Superboat contention and Spirit of Qatar 20 became embroiled in a late tussle with WHM Motorsports.
 
Miss Geico held on to take the chequered flag and a second victory of the season in the Superboat Unlimited class and Team Stihl confirmed a third successive win in the Superboat category.
 
Superboat Unlimited
1. Miss Geico 113                                       1500 pts
2. Lucas Oil Silverbrook 77                         1393 pts
3. Spirit of Qatar 613                                   902 pts
3. CMS 3                                                       902 pts
5. Gasse 8                                                    558 pts
 
Superboat 
1. Stihl US-1                                                1645 pts
2. Broadco 05                                              1405 pts
3. WHM Motorsports 5                                 1400 pts
4. Automation-Racing for Cancer 33            1078 pts
5. Spirit of Qatar 20                                        814 pts
6. Cleveland Construction 4                            748 pts
7. Warpaint 38                                                671 pts
                                             **************
SHEIKH HASSAN MISSES OUT IN COCOA BEACH THRILLER..

COCOA BEACH (Florida): Sheikh Hassan Al-Thani replaced Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah alongside Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini to steer Spirit of Qatar 613 to second position in a thrilling Superboat Unlimited race at the 5th Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix off Cocoa Beach, Florida on Sunday.
 
The Spirit of Qatar 613 pairing became embroiled in a stunning duel with American arch rivals, Marc Granet and Scott Begovich, Miss Geico 113 and the pair traded turns, momentum and rooster tails for 11 of the 13 laps, before Granet edged in front after the Qatar boat developed mechanical issues. 
Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore were entered in the hotly contested Superboat category and reached the finish in third position after a solid performance. Victory fell to J. R. Noble and Mark Kowalski in Team Stihl US-1. They were pushed all the way by early leaders WHM Motorsports.
 
“It was a fantastic race to be a part of, but the engines kept switching into ‘guardian mode’ at crucial times, especially after the fourth lap and, every time we wanted to push a little harder, we did not have the power at the crucial time,” said Sheikh Hassan, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and driver of Spirit of Qatar 613. 
 
“We backed off a little over the last two laps, but we are delighted with the progress the team has made. We will assess the engine data and make sure that this boat is ready for Nasser to drive in Sarasota. He will love these engines. As far as the turbine boat is concerned, we are on track and should have the engines ready in the coming week or so to ensure that Steve (Curtis) and I are raring to go in Al-Adaa’am 96 for Sarasota.”
 
Qatari rally driver/boat racer Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah was forced to miss the race after deciding to continue his rallying challenge for the 2014 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies at the Pharoans Rally in Egypt.
 
 The Main Event featured Superboat and Superboat Unlimited entrants, who tackled 13 laps of the 5.5-mile course for a total race distance of 71.5 miles. Blustery conditions were prevalent with winds on the Atlantic coast ranging from 18-22mph and blowing from an east-south-easterly direction.
 
Sheikh Hassan lined up with Matteo Nicolini in the twin-1650 Mercury-engined Victory hull, Spirit of Qatar 613, to take on Lucas Oil Silverhook 77 and arch rivals, Granet and Begovich, in the Superboat Unlimited class.
 
Ali Al-Neama and Billy Moore entered Spirit of Qatar 20 in the Superboat class alongside US-1 Team Stihl, 05 Broadco, 5 WHM Motorsports, 33 Autonation-Racing for Cancer and 38 Warpaint, with Instigator 22 the sole entrant in Superboat Extreme.
 
Sheikh Hassan and Nicolini made a superb start and pulled away from Miss Geico through the opening lap and began the second tour with a useful lead. Lucas Oil Silverhook slowed and dropped at least a lap, as Team Stihl pulled into a comfortable lead in Superboats and shadowed Miss Geico into lap two. WHM Motorsports, Spirit of Qatar 20, Broadco and Warpaint followed in their wake.
 
Granet began to apply immense pressure on Sheikh Hassan through lap two and the two racers were side-by-side into the final turn, but the Qatar driver shut the door in spectacular fashion and forced his American rival to run wide and maintained the lead, much to the delight of a massive vocal crowd. Team Stihl kept the lead in Superboat, but Broadco lost time in the turn.
 
Lap three was a carbon copy of the second one, with Granet and Begovich leaping spectacularly down the back straight and maintaining the outside line through traffic. But Sheikh Hassan held on to the lead and Team Stihl continued to lead in Superboats from WHM Motorsports.
 
Miss Geico managed to edge into a lead of several seconds on lap four after Spirit of Qatar 613’s Mercury engines switched into ‘guardian mode’ and the American reached the final turn with the choice of line. Granet and Begovich turned in well and began to pull away from Spirit of Qatar 613. WHM Motorsports was also running well and managed to pass Team Stihl and take the Superboat lead. Spirit of Qatar 20 was third.
 
Miss Geico and Spirit of Qatar 613 held station through lap five and there were no changes to the top four through the sixth tour. Granet and Sheikh Hassan completed lap seven neck-and-neck but Granet maintained the lead through the left-hand turn and Sheikh Hassan levelled down the straight as the thrilling contest continued. WHM led from Team Stihl and Spirit of Qatar 20 in Superboats.
 
Miss Geico held the edge over Spirit of Qatar 613 into lap nine and Team Stihl found a way past WHM to lead again in Superboats. Granet and Begovich extended their advantage into lap 10 and maintained the lead into the 11th lap, as Team Stihl stayed out in front of WHM.
 
Miss Geico was not to be denied and headed into the final lap with a good lead from a slowing Spirit of Qatar 613. Granet and Begovich held on to the chequered flag after lapping Broadco to give the host nation the early bragging rights in the much-vaunted boating battle between Qatar and the USA. Lucas Oil Silverhook retired after five laps.
 
Team Stihl held on to beat WHM, Spirit of Qatar 20, Broadco, Warpaint and Autonation-Racing for Cancer in the Superboat class.
 
The next round of Super Boat International (SBI) takes place in Sarasota, Florida, on July 3-6.
 
Super Boat International – positions after Cocoa Beach (race 2):
 
Superboat Unlimited
1. Miss Geico 113                                        967 pts
2. Lucas Oil Silverbrook 77                          911 pts
3. Gasse 8                                                  558 pts
4. CMS 3                                                     507 pts
5. Spirit of Qatar 613                                 496 pts
 
Superboat 
1. Stihl US-1                                                  1109 pts
2. WHM Motorsports 5                                   961 pts
3. Broadco 05                                                 920 pts
4. Automation-Racing for Cancer 33               680 pts
5. Spirit of Qatar 20                                        453 pts
6. Cleveland Construction 4                            421 pts
7. Warpaint 38                                                375 pts
 
                                               ***************

DOHA (QATAR): The Qatar Team’s Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente produced a pair of top class performances to crush the opposition in Saturday’s Grand Prix of Qatar, round one of the 2014 UIM F1 H20 World Championship, on Doha Bay.
But Torrente’s run of cruel luck continued when he was forced to remove his DAC’s canopy within sight of the finish after a wire to the power steering caught fire. His abrupt demise handed the race win to his team-mate.
Torrente, a winner of his first ever F1 H20 Grand Prix in Qatar last November, hit the front on the opening lap and managed to fend off Carella, the eventual winning three-time World Champion, for 31 laps.
Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe finished second in his CTIC China Team Moore, Portugal’s Duarte Benavente was third, Italian veteran Francesco Cantando took fourth and Finland’s Filip Roms completed the top five.
There was a high rate of attrition in the difficult racing conditions. Pole sitter Sami Selio was sidelined on lap two, pole winner Jonas Andersson joined him a lap later with engine issues and Yousef Al-Rubayan and Erik Stark also retired early on.
“Obviously it would have been fantastic to get the one-two here and we showed that this could so easily have happened,” said Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani. “I feel for Shaun. His luck must change soon. We wanted to get maximum points with both drivers. But it was not to be.
“We had to be careful all weekend and not take any risks because we did not have a spare boat available. The third boat has been shipped to the US for testing purposes.”
“It was not so easy to catch Shaun at all,” said a triumphant Carella. “He had a very good pace. I did not know that I was ahead until the next lap because we were both in traffic passing other boats. This is a great result for me. A perfect way to start the year with a win in Qatar.”
Torrente was obviously disappointed: “We put a ridiculously amount of effort into this weekend and then we had a fire from the power steering wiring, there was smoke and I had to take the canopy off.”
Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari and Mohammed Al-Obaidly were scheduled to start the second of the UIM F-4S races from fourth and sixth places, but race officials deemed that gusting westerly and north-westerly winds blowing across Doha Bay were too dangerous and the race for the rookies was cancelled after the drivers had waiting at the start pontoon for 15 minutes while the unfortunate decision was made.
 
GP of Qatar
Thirteen of the original 14 entrants started the race after Francesco Cantando took charge of Marco Gambi’s Motorglass F1 Team DAC at the rear of the field and Gambi was withdrawn.
Torrente and Carella began the race from second and third places after pole winner Jonas Andersson, winner of the Grand Prix of Qatar in 2008, was forced to change an engine after the morning’s practice session and slipped down to 11th. Sami Selio duly moved up to pole position. “It’s a shame for Jonas, You work so hard to get the pole and then you break an engine. We have all been there,” said Torrente.
After an inspection of the course and the changeable wind conditions, the contest was given the green light and Torrente made a superb start to displace Selio and edge into the lead of the 40-lap race from Carella and Selio.
Torrente extended his lead to 2.51sec on the second lap, but Selio ground to a halt on the course with technical problems, as Chiappe and Yousef Al-Rubayan moved up to third and fourth. Andersson and Al-Rubayan joined Selio on the list of retirements on the next lap, as Torrente continued to edge away from Carella.
By lap 10, Torrente’s lead was 3.06sec, but there were only nine boats remaining in the race; Erik Stark had retired on lap five. Chiappe maintained third and Duarte Benavente and Francesco Cantando rounded off the top five.
The Qatar Team duo were in a class of their own. Torrente led Carella by 4.08sec through lap 15 and the pair were comfortably clear of Chiappe, Benavente and the veteran Cantando.
Nine boats remained in the race at the halfway point and Torrente led by just over two seconds. The lead stretched to three and a half seconds after 28 laps and the Qatar duo remained well clear. But drama struck on the 32nd lap when a wire caught fire in Torrente’s cockpit and the Miami driver was forced to remove his canopy and retire from the race.
Carella was able to cruise to the chequered flag to begin the defence of his world title in perfect style. The Italian’s winning margin was 34.61 seconds over Chiappe, with Benavente rounding off the podium.
Carella and Torrente ran for 16 and 13 laps during the morning’s official practice session and clocked quickest laps of 42.42sec and 42.50sec to settle into second and third positions. Frenchman Philippe Chiappe topped the morning’s times with a lap of 41.99sec.

 10th Grand Prix of Qatar – results
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                        40 laps
2. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team                     @ 34.61sec
3. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team           L1                         
4. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team            L2
5. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team            L2
6. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica                              L3
7. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team                        L3                         
8. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team           L3
 
2014 UIM F1 H20 World Championship – positions after round 1:
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                        20 pts
2. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) China CTIC Team                     15 pts
3. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 GC Atlantic Team           12 pts                   
4. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Motorglass F1 Team            9 pts
5. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team            7 pts
6. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica                              5 pts
7. Xiong Ziwei (CHN) China CTIC Team                        4 pts                     
8. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Motorglass F1 Team           3 pts
                          *****************
Belarus Defy 'Hi Flying' Italians

DOHA (QATAR): Team Belarus deprived Team Italy of glory in a thrilling climax to a weather-interrupted UIM Nations Cup on Doha Bay on Thursday.

Team Italy began the final morning with a seven-point advantage over Team Russia in the points’ standings and a pair of stunning sprint race victories for Stefano Paoletti was sufficient for the Italian to claim the individual glory.
Accidents in the first race for Team Russia’s Mikhail Kitashev and Dmitry Malkin wrecked their chances of winning the UIM Nations Cup and, when Dmitry Vandyshev was yellow-carded for dangerous driving in the second sprint race and withdrew, it appeared that Team Italy had won.
But Marco Gambi was struggling with ongoing engine problems at the rear of the field and the Italian didn’t finish enough laps to score points towards the Team Italy tally. Vandyshev, on the other hand, had completed 20 of the 24 laps and was awarded 15 points; a decision that handed UIM Nations Cup victory to Team Belarus by a single point.
Team Qatar suffered a disappointing day; other commitments forced Abdullah Ghulam Ali to miss both of the sprint races and Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari could only manage sixth and fourth places.
 
Sprint race 1
Strong winds, shifting sand and poor visibility had plagued the Doha Bay area on Wednesday evening, but the north-westerly winds abated enough for the sprint races to go ahead as planned on Thursday morning.
Team Italy’s Stefano Paoletti was the winner of a thrilling first sprint race where nearly half the contest ran under a yellow flag after three separate incidents occurred in windy conditions.
Andrey Ovchinnikov of Team Belarus made the early running from the Italian and held the lead through the opening 15 laps, despite the race being stopped on lap seven when Mikhail Kitashev of Team Russia flipped his boat on the back straight and a second yellow was waved on lap 12.
Once Paoletti found a way through and into the lead on lap 16, the Italian began to pull away from the remaining seven boats, but the pack was bunched up together for a third time on lap 20 when Team Russia’s Dmitry Malkin flipped out of second position on the back straight.
The race finished under the third yellow, with Paoletti claiming maximum points for Team Italy from second-placed Ovchinnikov and Team Malaysia’s Mohammad Affendey bin Kadri.
Other commitments forced Team Qatar’s Abdullah Ghulam Ali to miss the race and team-mate Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari struggled with his set-up at the rear of the field and finished sixth, thus ending the host nation’s chances of winning the UIM Nations Cup.
The outcome meant that Team Italy would go head-to-head with Team Belarus to decide the outcome of Qatar’s UIM Nations Cup, with Team Russia’s challenge over for another year.
 
Sprint race 2
Paoletti completed the clean sweep with a start-to-finish victory in the second of the sprint races but that was not sufficient to clinch the UIM Nations Cup for Team Italy.
The Italian came under severe pressure for much of the race from Team Malaysia’s Mohammad Affendey bin Kadri but, when Team Belarus driver Dmitry Vandyshev  - who had replaced a tiring Ovchinnikov in the number 10 boat - was yellow carded from fifth position for dangerous driving, the contest looked to be settled in the Italian team’s favour. Gambi was struggling around the course at the rear of the field with engine issues, however, and his failure to score points handed the glory to Team Belarus by the narrowest of margins.
Behind Paoletti, Mohammad Affendey bin Kadri claimed second position and Roman Vandyshev found a way passed fourth-placed Al-Kuwari after eight of the 24 laps to seal third position. Alffian bin Kadri was fifth in the second Team Malaysia boat.
 
2014 Qatar Nations Cup – sprint race 1 result
1. Stefano Paoletti (ITA) Team Italy                                  32 laps              
2. Andrey Ovchinnikov (BLR) Team Belarus                              @2.28sec
3. Mohammad Affendey bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia          @3.45sec 
4. Dmitry Vandyshev (BLR) Team Belarus                              @4.79sec
5. Alffian Bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia                              1 lap behind          
6. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Team Qatar                    1 lap behind          
7. Marco Gambi  (ITA) Team Italy                                  3 laps behind         
 
2014 Qatar Nations Cup – sprint race 2 result
1. Stefano Paoletti (ITA) Team Italy                                  24 laps    
2. Mohammed bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia                    @3.47sec 
3. Roman Vandyshev (BLR) Team Belarus                              @46.56sec
4. Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) Team Qatar                    @50.30sec          
5. Alffian Bin Kadri (MAS) Team Malaysia                              @51.22sec          
6. Dmitry Vandyshev (BLR) Team Belarus                              RET         
7. Marco Gambi  (ITA) Team Italy                                  8 laps behind                                                           
2014 Qatar Nations Cup – final positions
1. Team Belarus                              108 pts
2. Team Italy                                  107 pts
3. Team Malaysia                              100 pts
4. Team Qatar                                61 pts
5. Team Russia                     36 pts
6. Team Lebanon                              0 pts
                        ****************

FRENCH CLEAN SWEEP....

DOHA (Qatar): The French trio of Teddy Pons, Jeremy Poret, Jennifer Menard and Slovenian Rok Florjancic won the second World Championship heats in the Runabout, Ski Division GP1, Ski Ladies GP1 and Freestyle categories at the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar on Doha Bay on Saturday.This meant that Frenchman Cyrille Lemoine, Poret, Menard and Rok Florjancic won the four respective categories when the two heats were added together over the two days of adrenalin-charged action off Doha Corniche.
Races were hosted by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
Qatar’s Sultan Al-Kuwari finished third for the second successive day behind the Slovenian Florjancic brothers in Freestyle to claim a similar position in the overall standings. Fellow countryman Waleed Al-Sharshani excelled in the Runabout category by finishing in a superb third position to confirm a similar place in the overall standings.
 After losing his chance of success with a black flag disqualification on Friday, Kuwait’s defending world champion Yousef Al-Abdulrazzaq needed a convincing performance in Runabout heat two and even then he was relying on Cyrille Lemoine failing to finish his heat and other front-runners having problems.
 But it was not to be; Al-Abdulrazzaq pulled out after lap 11 of heat two and second position for Lemoine in that heat was sufficient for the Frenchman to claim the Runabout GP win. Pons won the thrilling heat by just 0.89sec, with Qatar’s Al-Sharshani a mere 3.36sec behind the flying French duo.
Qatar’s Ahmad Al-Dawas reached the chequered flag in sixth place and Mohammed Al-Haidus had a disappointing day and was two laps down in unlucky 13th.
 Jeremy Poret had taken first blood in the Ski Division GP1 category in heat one from American Chris MacClugage and the Frenchman emerged at the front of the pack again after a thrilling nine-lap race on Saturday.
 His American rival was forced out with one lap to run and Spanish runner-up Nachete Armillas claimed second spot at the UIM-ABP Aquabike Grand Prix of Qatar by a single point from Portugal’s Tiago Sousa when the two heats were added together. But the Spaniard was later disqualified and his demise handed the position to Sousa. Ludovic Caumont, running in Doha on a Qatar licence, duly finished fourth on the day behind the Italian Alberto Monti. Caumont also confirmed third overall in Ski Division GP1.
Jennifer Menard had comfortably beaten rival ladies Estelle Poret and Marta Sorrentino on Friday and she was back at the head of the trio again on Saturday. Menard finished eight laps of the Ski Ladies GP1 race over a circuit ahead of runner-up Poret and Sorrentino to claim victory in Qatar.
Nac and Rok Florjancic continued their Freestyle duel in heat two on Saturday. Rok had been the class of the field in heat one and the Slovenian continued where he left off on Friday with another polished salvo of spectacular spins, twists, somersaults and turns to amass a score of 98 points to take victory in Qatar.
Brother Nac was the best of the rest with 84 points for second place to confirm the runner-up spot and 81 points was sufficient for Qatar’s Sultan Al-Kuwari to claim third position for the second day. Fahad Al-Hameli, Bader Al-Abdullah and Abdullah Al-Langawi finished the second heat in sixth, eighth and ninth.
Attention at the QMSF now turns to next week’s UIM Nations Cup and UIM F1 H20 World Championship, with free practice for Qatar’s second UIM Nations Cup taking centre stage on Monday on Doha Corniche.
                               **************                          

JHYDRO SET FOR DOHA LAUNCH...

UK-based Nauticpromo has signed an initial two-year agreement with the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) to run a new JHydro marine racing series in Doha.
 Two race weekends have been planned at the end of February and at the end of March. The programme will be run on behalf of Nauticpromo by the experienced American hydroplane racer J.W. Myers, who worked alongside the QMSF in February 2013 to give a select group of Qatari youngsters the opportunity to test a number of J Stock Hydros during the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship race weekend.
 “We are so proud to have been chosen by the QMSF to promote this programme,” enthused J.W. Myers, Racing Manager, Nauticpromo. “The ‘teaser’ event that was put on during the Oryx Cup was really successful and we look forward to developing the skills of these promising young Qatari racers.”
 One of those youngsters at the initial event in Doha Bay was Sheikh Nawaf bin Hassan Al-Thani, the son of QMSF President His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, and he will be one of the youngsters set to benefit from a full training programme with licensing, the aim being to teach youngsters, not only how to race but also to be respectful and professional in all aspects of race craft.
 “It is important that we continue to nurture and encourage young drivers to take up the sport and the J Hydro series will go a long way to putting the wheels in motion,” said Sheikh Hassan. “This is a fantastic opportunity for them to race and gain experience.”
  “Our ultimate goal is to see a Qatari competing at the highest level of hydroplane racing,” added J.W, Myers. “We thank His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani for giving us this opportunity and we admire his desire to grow Qatari racing from grass roots to the highest level.”
 The goal is to take the leading Qatari to a planned world championship event in the USA in 2014 and to hold the event in Doha in 2015.

Nauticpromo is a marketing solutions company based in the south of England. It is run by Sian Holley and specialises in producing unique marketing solutions for the marine industry.
                                      ***********************
QATAR TEAM EXTEND USA 'OPERATIONS'

DOHA (Qatar): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani confirmed in Doha today that the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) has signed an agreement with Florida-based Cigarette Racing to build a VIP boat to support the Spirit of Qatar Team’s 2014 American racing programme.
Located in the small town of Opa-Locka, Cigarette Racing is in the process of building a 38’ Top Gun VIP Edition for the Spirit of Qatar Team to use as a support boat for VIP guests, sponsors and media at rounds of Super Boat International (SBI) in 2014 and at November’s Key West World Championships. The new boat will be unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show in February.
“This is a new partnership that we have gained from racing in the USA and I think it will work well for both the QMSF and Cigarette Racing,” enthused Sheikh Hassan, the president of the QMSF. “QMSF requires a VIP boat to take out sponsors on race day and Cigarette offered their skills and know-how to build the boat to cater for our needs.”
Sheikh Hassan has yet to finalise the exact programme of events Stateside, but admitted that the Spirit of Qatar Team will continue to race in SBI and, of course, at Key West.
“We gained a huge fan base in America through our race programme in 2013 and we are proud of that. We will continue to build the relationship with the American fans. We hope to maintain our successes there and inform the fans about Qatar. We will continue to distribute publicity literature and brochures at each of the race venues.”
Hector Rodrigues, chief operation officer of Cigarette Racing - which has been building high-performance boats since 1969 – said: “We are delighted to be a part of this exciting venture and look forward to working with Sheikh Hassan and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation.”
Sheikh Hassan added: “Cigarette is one of the best brand names in the boating industry and I am sure that they will deliver a top class boat that will reflect the image of Qatar and the goals of the QMSF.”
The new 38’ Top Gun VIP Edition will be powered by twin Mercury Racing V8 engines.
The opening round of Super Boat International will be the 1st Annual Charlotte Harbour Super Boat Grand Prix in Florida on April 12-14th.
                                      *******************
'WORLD'S STAYING IN KEY WEST FOR 2014'..
Key West (December 19, 2013) – Super Boat International (SBI) announces the 34th Annual Key West World Championship’s will be held in Key West November 2nd – 9th, 2014. Members of SBI, Conch Republic Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (CROPRA) and city representatives met today to confirm next year’s event will stay in Key West.
“CROPRA has agreed and will seek financial committees and assistance from the community to refine the financial obligations to bring forward the races in 2014 and beyond,” comments Larry Bleil, President of CROPRA. All of the members present at today’s meeting expressed the need to make the event happen and to continue helping the retail service people of Key West.
John Carbonell, President of SBI comments on the recent support they have received. “I am happy that everything worked out today. We have received a lot of support from the City of Key West and from CROPRA. They are committed to increase sponsorship dollars and make the World Championships another successful event. We believe we are moving in a positive direction for this coming year and the future.”
“The Key West World Championship race is here for 2014 and a deal is pending for a total 5 years,” commented City Manager, Bob Vitas. Carbonell feels this commitment by the City Manager’s team and CROPRA is proof how important this event is to Key West. City Commissioner, Mark Rossi commented, “I am very happy all organizations are working together, not only to have this event stay here, but stay for a long time. Everyone seems to be working closely together.” Commissioner Rossi and the City Manager, Vitas, discussed the upcoming plans for the Truman Waterfront property and highlighted the plans for phase 1. The changes coming in 2014 would pose limited obstruction for the race site.
“We have been looking at other sites, specifically Clearwater, and Frank Chivas (Clearwater Promoter) has been very supportive for the people involved in the Key West discussions. Chivas comments, “I have the upmost respect for the Key West World’s and those involved and if the Worlds can’t be in Key West, Florida… we want it here in Clearwater.”
Carbonell continued, “This event is very important to the city and county and we feel that this site is as equally important to our fans and race teams. We are committed through 2014 and hopefully beyond. It’s up to CROPRA and the city to meet the financial expectations and commitments set forth in today’s meeting that will help secure our commitment for future years.” No financial terms and obligations are available at this time.
                                       *******************
CARELLA KEEPS HIS COOL!!...

Qatar’s Alex Carella led from start-to-finish to seal a third successive UIM F1 H2O World Championship title with a stunning victory in Friday’s Grand Prix of Sharjah. 
Defending initial pressure from team-mate Shaun Torrente and then from race runner-up Phillipe Chiappe, Carella held his nerve to reach the chequered flag 1.98 seconds in front of the Frenchman. Torrente finished third to confirm second position in the world championship.
There were to be no Friday the 13th gremlins on this occasion with Carella duly entering the history books with his third world title. Italian racing legend Guido Cappellini was the last man to win three successive world titles between 2001 and 2003.
Finland’s Sami Selio’s slim chance of a third world title went with technical problems on lap 22 leaving the door open for Team Abu Dhabi’s Ahmed Al-Hameli to finish 4th. Fellow Emirati Thani Al-Qamzi and Italian Francesco Cantando rounding off the top six.
 “This was a superb performance by the entire team. I am so happy right now,” said Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
 “Congratulations to Alex on his superb drive and also to Shaun, who pushed him all the way. It was another tremendous season for everyone at the QMSF and I would like to thank Sheikh Hassan for his support and all our team for their hard work. We have now won the last three world titles. This is a superb achievement for everyone connected with the Qatar Team.”
The Sharjah showdown
Selio’s BaBa was too badly damaged in Thursday’s Q2 accident to be used in the race, but team mate Filip Roms – who had qualified in seventh position – offered the Finnish championship leader his boat and Selio duly took his place down the grid in 13th position, with Carella, Torrente and Chiappe leading the way at the front.
The UIM also decided to throw out Chiappe’s appeal against his Qatar disqualification on Friday morning and the race began without the cloud of an appeal hanging over the racers’ heads.
Carella made a superb start and surged into a commanding lead through lap one. His lead was up to 2.13 seconds through lap two as Selio moved up from 13th to eighth. Carella continued to edge away from Torrente and the lead was up to 3.16 seconds through lap five of 38, but the American trimmed that lead back to 2.5 seconds after lap six.
Yousef Al-Rubayan was forced to run a drive-through penalty lap and this lifted Selio to seventh, as Carella continued to hold off Torrente and Chiappe at the front of the field. The defending World Champion’s lead was 2.04 seconds at one-third distance, but Torrente began to edge further clear of Chiappe.
Carella’s lead was 3.32 seconds at the halfway point and Torrente was running over two and a half seconds in front of Chiappe. Selio maintained seventh, but was unable to make in-roads into Thani Al-Qamzi’s hold on sixth place.
Chiappe began to pressurise Torrente for second and the gap was 1.52 seconds after lap 22 and the Frenchman managed to pass Torrente and snatch second as Selio ground to a halt on the course and lost his chance of winning the world title. It was now Carella against Chiappe and Torrente for the world championship.
Chiappe had reduced Carella’s lead to 4.3 seconds through lap 27, but Torrente began to drop behind and the title pendulum swung in Carella’s favour. The Italian held his nerve after intense pressure from Chiappe late on to reach the chequered flag and claim the coveted third title.
Torrente had topped the morning’s practice times with a flying 47.11sec tour of the course during 25 laps on the water. Carella ran for 13 laps and posted the fifth quickest time.
                      *************************
 15th Grand Prix of Sharjah – race result
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                        38 laps              
2. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team                           @1.98 sec              
3. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                                  @26.64 sec                   
4. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                          L1      
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                             L2
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team           L3      
7. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Singha F1 Racing Team               L3
8. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team                    L3                   
9. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team                      L4
 
2013 UIM F1 H20 Championship – final positions
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                        80 pts     
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                                 74 pts     
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team                           69 pts
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                   64 pts          
5. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team                    29 pts  
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                            29 pts     
7. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan                        27 pts  
8. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica                                 18 pts   
9. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team          17 pts
10. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                       16 pts
11. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team                    11 pts
12. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                 10 pts
                *********************


DOHA (Qatar): Qatar Teams duo Alex Carella and Shaun Torrente produced a stunning spectacle of driving to dominate the 10th Grand Prix of Qatar in Doha Bay on Saturday. The pair was the class of the entire field and looked set for a spectacular 1-2 finish until the fourth round of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship ended in dramatic circumstances three laps from the end. Torrente collided with American Terry Rinker and the latter’s spectacular crash forced a yellow flag situation, during which Carella ground to a halt with mechanical issues. The race finished under the yellow with Torrente leading from Sweden’s Jonas Andersson and Frenchman Phillipe Chiappe. Torrente was duly handed the victory in the provisional results and at the podium - pending any potential appeal from a rival team - and he will have to wait a little longer to celebrate his first ever official F1 win. If the results are declared final, the American will take a four-point championship lead over Chiappe to Abu Dhabi next weekend, with Carella a further four points adrift in third. 
“This was a classic racing accident and it can happen in any form of marine sports,” said Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), on the subject of the Torrente collision. “It was a very exciting end to a race that both our Qatar drivers controlled from the start. The outcome also means we have a very exciting finish to the season in prospect in the UAE now at the last two races in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.”
Carella and Torrente had the perfect starting positions for their home Grand Prix, as they lined up side-by-side at the front of the grid as a large crowd eagerly awaited the start on Doha Bay. Both started superbly, but Carella was in sensational form and he began to pull away from Torrente and lapped a struggling Paul Shepard at the end of the second lap. Joint championship leader Sami Selio hit trouble on the run out to the first turn buoy after a collision, which also sidelined Francesco Cantando at the start of the 38-lap race.
 
Carella had extended his advantage over Torrente to 5.34 seconds through lap eight and that margin grew to 7.28 seconds after lap 11. Carella lost a little time in traffic and Torrente reduced the deficit to 6.27 seconds through lap 15. The American was now on a charge and he continued to eat into Carella’s lead. The margin was just 5.75 seconds heading into lap 17. By halfway, Carella led by 2.14 seconds from Torrente and Andersson, Chiappe and Al-Qamzi completed the top five. The Qatar Team duo were now in a class of their own and enjoying their own spectacle in front of the home crowd on Doha Bay. The Qatar pairing had now lapped everyone up to fifth position ad began to close in on lapping Al-Qamzi. He passed the Emirati on lap 27 and headed out into clear water with an overall lead of 2.96 seconds with 11 laps remaining. With eight laps to go the gap between the two QMSF-backed drivers was just 3.44 seconds. Rinker spectacularly barrel-rolled out of contention when he collided with Torrente with three laps remaining and the race finished under a yellow flag with Torrente confirming his first provisional GP win in dramatic circumstances when Carella ground to a halt.
 
2013 Grand Prix of Qatar – provisional results (unofficial @ 17.00hrs)
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                              38 laps              
2. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan                     L1         
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team                        L1
4. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team                 L1
5. Duarte Benavente (PRT) F1 Atlantic Team                    L1                         
6. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica                              L1      
7. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                L2
8. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                      RET
9. Rinaldo Osculati (ITA) Team Nautica                             L5
10. Terry Rinker (USA) Team Aerbaijan                             RET
 
2013 UIM F1 H20 Championship – positions after round 4 (unofficial)
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                              55 pts     
2. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team                        51 pts
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                     47 pts     
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team               44 pts          
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan                    27 pts, etc
              ******************
WHAT AN AMAZING FINAL DAY IN KEY WEST!!!

Qatar 96 clinch World Turbine title
Geico win World Unlimited title
WHM triumph in 750GP thriller 

Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis retired after an on-board fire in round three of the 33rd Annual Key West Super Boat World Championships on Sunday afternoon, but the points the Al Adaa’am 96 crew amassed from the three races were sufficient to pip the crew of Miss Mary Mac to the Turbine class World Championship title.
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and throttleman Matteo Nicolini finished their third race in second position to claim an unofficial second place in the Superboat Unlimited class and Marc Granet and Scott Begovich (Miss Geico) capatilised from the withdrawal of CMS with mechanical problems to win the race and secure the Unlimited title. A delighted  Granet said "Practice and preparation paid off today, we got exactly what we deserved". 
The Qatar Team fixed the persistent fuel problems that had plagued Spirit of Qatar 20 all week and Ali Al-Neama and American Billy Moore delivered a sensational performance in their final race. After passing Stihl to take second they became embroiled in a superb tussle with WHM Motorsports and managed to pass their rivals to win the race and unofficially finish third in the Superboat World Championship’s final standings behind WHM and Stihl.
“Ali and Billy had their fair share of problems this week but they delivered a superb performance today to take the win in Superboat,” said a delighted Sheikh Hassan. “To pull that win out of the bag from running third was a great achievement. It was not easy for them, but they kept the pressure on and made the boat run faster each lap. I knew it was a matter of time before they passed WHM.”
Double points on offer over double the distance for the races was the order of the day for the third and final round of the Key West World Championships. Crews were scheduled to race for 120 kilometres over 17.75 laps of the course.
Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis needed only to cross the start line in Al Adaa’am 96 to confirm the Turbine class title, while Al-Attiyah and Nicolini reached the start of their Superboat Unlimited race lying third in the points’ standings (407.5 pts) behind Miss Geico (475 pts) and CMS (452.5 pts).
Spirit of Qatar 20 held seventh position in the Superboat class after ongoing fuel starvation problems, but Stihl and WHM Motorsports started as the firm favourites to claim the title when they lined up at the start of the third race. Stihl held a 50-point lead over their rivals as the green flag was waved in the absence of both Warpaint and Burger Fi.
WHM almost made a jumpstart but surged ahead of Stihl, Spirit of Qatar 20, Broadco and a spluttering JD Byrider through the first lap. As the race progressed Spirit of Qatar began to close in on WHM and Stihl, with Broadco in fourth and JD Byrider in fifth. Al-Neama and Moore managed to pass Stihl and snatch second, but the Key West class leaders passed the Qatar MTi to regain second. The Qatar boat was on song for the first time this week and Al-Neama and Moore regained second position and began to close in on WHM. A thrilling tussle developed between the two boats, once Stihl retired, and they raced side-by-side for several laps before the Qatar crew managed to sneak through and move into a useful lead. Spirit of Qatar 20 lapped Broadco, as WHM eased slightly to confirm the Superboat world title. 
Milton Kalafell replaced Richard Chaney alongside John Arruda in Miss Mary Mac, but it was Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis who snatched the early lead in the turbine race once the course had been shortened to avoid a stray turtle. CMS moved into an early lead in the Superboat Unlimited category from Miss Geico, Marine Concepts, Spirit of Qatar and Alex & Ani. Al Adaa’am 96 continued to pull away from Miss Mary Mac but the run of bad luck continued for Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis on the next lap, when they were forced out with an onboard fire at turn one.
Miss Geico inherited the lead in Superboat Unlimited when CMS retired and Marine Concepts climbed to second, with Spirit of Qatar 613 and Alex & Ani moving into third and fourth.
Miss Geico managed to pass Miss Mary Mac to take the overall lead and the crew held on to reach the chequered flag and secure the Superboat Unlimited championship. Spirit of Qatar 613 passed Marine Concepts to secure second position before Marine Concepts withdrew with overheating issues and eventually caught fire as well.
One incredible day!!!
For full championship results visit www.superboat.com
                                 ***************
CMS BY A 'CATS' WHISKER..

CMS/MISS GEICO CLASH WOWS HUGE KEY WEST CROWD.
Bob Bull and Randy Scism put up a blockbusting performance at the Super Boat Key West GP week to secure a flag to flag victory ahead of Miss Geico putting themselves right back on track for the title after the second of 3 races. Marine Concepts was third
In another day of attrition for the World beating Qatar Team, World rally star Nasser Al Attiyah was once again left to fly their flag as Sheikh Hassan’s new Turbine powered Al-Adaa’am 96 (Spirit of Qatar) and Ali al Neamas 750GP No20 Spirit of Qatar both failed to finish – It was desperately unlucky for Al Neama and throttleman Billy Moore, the fuel gremlin that attacked them on Wednesday returned after they had made their way up to 4th place following a collision at the start with Warpaint.
A power steering failure did for Sheikh Hassan but he and throttleman Steve Curtis remain in good shape to lift their world title on Sunday.
The race action was thrilling with Miss Geico, controversially baulked at the start, making their way up from the back to finish a couple of boat lengths behind the ‘Flying CMS’. An angry Marc Granet (Geico) said after the race ‘This aint over yet what happened at the start was wrong and I intend to do something about it’. Their was another brave performance from Nasser Al Attiyah (also blocked in opening kilometer) weaving his way up to third before being pipped on the line by ‘Marine Concepts. Together with Throttleman Mateo Nicolini Al Attiyah proved once again he’s got exactly what it takes to make the ‘Top Rung’ in the sport.
There was controversy in the 750GP class too, in addition to Warpaint clattering into Qatar 20 Billy Mauffs WHM exchanged paint with JR Nobles Stihl at turn 3 on lap4 resulting in the latter taking the lead which he never relinquished but all that coming after Noble had bitterly complained Mauff was unfairly pushing him out on the turns. Jury still out on that one!
The championship concludes on Sunday and with double points over double distance it remains winner takes all across every class.  
                                   *******************   
STUNNING DEBUT FOR AL-ATTIYAH

Nasser Al Attiyah on his way to a superb second overall placing

Nasser Al-Attiyah was left to fly the Qatar flag in the opening round of the Superboat World Championships in Key West Florida after the teams other two entries suffered untimely breakdowns.
In his very first Grand Prix the World Rally star showed an uncanny level of race craft and great courage in rough seas to fight back after a poor start had left him trailing at the back. Alongside co-driver Matteo Nicolini in the cockpit, Al-Attiyah began his fight back on lap one and by lap3 was chasing down leaders Miss Geico. In the end catching the American team was to prove to be one hurdle too many but their remarkable effort to do so was the highlight of an action packed opening round of three to be held here this week.
The other Qatar boats fell to mechanical problems when leading. Sheikh Hassan Al Thani’s mighty turbine powered Al-Adaa’am 96 (Spirit of Qatar) was on course for a spectacular overall win when a drive joint on one of his two T53 engines failed and he was forced to retire. It hands the inititive to Marc Granet's Geico in the big USA vs Qatar stakes but Hassan has vowed to fight back telling the american 'There are two races to go and plenty left in the Qatar tank to secure the Top Gun title, this is not over yet'   
Ali Al Neama Qatar 20 was similarly unlucky in the 750GP race when a faulty fuel filter also ended his challenge at the halfway point. That race was a triumph for the newly crowned USA National Champions JR Noble and Grant Bruggeman (Stihl), they struck with an impressive final 20 miles to ensure victory over last years winners here WHM (Billy Mauff and Jay Muller).
With two races still left to go this week and double points riding on Sundays Grand Prix shoot out it’s still all to play for every team in this fascinating annual world contest.
                                        *******************
HIGH NOON AT 'THE KEYS' 

Sheikh Hassan prepares for battle with great rival Marc Granet

DOHA (Qatar): Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and arch American rival Marc Granet are counting the days to their potentially explosive showdown at the three-race 33rd Annual Key West Super Boat World Championships, taking place in Florida from November 6-10.
 If the first thrilling duel between the two arch rivals in Clearwater was anything to go by, the two offshore racers are set to thrill thousands of fans present in Key West and many more watching Super Boat International’s (SBI) live web streaming with some side-by-side on-water racing at break-neck speeds.
 It is advantage Qatar in the psychological stakes after the first round. Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis took to the water for the second time in their turbine-engined Al-Adaa’am 96 (Spirit of Qatar) off the coast of Clearwater and Al-Adaa’am 96 swapped the lead with Granet and Scott Begovich in Miss Geico for the opening few turns with both boats even making physical contact at one point.
The turbine boat seemed to hold the upper hand down the straights, but a determined start by Granet and Begovich ensured that the duel was the highlight of the Clearwater weekend until the Americans spun out of contention on lap three and left the door open for the Qatar Marine Sports Federation-backed Spirit of Qatar Team to power through to the chequered flag.
Bruised, but even more determined to exact revenge on his Qatari rival, Granet has not been backed into a corner and is determined to come out fighting in a bid to exact revenge and win the first of the three Key West races on November 6.
 “We know that Marc will come out fighting,” said an excited Sheikh Hassan. “But we have more to give and will test again in Key West to make sure that we are fully prepared. This is a three-race format, so we need to make sure that we make no mistakes in the first one to give us the best chance for the final race (November 10). I am sure that is the same for everyone.
 “Marc is the big target. We are sure to be racing against each other in that important final race and there is so much at stake. Steve and I won the Key West World Championships last year and that is our goal again.”
Marc Granet is also relishing the contest: “When you are on top, you always have a target on your back. At Team USA we are used to it! Last year’s race was a great window into the intense action between the teams.
 “With another 1000hp each packed into our boats, this year’s competition will be even faster. We have been testing for two weeks and have two more tests before the first race in Key West. We have fresh power and a plan that we will execute with military-like precision.
“Sheikh Hassan forgets we have more seat time in racing a turbine Mystic offshore boat than anyone. We know its strengths and its weaknesses. We’ll use that knowledge to go after the ultimate offshore trophy – first overall, Top Gun, in Key West!”
Testing for the first of the three races starts on November 5, with the three sets of three races in the various classes taking place on November 6, 8 and 10.
                                  ****************** 
'KING CARELLA RULES'..

After Sheikh Hassan’s spectacular Superboat ‘Cake Walk’ in America on Sunday Qatar's other world champion Alex Carella adds the icing with a stunning flag to flag F1H2O win in China. 
Carella and team mate Torrente held pole positions at the start of the 38-lap race and managed to stay out in front until the yellow flag was raised on lap2 following an incident involving China’s Xiong Ziwei.
Racing resumed on lap six Carella staying 2.33 seconds in front of Torrente through lap seven with both Selio and Chiappe close astern in third and fourth. Duarte Benavente and Francesco Cantando had already retired.
Torrente though hit electrical trouble before halfway, and slipped down the order as Selio took up the challenge behind Qatar’s defending world champion. The Finn trailed Carella by just four seconds after 19 laps, Torrente recovered to hold seventh place in the running order. The championship leader was now on a charge after his earlier problems and passed Yousef Al-Rubayan to claim sixth. Carella retained a 3.09-second overall lead over Selio after lap 26 of 38.
Torrente then began closing on both Andersson and Al-Qamzi in his quest for fourth behind Carella, Selio and Chiappe. With seven laps to run, Carella’s lead was trimmed to just 1.6 seconds and Torrente was finding it difficult to pass Andersson and snatch fifth position.
Carella managed to hold on and reached the chequered flag for his first win of the season and a joint lead in the championship. Selio was second and Chiappe crossed the line in third. Torrente could not find a way to overtake either Al-Qamzi or Andersson and finished sixth.
 2013 Grand Prix of China – results
1. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                        38 laps
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team               + 1.45 sec              
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team                        + 3.84 sec
4. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                         + 38.26 sec         
5. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan                     + 43.81 sec                   
6. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                               + 46.95 sec
7. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team                 +1 lap behind
8. Bartek Marszalek (POL) Singha F1 Racing Team            +2 laps behind
9. Filip Roms (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team                 +2 laps behind
10. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                     +2 laps behind          
                       **************

THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINE!!

CLEARWATER (USA): The 5000 spectator boats and 50,000 spectators lining the beaches formed an astonishing arena as Qatar’s Sheikh Hassan Al-Thani and Steve Curtis blasted their way to an emphatic victory in Sunday’s 5th Annual Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championships - the final round of eight. With the vast crowd noisily cheering them on around each lap it was akin to being in a huge football stadium – quite extraordinary 
The Al Adaa’am (Spirit of Qatar 96) crew were involved in a frantic tussle over the early laps with Marc Granet and Scott Begovich (Miss Geico). The lead changing on 3 times before the American duo spun their boat out of second position and retired.
From then on, the Al Adaa’am crew provided a racing master crushing all before them to take a second successive SBI win.
“The race was very close for the first laps,” said Sheikh Hassan. “They (Miss Geico) ran into the right side of our boat and we lost a couple of seconds due to the incident. But we pushed hard for two laps and overtook them on lap three and didn’t look back after that. We continued to push until the crew contacted us and told us that Miss Geico had spun out. We then slowed down slightly and cruised to the finish.” 
Team Stihl stayed clear of WHM Motorsports and Spirit of Qatar 20 in the quest for the Superboat title, as the three held station to the chequered flag in the last race Stateside before the Key West World Championships in November. The victory for Stihl earned them the unofficial Superboat title from their WHM rivals by a mere 7 points.
Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama and American throttleman Billy Moore continued their impressive form in the second boat entered by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) finishing third behind Stihl and WHM Motorsports
At the end of the National season it also underlines what a future this particular 750 class holds. With a leader board that has constantly changed through 8 rounds and with a guaranteed eight boats turning out for the worlds in Key West this affordable division has a golden opportunity of becoming the bedrock of big boat racing globally for many years to come.

For full results visit www.superboat.com
                         *****************
SHANE UP FOR THE DOUBLE AS DAVID BOWS OUT'...

SAN DIEGO (USA): 95 Spirit of Qatar’s Kip Brown rounded off a successful season of H1 Unlimited racing for the Doha team by finishing fourth in the points at the San Diego Bayfair in California on Sunday despite being disqualified from a thrilling final on a technical violation.
But he would always play second fiddle on a day when Steve David announced his retirement after 44 years of racing, and Jimmy Shane (No5 Graham Trucking) was up for the double by adding the National High Points title to his Oryx Cup world title. David (No1 Oh Boy Oberto) headed to Mission Bay with a tiny 43-point lead in the series and the outcome went right down to the final heat where he lined up with a 163-point lead over Shane. David moved from lane two to lane one in front of Shane on the approach to the start of the final and Shane’s boat lifted through David’s rooster tail. David led for all five laps on the water from then on and appeared to have done enough to clinch the Bayfair win and the championship title, but the start was under review and a photo image proved that he had jumped the gun and crossed the line too soon. The one lap penalty demoted David to the back of the field before penalties during the technical inspection lifted him back to fourth. But it was enough for Shane to clinch the Bayfair win and the National High Points title by the narrowest of margins.
“This has just been an incredible experience driving for this team,” said Shane. “I always know I can drive the boat as hard as I need to because they are going to have everything working right.”
Shane and David were drawn in separate heats for the first runs on Saturday and both added to their tallies by earning 400 points for taking wins in heats 1A and 1B. Brown steered 95 Spirit of Qatar to second position in heat 1B and Mike Webster was third. David had earlier won the qualifying session from Shane and Brown and headed into Sunday’s showdown with a lead of just 63 points in the National High Points championships.
David began Sunday well and he pipped Shane to the chequered flag in heat 2A to extend his lead to 163 points. David won again in 3A and Shane reached the line first in 3B, meaning that the outgoing champion from Lighthouse Point in Florida needed to finish second or higher in the final heat to seal the championship again. Brown won heat 2B and finished second in heat 3B before the ill-fated final saw him disqualified on a technical violation and Shane claim the title after David was adjudged to have jumped the start.

Results for Heat Final
1)    5 Graham Trucking/Jimmy Shane 145.756mph 400pts
2)    11Miss Peters & May/Tommy Thompson 132.657mph  300pts
3)    14 MissDi Julio/Greg Hopp  126.587mph  225pts
4)    1 Oh Boy Oberto/Steve David 124.293mph  169pts
5)     22 Big 5 Sporting Goods/Mike Webster DNF
DSQ 95 Spirit of Qatar/Kip Brown
                                        *****************
'SHEIKH HASSAN WOWS MANHATTAN'...

NEW YORK (USA): H.E.Sheikh Hassan Al-Thani and Steve Curtis drove their stunning new turbine raceboat (Al Adaa’am (96) to a scintilating win in Sunday’s 23rd Annual New York Super Boat Grand Prix on the Hudson River.
The 3600 horsepower turbine-powered 50’ Mystic boat, which is also called Spirit of Qatar 96, was the class act of the entire field lapping the 2nd placed boat 3 times. 
Ali Al-Neama teaming up with throttleman Billy Moore for the first time in Spirit of Qatar 20 reached the finish line second in their Superboat class, which is rapidly developing into a fascinating contest between Team WHM Motorsports and Team Stihl. Stihl won the race on this occasion to set up the BIG showdown at the final round of the series in Clearwater. Qatar 20 could also play a big part in where the Champoions Trophy finishes up as they hunt down JD Byrider for 3rd spot. 
After testing on the Hudson on Saturday, teams lined up for the 23rd Annual New York Super Boat Grand Prix at 11.00hrs local time to avoid a clash with a 9/11 memorial scheduled for 1pm.
Against a stunning backdrop of Manhattan Island, the field was split into two groups - Turbine, Unlimited, and Superboat in group one, with Superboat Extreme and Vee Classes lining up for the second start on the four-mile circuit. 
Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis (96) cruised into the lead down the first straight, with Team Stihl leading the Superboat class from Spirit of Qatar 20 and Team WHM Motorsports.
Al Adaa’am (96) continued to pull away from the rest of the field as the 21-lap race progressed with Team Stihl maintaining their advantage in the Superboat class from Spirit of Qatar 20, once Team WHM Motorsport had withdrawn with steering issues.
 
The final round of Superboat International (SBI) takes place at Clearwater on September 27-29.
                                     ****************
'JUGGERNAUT JIMMY' KEEPS ON TRUCKIN'...

'Juggernaut Jimmy' (5 Graham Trucking) powers all the way to the top of the podium at the 2013 Coeur d’Alene Diamond cup.

The 28 year old new dad from Havre de Grace,  Maryland made it two wins in a row, following up his win at the Albert Lee Cup at Seattle Seafai r in early August with a dramatic victory in the Diamond Cup Championship Final as Unlimited Hydroplanes returned to Coeur d’Alene after an absence of 45 years.
Shane used the inside advantage – secured before the start – to hold off a challenge from J. Michael Kelly in the 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing.  After a review of the start, Kelly was ruled to have jumped the start clock.  That set the Beacon driver back from second place to fifth and moved Steve David up to third in the 1 Oh Boy! Oberto.
David, one of the pre-race favorites, found himself in an outside lane at the start and back a bit from Shane and Kelly and was only able to move up to second on the water before the call on Kelly moved him up the final ladder.
For Shane, who in the words of David, has become the “guy to beat in the Unlimited ranks,”  it was a perfect weekend.  First place in qualifying and four heat wins added 1700 points for the weekend and pretty much erased David’s lead in season high points.
On the awards stage, Shane said, “I just want to thank Ted Porter  for letting me be a part of this great team.  Rob Graham our sponsor was here and when we win for him it’s always special, and the crew that gave me such a great race boat.  We knew it would be rough on the big lake and the winner would be the last man standing.  I go out and drive as hard as I can and sometimes it works out.”
In a Sunday prelim, the Oberto lost a prop leaving the pit area and failed to score points giving Shane an opportunity  to make up most of the advantage David had before the Diamond Cup in 2013 season high points.  David’s 43 point lead Sunday night means the two are in a virtual tie. David said, “I think we are going to the final race of the season with the closest points race in history.”
On returning to Coeur d’Alene after the long hiatus, David added, “What a great place for us to race.  The city and the people have been great and you could not ask for a more beautiful setting.”
A strong weekend in the 95 Spirit of Qatar for Kip Brown put him third as he also benefited from the call on Kelly.  Tom Thompson was fourth in the 11 Peters & May but recorded a fuel flow violation, moving rookie Jessie Robertson up to fourth in the 57 FEDCO.
Next stop for the H1 Unlimited Series will be on San Diego’s Mission Bay September 13-15.
                                    ****************
The return of the 'Likely Lads'......

Norway’s Pål Virik Nilsen and Australian Tom Barry-Cotter are to return to Offshore racing when they pair up in the newly established ”Dubai Duty Free” team for the WPPA X-cat series. The duo will make their debut at the Italian GP in Stresa ,29th august – 1st September.
‘I am very excited about this opportunity with Dubai Duty Free to join the XCAT world tour’ says Pål ‘Its a series I have always dreamed to race, but it has never been possible due to other racing commitments and team contracts. Now finally the time is here and I really look forward to the challenge. To race with Tom again is just a big bonus too, we have a long history racing offshore together and we get along well on and off the race track. Its great we can continue our partnership again since our last race together was in Class-1 Australia 2010.
Pal (throttleman) and Tom (driver) will race a Victory team built 7,5 meter catamaran with twin mercury V6 ,2,5 L outboards producing approx 600HP. The boat has a top speed of around 200 km/h depending on set up and propeller choice.
                                  ****************

WORLD RALLY LEGEND JOINS QATAR TEAM FOR KEY WEST POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP...

DOHA (QATAR): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani today (Saturday) announced that the Arab world’s number one rally driver Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah will join the Qatar Team in November’s Key West World Championships in Florida.
At a press conference held in Doha today, Sheikh Hassan, the president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), confirmed that Al-Attiyah will team up with his former Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini and enter the Key West races in a Mercury-engined set-up boat. There are three races during the Key West festival, which takes place on November 3-10.
 “I am delighted to welcome Nasser aboard our team as our ‘wingman’,” enthused Sheikh Hassan, who clinched the Key West World Championship title with Steve Curtis in 2012 and is hoping for a repeat in Al Adaa’am 96 this year.
 “He has been a great ambassador for motor sport and Qatar in recent years for his remarkable achievements in rally cars and we are both looking forward to Key West and the challenges that lie ahead for both of us. Nasser is excited about the new challenge and, in Matteo, he has an experienced team-mate to help him learn the ropes.”
On a global scale, Al-Attiyah is the most successful Arab rally driver of all time. An outright winner of the punishing Dakar Rally in 2011, Al-Attiyah has also won 48 FIA Middle East Rally Championship events, eight regional titles in the past 10 years and numerous cross-country rallies around the globe.
The Qatari also won the FIA Production World Rally Championship in 2006 and the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in 2008. His career-best finish in the FIA World Rally Championship was fourth in the Rally of Portugal.
Away from rally driving, Al-Attiyah is a keen follower of many forms of sport and is also a prolific shooter. He represented Qatar at the 2004 Olympic Games in clay pigeon shooting and came fourth. At London 2012, he won the bronze medal for Qatar after a shoot-off against Valeriy Shomin and he has also featured strongly in several Asian Games.
“I spoke with Sheikh Hassan during the Sealine Rally in Qatar in April where my team used his workshop for the race,” said Al-Attiyah. “I saw all the boats and we discussed things and he suggested that I should take part in a race. It sounded like a great idea and we both agreed it would be good for the media to see a rally driver taking part in a boat race and it went on from there.
“I am really looking forward to it. I will take part in the Key West race and then the plan is to join the team again at the new Qatar Cup next year.”
The QMSF-backed Qatar Team is hoping to field three boats at the Key West World Championships in November.
Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis will be hoping for success in their new turbine-engined Al Adaa’am 96. Al-Attiyah and Nicolini will drive the second boat and Ali Al-Neama and a yet-to-be-decided partner will be present in Spirit of Qatar 20 entered in the competitive Superboat category. Mohammed Al-Nasser has XCat racing commitments in China.
                                           ***************** 
WITH A LITTLE HELF FROM HIS FRIENDS....

With a little help from his friends, Jimmy Shane combined the inside advantage, boat speed and brilliant driving to hold off defending Seafair champion Steve David (1) Oh Boy! Oberto and put Graham Trucking (5) on the top podium spot at Sunday's Albert Lee Appliance Cup, Lake Washington, Seattle
The help from friends came during the scoring up for the Championship Final Heat when Graham had secured lane one and was joined in lane two by Kip Brown in the 95 Spirit of Qatar in lane two and J. Michael Kelly in the 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing who took lane three, forcing David out to lane four.
David was asked about all the “kids” taking the good lanes and forcing him out to four and replied, “Yes I think we might have had a shot at him from lane two but four was just too far out.  I made a run to catch him once I got over into two but he’s just too fast to catch if he’s that far ahead.”
95 Spirit of Qatar’s Kip Brown finished third in a final where Jimmy Shane denied Steve David his fourth win. David was the man to beat over race weekend though extending his advantage in the National High Points standings.
David won qualifying and all three of his race heats to claim 1600 valuable points. Brown finished second with 1174 points, a mere four points in front of winner Shane.
In light rain on Friday afternoon Brown, who is backed by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, qualified 95 Spirit of Qatar in second position behind Steve David. David won the session with an average speed of 152.229mph, and Brown’s run of 149.031mph demoted Shane and Zimmerman to third and fourth.
David and Mike Webster went on to win the first of the heats on Saturday. David drove around the outside of J. Michael Kelly and Brian Perkins to steal a march on his rivals in heat 1A and held on to the chequered flag from Kelly, Perkins and fourth-placed Mark Evans.
Zimmerman and Brown looked set to battle for honours in 1B, but officials ruled that both had jumped the start clock and they were demoted to fourth and fifth. Jimmy Shane was unable to take the start so up-stepped Webster in 22 (Boitano Homes presents Performance Tools) to claim the heat win. 
Shane emerged victorious in heat 2A in a close heat from Brown with David holding off Kelly to snatch 2B. Brown ran well in 3A to take the maximum 400 points after seeing off the advances of Shane and Mark Evans. Kelly was fourth and Brian Perkins ran fifth. David won his third successive heat in 3B.
In the Final Shane gained inside advantage holding off David to take the chequered flag and the fourth win of his career. Brown finished third and Kelly was fourth with Jon Zimmerman, Mike Webster and Jamie Nilsen completing the field.
Final result:
1) 5 Graham Trucking Jimmy Shane
2) 1 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David
3) 95 Spirit of Qatar Kip Brown
4) 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing J. Michael Kelly
5) 9 Fox Plumbing & Heating presents Team RedDOT powered by Les Schwab Tires Jon Zimmerman
6) 22 Boitano Homes presents Performance Tool Mike Webster
7) 48 Snoqualmie Casino Jamie Nilsen

The next round will be the Diamond Cup at Coeur d’Alene in Idaho on August 30-Setember 1.
                                ****************
'OH BOY' IT'S OBERTO AGAIN..

Honours at the Tri-Cities Lamb Weston Columbia Cup fell to Steve David Oh Boy! Oberto (1), shadowed to the finish of a tactical final showdown by title rival and defending Colombia Cup champion Jimmy Shane(5) Graham Trucking. Kip Brown Spirit of Qatar(95) arrived at the ‘score-up’ buoy too early and was relegated to seventh place in a final where Jon Zimmerman was awarded third position.
David arrived at the Kennewick race weekend with a 183-point National High Points’ lead over Jimmy Shane. Jon Zimmerman was third with Kip Brown a close fourth. The Lighthouse Point driver extended that by 50 points by winning Friday’s qualifying session with an average speed of 158.766 mph. Shane battled against a fuel problem and this left the door open for Zimmerman to take second and Kip Brown to seal 70 points for third in 95 Spirit of Qatar.
Shane and David won the first of the heats on Saturday. Shane got the better of Zimmerman to add a maximum points haul to his tally but Kip Brown parked 95 Spirit of Qatar in lane one early in heat 1B before reaching the score-up buoy, only for David to take the lead from lane three. Brown managed to hold off a challenge from J. Michael Kelly to seal second position.
David cruised to victory over Zimmerman in heat 2A, but 2B was stopped when Kelly flipped 37 Beacon Plumbing as he entered turn two outside Shane and Brown. The boat was severely damaged in the crash. Shane led from Brown at the restart and held on to take the chequered flag.
Shane and David were drawn together in 3A and the former held his line to perfection to see off his great rival. Zimmerman was third and Brian Perkins was fourth.
Kelly Stocklin replaced Ryan Mallow in 100 Leland Unlimited for heat 3B and the rookie was racing Mike Webster for fourth place when he flipped on the back straight. The boat rotated 360 degrees in the crash and the heat was stopped. Two laps had been completed, however, and Brown was deemed the winner from Tommy Thompson and Mark Evans.
David leaves Tri-Cities having extended his National High Points lead over Shane by another 50 points. Brown amassed 1141 points over race weekend and is third.
 
Next round is the Albert Lee Cup at the Seattle Seafair, Lake Washington this weekend (August 2/4th).
                            ***************

CHIAPPE CRACKS THE WINNING F1H2O CODE
 VYSHGOROD (Ukraine): Frenchman Phillippe Chiappe has secured a maiden F1H2O victory at the end of a thrill laden Grand Prix of Ukraine in Kiev on Saturday evening.  Qatar’s Shaun Torrente and defending UIM F1 H20 World Champion Alex Carella finished second and third. Torrente’s second place takes him to the top of the leader board ahead of Selio, Chiappe, and reigning champion Carella  
Torrente and Carella began the 38-lap race on the Dnieper River from third and fourth position behind pole winner Selio and Chiappe. Selio with Chiappe and Torrente holding station but Carella slipping behind Al-Qamzi into fifth after the opening lap. The leading trio began to pull away from the chasing pack through the subsequent laps and Selio began lap seven 2.14sec clear of Chiappe. Torrente was running in third position and Carella was fourth, despite vagaries in the official results that showed that Torrente was down in eighth position. Chiappe managed to pass Selio on lap 17 and led the race for the first time. The Frenchman continued to pull away from the Finn as the race entered the final 18 laps. The online results showed that Carella and Torrente were fourth and seventh, although they were running in fourth and second in the ‘official’ running order. Chiappe continued to hold the lead from the Qatar Team driver and the gap was 3.2sec after 27 of 38 laps. Carella passed Al-Qamzi to snatch fourth and then moved ahead of Selio in the closing stages to take third place.
 
2013 Grand Prix of Ukraine – race results
1. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team                     38 laps
2. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                            + 24.83sec                   
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                   +1lap 
4. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team             +1 lap 
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team    +1 lap
6. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan                  +1 lap          
7. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                      +1lap 
8. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team              +2laps
9. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                   +3 laps 
10. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica                         +3 laps behind
 
2013 UIM F1 H20 Championship – positions after round 2
1. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team                              30 pts     
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team               29 pts          
3. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team                        27 pts
4. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team                                     24 pts     
5. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                        13 pts               
6. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team      12 pts
7. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi                       6 pts             
8. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Azerbaijan                      5 pts         
8. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KWT) F1 Atlantic Team                  5 pts   
10. Valerio Lagiannella (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team         3 pts
11. Marit Stromoy (NOR) Team Nautica                             2 pts
                        *******************
'THERE'S NO CATCHING KIP'

DETROIT (USA): 95 Spirit of Qatar’s Kip Brown enjoyed a sensational weekend of racing at the 2013 DYC Detroit APBA Gold Cup, round four of the H1 Unlimited Championship, on the Detroit River.
 The 36 year old Washington driver won heats 2B and 4B, and  qualified easily for the crucial final and then reaching the chequered flag in first position after pre-race favourite Steve David was penalised for a lane infringement. Jimmy Shane lost his front canard in a collision and Brown managed to fend off a challenge from runner-up Jon Zimmerman to claim his maiden H1 victory. Tommy Thompson finished third in 11 Miss Peters & May and David was fourth in no1 Oh Boy! Oberto.
In the jubilant Spirit of Qatar camp, Brown  said, “Right now I am so excited I don’t know what to think or say. It just came to us - Jon (Zimmerman) pulled out to the lead after we heard about the penalty but Jeff (Bernard, Kip’s radioman}) told me to make him earn it.  After that the boat just ran great.”
Brown from Ravensdale, Washington, was H1 Unlimited Rookie of the Year in 2008 but had never been a winner on the H1 circuit.  His first win came in the biggest race of a career that started in 1995 in smaller classes.
The 95 Spirit of Qatar is owned by Our Gang Racing of Preston, Washington, East of Seattle, headed up by Brown’s uncle Nate Brown, a former Gold Cup winner and sponsored by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation whose President H.E. Sheikh Hassan Al Thani was also clearly delighted
 “I would like to congratulate Kip Brown and all the 95 Spirit of Qatar team on this superb performance “The Our Gang Racing Team have all worked very hard to be as competitive as possible and this win is a fitting reward for their efforts.”
But the Gold Cup hoodoo continues for Steve David. After two disastrous Saturday heats where penalties cost the 59 year old ‘Oh Boy Oberto’ driver preliminary wins, things appeared to be going much better on Sunday. By the start of the Championship Final Heat, the veteran driver from Lighthouse Point, Florida had worked his way to the top of the weekend points ladder and was the favorite to win his first Gold Cup in 23 tries. 
After ¾ of a lap, David had established a lead over Jimmy Shane (no5) Graham Trucking, Kip Brown (95) Spirit of Qatar and Jon Zimmerman (9) Team RedDot.  As the four  boats came through turn two,  David was called for a lane infraction and penalised with a lap penalty, Shane went into David’s roostertail and lost the front wing of his boat. With David penalised a lap and Shane’s craft crippled, Brown and Zimmerman were left to race for the Gold Cup and they staged a battle that had the Detroit crowd on their feet for four laps. Zimmerman moved out a lead over Brown and appeared to have superior boat speed, but Brown’s boat handled the rough water on the inside well and he used the shorter course to take the lead and take the chequered flag. There were nine lead changes in the final heat.
Tom Thompson was third in the 11 Peters & May.  Shane finished fourth and David Fifth. Mike Webster in the 22 Roostertail 55 did not finish.
                                 **************
'Superboating Day' in Sarasota.....

Super Boat Unlimited:
In one of the finest ‘Big Boat’ battles ever witnessed Cintron, Gasse and Geico all held the lead on several occasions it was an immense spectacle.  Miss GEICO slotted into third eventually after a bolt sheared on the rudder, causing them to lose speed
Last year in Sarasota, Geico’s million-dollar boat was destroyed in a fire during testing just days before competition.
“We did a whole lot better than last year,” said throttle man Scott Begovich. “We're really happy just to know we're out here again with a winning boat to run with the big boys.
Begovich cites the broken rudder as the reason for their final position in the race as the team was beaten by Gasse and first-place winner Cintron who were later penalised for taking out a turn mark promoting Gasse to top podium spot.
Superboat: 
Five Superboats lined up for the 15.75-lap, 83-mile race off the coast of Sarasota and Stihl made the early running from WHM Motorsports and JD Byrider, with Warpaint and Spirit of Qatar trailing in fourth and fifth places.
 Stihl and WHM Motorsportsmaintained their positions through the next lap, but Tony Marcantonio and Mark Kowalski began to slow down in JD Byrider and were passed by Spirit of Qatar, with Warpaint trailing behind. The leading duo continued to extend their advantage, as Al-Neama and Al-Nasser maintained third position into lap four and Warpaint held a distant fourth.
 The top two remained out front as the race progressed and reached the chequered flag in first and second positions, with Spirit of Qatar in a comfortable third once Warpaint had retired after lap five.
 The next round of Super Boat International (SBI) will be the 5th Annual Superboat Great Lakes Grand Prix at Michigan City on August 2-4.
Positions after race 4 (unofficial):
1. WHM Motorsports                    2098 pts
2. Team Stihl                         2006 pts
3. JD Byrider                     1357 pts
4. Spirit of Qatar 20            1224 pts
5. Team CRC                        752 pts
6. Warpaint                              727 pts
7. Ricks Collision                    356 pts
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), and British throttleman Steve Curtis were not able to make the start of the race in their new turbine boat, Al Adaa’am 96, after a fuel leak was reportedly discovered on the new boat.
The stunning new race craft was in the pits over race weekend attracting thousands of spectators but further work is required before the Mystic boat, which is powered by Whispering turbine engines, is ready for its race debut and ongoing competition.
H1 Unlimited
Heavy rain and unsafe conditions on the Ohio River meant that racing at the Madison Regatta, round three of the 2013 H1 Unlimited Championship, for the Lucas Oil Indiana Governor’s Cup race was cancelled. Therefore, Kip Brown was not able to take to the water in Spirit of Qatar 95 and attempt to close the gap on Jimmy Shane and Steve David in the H1 National High Points’ standings.
                           ***************
Victory Back on track

Sunday, 16 June, ISTANBUL (Turkey): Victory's Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri banished all memories of yesterday’s early exit in race 1 and produced an emphatic start-to-finish win in race 2 of the Isiklar Turkish Grand Prix.
The Dubai pairing led from the flag and were pulling away from race 1 winners’ HUB Team Australia and LFFendi10, when the race was red-flagged after Team Abu Dhabi’s Faleh Al Mansoori and Rashed Al Tayer hooked and turned over on lap 2, forcing the second restart of the weekend – both drivers emerging from the upturned boat unhurt. From the restart the defending Champions were immediately in control. They took their short laps immediately and by mid race had opened up a 20-second lead which they maintained for the remainder of the 16-lap race, going on to take their third win of the season and move back into the Championship lead. “Yesterday was not our day and today was. The target was to be in front all race and we were,” said Al Zaffain. “We had the perfect set-up today and were able to concentrate on what was in front of us and not what was behind us.”
The fight for the remaining podium places was between HUB Team Australia and LFFendi10, and despite a poor restart the battle was won by the Italians Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella as early as lap 5, opening up and maintaining a 10-second lead to the chequered flag. “Nothing broke this time but still we had a problem with the exhaust at the start and initially lost time to seven, but Victory was already gone so we had no chance to try and catch them,” said Carpitella. “We have to resolve this problem before Terracina but it was good to get on the podium after yesterday.”
For yesterday’s victors and briefly the Championship leaders’ there was to be no repeat win, but a second podium puts them in second place just two points behind Victory. “We had hoped it was going to be rougher than that,” said Willaton. “It was my mistake. It looked like it was going to blow up so we went down a gear set, but it wasn’t to be. But all in all we have had a good weekend.”
Behind the front runners a three-way dice ensued between LFFendi8, Poliform and FA.RO.ACCIAI, with Poliform’s Tarik Oktem and Giampaolo Montavoci enjoying a brief spell in the spotlight in third place, then holding fourth before technical problems ended their race on lap nine.
Poliform’s woes allowed LFFendi8’s Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato in to move up into fourth spot and round off a good weekend for Fendi Racing, with Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini again able to maintain their consecutive run of points finishes with fifth.
There was disappointment for Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski after yesterday’s podium-second, failing to make the restart with engine problems.
TURKISH GRAND PRIX – RACE 2- results
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) – 50.10.19s
2 . 10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 00.22.45s
3. 7 HUB Team Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / R Willaton (AUS) + 00.31.67s
4. 8 LFFendi8 - M Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) + 02.25.00s
5. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 1 lap
    91 Zabo-Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) - dnf
    74 Poliform – T Oktem (TUR) / G Montavoci (SUI) - dnf
    5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / R Al Tayer (UAE) - dnf
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - after round 2
1. 3 Victory Team - 62pts  2. 7 HUB Team Australia - 60pts  3. 10 FFendi10 - 48pts 4. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - 34pts   5. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - 30pts  6. 8 LFFendi8 21pts  7. Team Abu Dhabi - 18pts  8. 74 Poliform 14pts 14. 
                       *****************
THE WIZARDS OF 'OZ'.....


THE WIZARDS OF OZ'.....
Saturday, 15 June, ISTANBUL (Turkey): HUB Team Australia’s Darren Nicholson and Ross Willaton produced a spectacular performance in testing conditions to win a dramatic and incident-filled race 1 of the Isiklar Turkish Grand Prix.
Starting just their third race together in their second Grand Prix in Class 1, Nicholson and Willaton mastered the choppy and tricky seas that spectaculary caught out defending World Champions Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri, spinning out early in the race to bring out the red flag and force a re-start.
Turkey’s Ugur Isik and Norway’s Christian Zaborowski repaid their team’s efforts to repair Zabo-Isiklar in time after their crash in race 2 in the season-opener, taking a brilliant second place after initially starting in eighth place, to finish ahead of Class 1 newcomers Miles Jennings and Alfredo Amato in LFFendi8.
After winning the drag race to the first turn, pole-sitters Al Zaffain and Al Marri led the Australian duo and LFFendi10’s Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella at the end of the start lap, but at the second turn of lap 2 hooked the boat and spinning out.
Luckily the boat suffered little damage and the Championship leaders’ were able to line up for the re-start.
HUB Team Australia led from the re-start and traded places with LFFendi10 and Victory after the intial bout of short laps, resuming the lead on lap 4, only to be passed by Victory a lap later, with LFFendi10 now third.
But on lap 6 Victory hooked and spun out again and stopped, but this time were unable to get one engine re-started, retiring from the race.
The Australians swept into the lead and for the next four laps were able to maintain a comfortable 10-second lead over LFFendi10, when on lap 11 their [Formilli Fendi and Crapitella] hopes of a certain podium ended, a damaged torque sensor ending their race.
Nicholson and Willaton were able to ease up and close out the race in 40mins 2.83s, becoming the first Australians to win since 2002.
Behind the battle at the front, Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski steadily moved up and through the field, moving from eighth to fourth before the red flag. A poor re-start saw them down in fifth, then move up to fourth on lap 6 after passing Team Abu Dhabi and LFFendi8.
The exits of Victory and LFFendi10 elevated the Turkish-Norwegian duo to second place and a well deserved podium.
After a frustrating debut outing in China, Miles Jennigs and Alfredo Amoto produced a more than impressive performance, maintaining a middle order position throughout the race, keeping a hard charging Team Abu Dhabi behind them in the closing stages, to complete the podium.
Despite taking the chequered flag in fourth place, Team Abu Dhabi’s Faleh Al Mansoori and Rashed Al Tayer were later disqualified for re-passing a turn mark after hooking the boat and spinning out, their disqualifaction elevating Class 1 debutant, Tarik Oktem, and Giampaolo Montavoci in Poliform to fourth place ahead of Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini in FA.RO ACCIAI.
Today’s win moves HUB Team Australia’s Nicholson and Willaton to the top of the Championship standings on 44 points, with Victory in second place and Zabo-Isiklar in third.
TURKISH GRAND PRIX – RACE 1- results
1. 7 HUB Team Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / R Willaton (AUS) – 40.02.83
2. 91 Zabo-Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 51.45s
3. 8 LFFendi8 - Miles Jennings (GBR) / A Amato (ITA) + 02.10.00s
4. 74 Poliform – T Oktem (TUR) / G Montavoci (SUI) + 02.48.00s
5. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 1 lap
    10 LFFendi10 - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) - dnf
      3 Victory - A Al Zaffain (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) - dnf
      5 Team Abu Dhabi - F Al Mansoori (UAE) / R Al Tayer (UAE) - dq
                   ****************         
 SELIO, MAUFF & DAVID THE BIG WINNERS ON 'SUPER SUNDAY'.....

BRASILIA, Brazil - (2nd of June, 2013) - Two-time World Champion Sami Selio controlled all 32 laps of the inaugural Grand Prix of Brazil at the opening round of the 2013 UIM F1 H2O World Championship Series earning his 11th career victory and picking up 20 points to take the early lead in the drivers standings at Lake Paranoa in the capital city of Brasilia.
The veteran led from start to finish fighting off the charges of both Team Qatar boats of American Shaun Torrente and his teammate Alex Carella of Italy who finished second and third on the afternoon. The driver from Helsinki not only jumped out early but was able to knife his way around slower traffic all day on the six-pin, 2.2 kilometer (1.35 mile) circuit.
"It was a perfect weekend for us," said Sami. "We were in rarefied air leading in every practice and qualifying session and finishing with the race win. It's important to start the year off in the right way. In my two championship seasons in 2007 and 2010 I had to battle back after slow starts so this makes todays result so much sweeter."
The only driver that could stay within ear shot of Selio was the Floridian Torrente who would close to less than two seconds, then fall back a bit in traffic and then close in again coming close but not having enough to get level with Selio in the race.
"It is a great way to come back into the series," said Torrente. "The whole Qatar Team has had faith in my abilities for over the past year and I'm finally able to start to pay back their trust with todays performance. Hopefully, this is only the start of better things to come this season for me, the team and my teammate Alex."
Carella, who finished his first race a season ago down in fifth place was satisfied with a podium third this time around. "I fought hard to get where I am today," stated Alex. "I had drivers behind me who were trying to take my podium away and I concentrated the whole time to hold them off. I am satisfied to bring more points to the team."
Team Abu Dhabi had their drivers finish fourth and seventh with Thani Al Qamzi who qualified back in ninth move up five places, while the still recovering Ahmed Al Hameli drove with bravery finishing in seventh place while far from being back in 100% as he continues to gain more strength following cancer surgery less than a year ago.
French driver Philippe Chiappe of the CTIC China Team who was second in the championship in 2012 qualified seventh and moved up two places battling with Al Qamzi for many laps for the fourth position and a chance at the podium.
Francesco Cantando of Italy had one of the best drives of the day in his home built BLAZE boat starting last and charging up to finish sixth for the Singha F1 Team.
Cantando's teammate Valerio Lagiannella had a happy weekend qualifying a career best eighth and finishing in that same spot taking home three points in the process.
Ninth was Kuwaiti driver Youssef Al Rubayan as the Atlantic Team driver had a steady drive two places ahead of his teammate Duarte Benavente who came home 11th.
Norway's Marit Stromoy picked up the final points of the day with a 10th place finish for her Team Nautica organization.
So, Selio with 20 points leads the championship five points ahead of Torrente and eight ahead of last years World Champion Alex Carella. The series now heads round two of the championship to the Kiev region for the Third Grand Prix of Ukraine on the weekend of the 27th and 28th of July.
                       *****************

ORANGE BEACH ALABAMA - Sunday June 2nd 2013
In great racing conditions on the Gulf of Mexico Spirit of Qatar lined up against WHM, Team CRC, Stihl, JD Byrider and Ricks Collision for an incredible wekend of Superboat racing.
In the first of two races on the 5.6 mile circuit JD Byrider snatched the early lead from WHM, Stihl and Spirit of Qatar. WHM moved in front after lap two from JD Byrider, Ricks Colision, Spirit of Qatar and Team CRC with the 5 holding station through three laps until Rick's Collision  (Paul Boudreaux and Mike Stancomb) hooked and flipped over. Next lap JD Byrider managed to pass WHM and take the lead but Stihl ground to a halt after losing a propeller handing third position to Spirit of Qatar from Team CRC.
WHM regained the lead on the next lap and maintained the advantage from JD Byrider but Marcantonio and Kowalski had other ideas and the JD Byrider crew managed to sneak through in the closing metres to take the chequered flag in a thrilling photo finish. Spirit of Qatar and Team CRC finished third and fourth.
There was an equally exciting finish to the second seven-lap race. Mauff and Muller managed to hold off a fierce late challenge from Robert Noble and Grant Bruggemann in Team Stihl to secure the race win after early race leader JD Byrider had suffered hydraulic problems.
A stunning day of real Offshore racing in front of tens of thousands of real offshore fans augers well for the new Class which will feature heavily in the mammouth powerboat festival scheduled for Doha in January 2014   
 Superboat points after round3
1. WHM Motorsports             1615 pts
2. Team Stihl                         1472 pts
3. JD Byrider                          1003 pts
4. Spirit of Qatar                   792 pts
5. Team CRC                          757 pts
6. Ricks Collision                    356 pts
7. Warpaint                            331 pts
                      **************
BIG WAKE WEEKEND - SACRAMENTO
Jimmy Shane (5 Graham Trucking), Steve David (1 Oh Boy! Oberto), J Michael Kelly (37 Performance Chevrolet) and Jon Zimmerman (9 Team Red Dot) were the form men over the Californian race weekend and they were joined by To Thompson (11 Peters & May) Tom and Kip Brown (Qatar) for the final shoot out with Mark Evans (57 Formulaboats.com) running as the trailer boat behind the leaders.
 
David made an excellent start from lane four timing his start perfectly to lead at the first turn and maintaining his initiative from there on. Shane had reached the final with victories in all three of his heats but he was unable to match the experienced David, with J. Michael Kelly reaching the chequered flag in third and Kip Brown crossing the line in a hard fought fourth. Zimmermann had looked good for third but a penalty dropped him back to seventh behind Mark Evans and Tommy Thompson. Shane’s team now leads the National High Points standings by just 23 points from David’s Oh Boy! Oberto outfit.
David snatched the maximum 100 points for winning the qualifying session on Friday with an average speed of 150.441mph with Shane second. The pair then shared the spoils in the first of the heats on Saturday afternoon, with Brown finishing third in Heat 1A behind Oryx Cup winner Shane and J. Michael Kelly in 37 Performance Chevrolet.
 
Zimmerman was the class act in Heat 2A on Sunday afternoon, the 9 Team Red Dot driver beating J. Michael Kelly, Tommy Thompson, Brown and Mike Webster, while Shane got the better of Mark Evans, Ryan Mallow, Greg Hopp and David to win Heat 2B after David has been penalised for reaching the start line too early.
 
Brown was pitched against Zimmerman, Kelly, Hopp and Shane in Heat 3A and needed a top finish to give himself a chance of reaching the Big Wake Weekend final. Shane confirmed his third successive heat win with Brown delighted to snatch second position and 300 vital points, with Kelly, Hopp and Zimmerman in third, fourth and fifth.
 
David made no mistake in claiming the 400 points for winning Heat 3B to book his place. Tommy Thompson finished second to sneak in as well. Mark Evans was third, but it’s Shane who becomes the new leader of the National High Point standings heading into the all-important final.
Final result
1) 1 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David
2) 5 Graham Trucking Jimmy Shane
3) 7 Performance Chevrolet J. Michael Kelly
4) 95 Spirit of Qatar Kip Brown
5) 57 FEDCO Mark Evans
6) 11 Peters & May Tommy Thompson
7) 9 Team Red Dot Jon Zimmerman

The next round of H1 Unlimited will be Madison Regatta, Indiana July 5-7.
                     *************     
 SOLID STAR FOR NEW QATAR LINE-UP..

Qatar Team on theirway to a comfortable 5th position At Cocoa Beach
WHM Motorsports’ William Mauff and Jay Muller emerged as worthy winners 29 seconds at the Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix in Cocoa Beach, Florida, on Sunday with Tony Marcantonio and Mark Kowalski (JD Byrider) squeezing past Team Stihl in the closing stages after the pre-race Superboat leaders had held second throughout the early laps. Team CRC finished fourth and Spirit of Qatar moved up to fifth when Warpaint hit trouble late on. WHM Motorsports now leads the Superboat Championship after two races. 
Racing for the first time in Spirit of Qatar 20 – the Qatari crew acquitted themselves well lining up alongside a world Class fleet that included  WHM Motorsports, Team CRC, Team Stihl, Warpaint and JD Byrider.
“It was important that Ali and Mohammed got as much seat time in the new boat as possible and finished the first race,” said His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), who hopes to begin his own Super Boat International campaign with throttleman Steve Curtis at the next round at the start of June.
“The water was rough and they faced on of the toughest teams in that class, so they did what they had to do to reach the finish. It’s a long season and the target is Key West. The next race is in two weeks and we hope that the water conditions will be better.”
WHM Motorsports held the advantage over Stihl, Team CRC, JD Byrider, Warpaint and Spirit of Qatar after the opening lap of the 16-lap Superboat race.  Six to eight feet surf made racing treacherous and WHM hung on to the Superboat lead from Stihl and JD Byrider. Al-Neama and Al-Nasser erred on the side of caution to preserve their boat and hold position in brutal conditions.
 WHM Motorsports duly survived to reach the chequered flag first as the wind began to drop claiming maximum points and sealing a Superboat class victory. Stihl and JD Byrider became embroiled in a gripping late tussle for second position with JD Byrider managing to squeeze through into the runner-up spot. Robert Vesper guided Warpaint into a thrilling late fight with Team CRC for fourth position, but he was forced into the in-field with technical problems after lap 12 and Team CRC reached the finish in fourth, with Spirit of Qatar finishing fifth.
The next Super Boat round takes teams to Orange Beach Alabama on May 31-June 2.

Superboat class – positions after race 2
1. WHM Motorsports                    1050 pts
2. Stihl                                          1004 pts
3. JD Byrider                                    489 pts
4. Team CRC                                    367 pts
5. Spirit of Qatar                             365 pts
6. Warpaint                                     331 pts

*************************       


COCOA BEACH (Florida): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani has reached an agreement with John Carbonell, founder and president of Super Boat International (SBI), and confirmed at a press reception at Cocoa Beach in Florida today (Saturday) that the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) will host the new, ground-breaking Qatar Cup in January 2014.
The two parties have agreed the deal for the finest powerboat racers in the increasingly popular Super Boat International series to race in Qatar. “I am delighted to announce that I have reached this exciting agreement with John Carbonell and we have agreed this exciting new co-operation between the QMSF and SBI,” enthused the president of the QMSF.
“Two of the key factors in the decision-making process were the strength in depth of SBI and the solid calendar that is in place for the 2013 racing season. This is just another example of the increased co-operation between Qatar and the USA in world power boat racing. We have discussed the format of the Qatar Cup that we will run in Qatar in January and we will host boats racing in several of the top classes.”
Discussions on the finer details of the exciting new powerboat racing series are ongoing, but Sheikh Hassan confirmed that prize money spread across the respective categories is set to be in the region of $400,000.
The QMSF will take care of shipping all the boats to Qatar after the Key West World Championships in November. This is a championship that Sheikh Hassan is determined to defend this year – and one where he previously earned the coveted Golden Eagle Award given to a crew that displays the highest level of professionalism during race week.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for SBI to showcase the strength of its international sanctioning power along with giving teams access to lucrative purses,” enthused Carbonell.
“Various Superboat classes will each have a $100,000 purse and teams will benefit from the QMSF shipping the race boats to Qatar after Key West. We are excited to be able to work alongside Sheikh Hassan in Qatar and we are also looking forward to his commitment to our race series this year. His loyalty to SBI is unprecedented with commitments to campaign two offshore powerboats, his 50’ Mystic in the Turbine class and his re-powered 44’ MTI in the Superboat class.”
Sheikh Hassan is currently in Florida with the Spirit of Qatar Team. Mohammed Al-Nasser and Ali Al-Neama will represent the Doha-based outfit in the Superboat 750 class at tomorrow’s (Sunday) Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix at Cocoa Beach.
Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis are set to join the championship in the Turbine class at the next round at Orange Beach at the start of June. 
                               *************
Cape Canaveral Launch for New Qatar Team Line-up....
COCOA BEACH (Florida): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani has confirmed that Mohammed Al-Nasser and Ali Al-Neama (above) will represent the Spirit of Qatar Team at this weekend’s fourth Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix at Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, in Florida. Sheikh Hassan himself and Steve Curtis will use the next few days to finalise the preparation of their new turbine thoroughbred with a view to using it for the first time at the third round of Super Boat International (SBI) at the end of the month in Orange Beach, Florida.
“Mohammed and Ali will use our second boat in the 750 class this weekend,” enthused Sheikh Hassan, who missed the opening round of the SBI series in Biloxi. “The goal is for them both to get as familiar as possible with each other's technique and with the boat. We are racing in a new arena this year, so we need to see how everything pans out on the race course.”
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hassan has penciled in a two-hour test for Thursday morning (tomorrow) to enable the duo to prepare for the weekend’s action on water similar to that they will face on Sunday. “The idea is to look for top speed rather than just to become familiar with the equipment and the surroundings. The target is to ensure that Mohammed and Ali start well and finish the race.”
 The Spirit of Qatar Superboat 750 class boat is the ex-Tony Abrahams Reliable Carriers offshore race hull. The 42-foot Marine Technology catamaran is powered by twin 750hp Scorpion Racing engines.
 Sheikh Hassan confirmed that he and throttleman Steve Curtis will now be looking to debut their exciting new turbine boat at Orange Beach on May 31-June 2. “We were waiting for some major parts to arrive and it’s just a matter of time putting them together and getting the boat ready to run.”
 The new Qatar turbine boat has been built in the USA in collaboration with Whispering Turbines, Five-Axis Industries and Mystic Powerboats. The new Mystic Spirit of Qatar Extreme turbine hull is powered by a pair of T53 turbine engines and is capable of propelling the boat to a top speed of 354km/h (200 mph) using Five-Axis technology.
 Several other leading teams missed the opening round at Biloxi at the end of April and Ricks Collision 57 leads the Superboat Unlimited category and Lucas Oil Silverhook 77 has a 111-point advantage in Superboat Extreme. Stihl 13 leads by 51 points from WHL Motorsports 5 in the Superboat class.
 Cocoa Beach registration and technical inspections get underway on Friday morning (May 17th) and teams will be permitted to carry out five hours of testing on the racecourse on Saturday.
The first of the races, sanctioned by Super Boat International Productions Inc and presented by Bright House Networks, takes place at noon (19.00hrs Doha time) on Sunday (May 19th) and the second ‘Thunder on Cocoa Beach’ fires into life at 2pm (21.00hrs Doha time). The dry pits will be located at The Cove in Cape Canaveral.
                                ****************
A BIG YEAR FOR THE QATAR TEAMS...

DOHA (QATAR): His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani announced his and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation’s (QMSF) final programme of racing events for the 2013 season at a press conference in Doha today (May 1st).
 
The defending Key West World Champion confirmed that he and British throttleman Steve Curtis will begin their testing programme in the United States of America this week and that the new Qatar/Mystic turbine boat may make its racing debut at Cocoa Beach in Florida on May 17-19.
 
Curtis has been in the USA recently piecing together details of the programme and overseeing the building of the boat. He and Sheikh Hassan will begin a five-day test from May 5th before the pair take on the might of the American offshore competition in what has been referred to as the ‘Qatar v USA’ version of golf’s Ryder Cup.
 
“We are hoping to officially introduce the team in Cocoa Beach and this would be the first participation of the turbine team in Super Boat International,” enthused Sheikh Hassan, who missed the opening round of the SBI series in Biloxi last weekend.
 
“I don’t know if it will be a disadvantage or not to miss the first round as we were not sure how many boats were going to race. As the season progresses we will get a good indication whether it was a mistake to miss the first round or not. Hopefully, we can make up any deficit throughout the season. In any case, our target is to dial the boat in during the year as our test session will be short. The main target will be the World Championship at Key West later in the season.”
 
Sheikh Hassan’s new turbine boat has been built in the USA in collaboration with Whispering Turbines, Five-Axis Industries and Mystic Powerboats. The new Mystic Spirit of Qatar Extreme turbine hull is powered by a pair of T53 turbine engines, delivering around 1,600hp apiece and capable of propelling the boat to a top speed of 354km/h (200 mph) using Five-Axis technology.
 
Sheikh Hassan also confirmed that the Spirit of Qatar Team has acquired the ex-Tony Abrahams Reliable Carriers offshore raceboat and this will be entered in the Superboat 750 class with Qataris, Mohammed Al-Nasser and Ali Al-Neama, at the helm. The 42-foot Marine Technology catamaran is being fitted with twin 750hp Scorpion Racing engines for the Superboat 750 class.
 
“Both Mohammed and Ali have good experience and represented the Qatar Team in the last XCAT race and proved that they are competitive,” said Sheikh Hassan. “They will be in charge of this boat and I would hope that they could win their class at Key West as well.”
 
The final stages of the build of the turbine boat are now in full swing and Sheikh Hassan arrives in the USA on May 4th with a view to testing the new hull later that week. “Steve (Curtis) is in the USA and has been making sure that the rigging is done as per our standard. We will carry out an initial shakedown and then test the boat’s performance. But, I admit, that the real test will be in race conditions on the racecourse. Our initial target was for six races and Key West, but we may go for seven races.”
 
Both the Class 1 Spirit of Qatar 95 and 96 boats are now at the QMSF’s headquarters in Doha but Sheikh Hassan admits that he does have plans to use them in the near future.
 
Kip Brown will represent the Spirit of Qatar Team for the remainder of the 2013 H1 Unlimited Championship. Our Gang’s 17 Miss Red Dot hydroplane changed livery for February’s Oryx Cup in Doha and Sheikh Hassan, Ellstrom Racing and Our Gang Racing have now reached an agreement that will enable Brown to run ’95 – The Spirit of Qatar’ for the rest of the H1 season, starting with the Big Wake Weekend in Sacramento, California, on May 31-June 2.
 
The President of the QMSF also confirmed that two-time World Champion Alex Carella will attempt a second defence of his UIM F1 H20 World Championship title alongside Shaun Torrente in the Qatar Team and that Khalid Abdullah Al-Kuwari will represent the team in the UIM F-4S Championship for the Eurofin Trophy.
 
“We will also be busy throughout the summer months closer to home running training programmes for juniors,” enthused Sheikh Hassan. “This will include swimming, diving and testing courses, using both aqua bikes and junior hydros. There will also be two aqua bike races for the juniors, a fly board competition and four junior hydro races.”
 
Later in the season, the QMSF will then host the Qatar Aquabike Grand Prix on November 14-16 and the Qatar F1 H20 Grand Prix on November 22-23.
 
2013 Super Boat International (SBI) calendar (Spirit of Qatar Team)
May 17-19                    Cocoa Beach, Florida
May 31-June 2           Orange Beach, Alabama
July 5-7                    Sarasota, Florida
July 19-21                    *Miami, Florida
August 2-4                    Michigan City, Michigan
September 6-8               New York, New York State
September 27-29          Clearwater, Florida
November 3-10    Key West World Championships, Florida
*provisional
 
2013 UIM F1 H20 World Championship calendar
June 1-2                    Brasilia, Brazil
July 27-29                    Kiev, Ukraine
September 21-22  TBA, China
October 3-4                    Liuzhou, China
November 22-23          Doha, Qatar
November 28-29  Abu Dhabi, UAE
December 12-13          Sharjah, UAE
 
2013 H1 Unlimited 1 H1Championship calendar
May 31-June 2           Big Wake Weekend, Sacramento
July 5-6                    Madison Regatta, Indiana
July 12-14                    APBA Gold Cup, Detroit
July 26-28                    Colombia Cup, Kennewick, Washington
August 2-4                    Seattle Seafair, Washington
August 30-Sept 1          Coeur d’Alene Diamond Cup, Idaho
September 14-16  San Diego Bayfair, California
 
Ends

                         ****************
Shane at the double

DOHA (Qatar): It was a case of déjà vu in slightly easier circumstances for Jimmy Shane and his U-5 Graham Trucking team, who snatched a straightforward victory in the 2013 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship final in Doha Bay on Tuesday afternoon. No one had won the Oryx Cup twice and Shane duly re-wrote the history books with his second win in the space of a month when he cruised to a comfortable triumph once main rival Steve David was penalised a lap before the start for making a premature move on his rival to take the inside line on the back straight of the pre-race warm-up lap.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Shane, who didn’t have a full-time H1 ride until 18 months ago. “I will be a father for the first time in three and a half months time and to win here in Qatar twice in less than two months is a superb start to the year for me.”
The race proved to be an anti-climax to three thrilling days of racing in Qatar, with Jon Zimmerman holding on to take second place – after finishing third in January - and David lapping both Mark Evans and Ryan Mallow to confirm third, despite running a penalty lap.
“We have a spotter on the tower to watch when we pick up speed and make a move,” said David. “I was sure that we were okay and we appealed against the decision, but it was not to be. It was one of those things.”
It was a disappointing finale to the week’s racing for Kip Brown in U-95 Spirit of Qatar. He was forced out of the race before the start with engine problems. “”I think we salted up the engine,” admitted Brown. “I had the salt door closed, but I think we got some in through the inlet valve. The exhaust gas temperature started to climb and it was as much as I could do to get the boat back to the pits. It’s very disappointing. You win some, you lose some.”
In the previous four Oryx Cup UIM World Championship races there had never been a double winner. J. Michael Kelly won the inaugural race in 2009, Dave Villwock was triumphant in 2010 for the Spirit of Qatar Team and Scott Liddycoat and Jimmy Shane won in 2011 and 2012.
Tom Thompson, who had been injured in that spectacular crash involving U-11 Miss Peters & May and U-21 Snoqualmie Casino on Saturday afternoon, had been released from hospital and was able to watch the action unfold.
Six of the seven surviving boats qualified for the final although Mallow - who had missed out when the points amassed during qualifying and the four heats were totalled - was handed a stay of execution when Kelly’s team manager decided not to enter the U-37 as the trailer boat. It would prove to be a costly decision.
All eyes were on the potential showdown between David and Shane and whether Brown or Zimmerman could become the fifth different winner of the Oryx Cup in as many years. But engine problems cost Brown his place in the final on the run out to the start and, when David was adjudged to have overtaken Shane and jumped into lane one before he should have, the way was open for Shane to take control.
Safe in the knowledge that David had to run a penalty lap, Shane eased his pace through the five-lap final and shadowed David to the chequered flag. Zimmerman reached the finish with a spluttering engine in second and David ran his extra lap to finish third, lapping Evans in the process. Mallow had already fallen by the wayside when Evans was deemed to have strayed off the course and was disqualified.
 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship final
1.U-5Jimmy Shane Graham Trucking   400 points
2.U-9Jon ZimmermanJones Racing      300 points
3.U-1Steve DavidOh Boy! Oberto         225 points
U-100Ryan MallowMiss Fox Plumbing   DNF
U-57Mark EvansFormulaboats.com      DSQ
U-95Kip BrownSpirit of Qatar              DNS
                              **************
Tom's lucky escape..

ZIMMERMAN, DAVID, BROWN AND SHANE
SEAL ORYX CUP HEAT WINS IN DOHA AS THOMPSON CRASHES OUT
 
U-11 Miss Peters & May’s driver sustains arm injury after spectacular crash in Heat 2A

DOHA (Qatar): Jon Zimmerman, Steve David, Kip Brown and Jimmy Shane shared a win apiece in the second and third pairs of race heats at the 2013 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in Doha Bay on Saturday afternoon.The racing timetable was delayed when U-11 Miss Peter & May’s Tom Thompson suffered a broken arm in a spectacular first turn collision with Brian Perkins in U-21 Snoqualmie Casino and had to be rescued from his inverted hydroplane after the first turn of lap two. “I saw him (Thompson) coming towards me at speed from the inside and there was nothing I could do to get out of the way,” said an obviously shaken Perkins, as both boats were eliminated from the rest of the day’s racing.
Jon Zimmerman was a convincing winner of the re-run of heat 2A. “My crew chief doesn’t smile that often and it was great to put a smile on his face,” joked the U-9 driver. Steve David was handed victory in 2B when Jimmy Shane was adjudged to have made contact with David’s U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto in the final turn of their thrilling three-lap race. “He hooked in, moved out, just clipped me and got a penalty,” said David.
Kip Brown confirmed his first ever heat win for the Spirit of Qatar Team with a convincing performance at the helm of U-95 in heat 3A. “It is a great feeling to take my first heat win in the colours of the Spirit of Qatar team here in Doha,” said a delighted Brown.
 Shane exacted revenge for his second heat disappointment by fending off the determined Steve David challenge in heat 3B, the Maryland driver reaching the finish less than a boat length in front of David’s flying U-1. It meant that each of the day’s four heats had been won by a different driver.
Heat 2A
J. Michael Kelly managed to hold the inside line for the legal start to heat 2A and fended off a fierce challenge from Zimmerman in the outside lane. Kip Brown looked to be in the hunt from the outset, but U-95 Spirit of Qatar spluttered almost to a halt after the start with engine problems, as Brian Perkins and Tom Thompson became locked in a frantic tussle for third and fourth.
Four rooster tails were closely matched at the end of lap one and Kelly appeared to be edging clear of Zimmerman when Thompson rode up over the back of Perkins’s U-21 Snoqualmie Casino on the exit of turn one and flipped over at speed. The race was immediately red-flagged while officials rescued Thompson from the overturned U-11 Miss Peters & May. The American was brought to the shore by rescue boat and treated by an awaiting ambulance for an elbow injury before leaving for hospital checks. A delay ensued while the remaining boats returned to the pits to re-run the heat later on. Perkins was uninjured in the accident, but the fin and front cowling of U-21 suffered substantial damage.
Heat 2A was eventually concluded after heat 2B and this gave Kip Brown’s team the opportunity to replace the poorly-performing turbine engine in U-95. “Even before the heat it wasn’t running right,” admitted a team spokesman. “This was the quickest and best option.”
The three surviving boats took the restart, but the contest became a two-boat affair from the start when Brown was alleged to have jumped the gun and was forced to run a penalty lap. Despite holding the inside line into the first turn, Kelly had no answer to Zimmerman down the back straight and the U-9 Jones Racing driver kept up his perfect start to the race weekend with a convincing second heat win. Kelly finished second and Brown ran an extra lap to take third.
Heat 2B
Steve David, Jimmy Shane, Mark Evans and Ryan Mallow lined up for the start of heat 2B after a one-hour delay and David and Shane made the running from the start, with Shane taking the inside line and holding the National High Points champion off through the first turn. The pair raced neck-and-neck down the back straight but David had a little extra boat speed and managed to edge in front at the end of lap one. Evans held third and Mallow struggled in fourth.
Shane regrouped over the next lap of the course and the pair were side-by-side at the end of lap two. Shane held the inside line and a tiny lead down the back straight for the final time. At maximum velocity the pair turned into the final corner and there appeared to a little contact between the U-5 and the U1. But Shane managed to hold his line and reach the finish of a thrilling race in front by less than a boat length distance. Mallow had long since stopped on the near side of the course with technical issues when Evans crossed the finish line in third.
Race officials were forced to take a look at the video of the final corner to decide what course of action to take after the contact between Shane and David. It was decided that Shane was responsible for the incident and a one-minute time penalty dropped him to third and handed the heat win to David.
Heat 3A
J. Michael Kelly, Evans and Brown took the start of heat 3A. Mallow was unable to start. Kelly held the inside line into the first turn, but Brown had boat speed on the U-37 driver and managed to sneak through on to the back straight. From then on, it was one-way traffic as the U-95 driver delighted the home crowd with a convincing performance to take an easy heat win. Kelly came home a distant second and Evans scored vital points for third.
Heat 3B
Heat 3B was another cracker, David, Zimmerman and Shane – the fastest three racers of the weekend – taking to the water in failing light. All three made a legal start and Shane held the inside line through the first turns and managed to keep a determined David at bay, as Zimmerman slipped behind. Shane continued to defend his racing line and, try as he might, David could not keep up his 100% record and Shane claimed the heat win and a maximum 400-point haul.
The fourth set of heats and the 2013 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship final will take place on Tuesday afternoon to coincide with the Qatar National Sports Day.
Full heat results on www.h1unlimited.com
                         *****************                  
 Super Shane lifts 2012 ORYX CUP.....

DOHA (Qatar): U-5 Graham Trucking’s Jimmy Shane snatched a dramatic victory in the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship on Saturday afternoon to conclude the 2012 season of racing in the Air National Guard H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Championship. Six of the fastest power boats on the planet lined up at the start and Shane became the fourth different winner of the Oryx Cup in as many years after leading from start-to-finish to hold off a fierce challenge from runner-up and newly-crowned National High Points champion Steve David U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto. Jon Zimmerman finished a distant third in U-9 Jones Racing, Brian Perkins was fourth at the helm of U-88 Snoqualmie Casino and Tom Thompson struggled at the back of the field with engine issues and made the finish in fifth place with U-11 Miss Peters & May. J. Michael Kelly (U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing) was disqualified on the start lap for failure to follow race officials’ instructions. “It’s been a great first season in this championship for me and to cap it with a win in the Oryx Cup is superb,” said an ecstatic Shane.
“I must congratulate Jimmy on a great drive today,” said David sportingly. “It was just not meant to be, but there is always next time.
Steve David (U-6), Jon Zimmerman (U-9), Tom Thompson (U-11), Jimmy Shane (U-5), Brian Perkins (U-88) and J. Michael Kelly (U-37) started the five-lap final which was delayed by 40 minutes because an exceptionally low tide made it impossible to crane the boats on to the pontoon, it eventually got underway at 3.40hrs. Kelly was dramatically disqualified before the boats reached the back straight on the warm-up lap for failing to leave the inside lane and that left the door open for Shane to edge in front of David through the start and the first turn.
The Maryland driver, who confirmed the runner-up spot in the National High Points title race this weekend, had the measure of David and Florida man had no answer to the speed of the U-5 Graham Trucking hydroplane. As the race progressed and Thompson struggled at the rear of the field and Perkins began to fall behind, Shane and David edged clear of Zimmerman.
Shane drive a faultless race to take the chequered flag and become the fourth racer in as many years to win the Oryx Cup, his success depriving David of a clean sweep of all the heats and final in Doha.
Boats and race equipment will remain in Qatar for the next four weeks and the American teams and drivers will return for the start of the 2013 Air National Guard H1 Unlimited Championship at the start of February.
                               ***************
VILLWOCKS ORYX BID GOES 'UP IN SMOKE'

In front of a home crowd in the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship, Doha, Qatar, Dave Villwock and his Spirit Of Qatar team saw a bad weekend get even worse during Friday’s final preliminary heat.
After losing all his winners points in the first of Thursdays two heats due to a fuel violation and then trashing half the turn marks in his second, Villwock appeared to be on his way to an easy victory in ‘His Last Chance Saloon’ Heat 4B. But as he entered the second turn on the first lap, his boat hit an unexpected wave, got airborne, and landed hard breaking the engine mounts. And it didn’t stop there, a fire broke out in the intense heat causing considerable, damage before being extinguished by fire crews.
Owner Erick Ellstrom says his team will attempt to make repairs in time for the H1 Unlimited return to Doha February 8-12,but added that they had not been able to make a complete assessment of the damage to the boat. In the restart, Jon Zimmerman drove the 9 Jones Racing to an easy victory over Jimmy Shane in the 5 Graham Trucking, with Shane having to run an extra lap due to a penalty incurred at the start. Tom Thompson No 11 Peters & May finished second to qualify for the final.
Earlier, Steve David No6 Oh Boy Oberto continued his quest for the elusive double, adding a victory in Heat 4A to make it four wins in four starts in the preliminaries. Whilst stacking up winns, David secured the 2012 H1 Unlimited Series Championship meaning the Oberto will again wear the number one for the 2013 season.
Second place in the heat went to Kip Brown in the 17 Miss Red Dot, with Brian Perkins finishing third in the 88 Snoqualmie Casino.
Racing is scheduled to conclude on Saturday, with the Championship Final Heat at 3pm Doha time – weather permitting. The local forecast had predicted winds of 40 mph and more for Friday and Saturday, but weather through Friday had been better than predicted. Should be some final - standby!!!
                              *******************
H1 FLEET IN TOWN READY FOR THE 'BIG ONE'

With the 2012 Air National Guard H1 Unlimited racing season winding down and the fleet secured in the Qatar in preparation for the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship January 10 – 12, the series high points leader board finds familiar names at the top.
After starting the season with back-to-back wins in the first two races of 2012, defending champion Dave Villwock and his Spirit of Qatar team find themselves in danger of handing the coveted U-1 designation back to three time winner Steve David and the 6 Oh Boy! Oberto.
Villwock and David each won two races in 2012, but David’s wins in Seattle and San Diego to end the US tour helped him build the 652 point cushion he will take to Doha for the season ender.  David says, “All of us on team Oberto look forward to Doha and regaining U-1 and winning the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship. We’re cognizant that our competitors have the same goal for their teams as well.”
David added, “I’m thinking this may be the most competitive event of the entire season.  Think about it, on the table is the team National Championship, the Driver Championship and the World Championship.  That’s a heck of a goal!”
Jimmy Shane, in his first full season in the unlimited ranks, impressed all season – driving the 5 Graham Trucking to a victory in the Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities and adding several strong finishes to climb to third on the points ladder, just 172 points behind Villwock.
Also impressive was Jon Zimmerman and the Jones Racing team.  Zimmerman was fast and consistent in the team’s refurbished unlimited and sits in fourth place in the standings.
J. Michael Kelly used an uncanny ability to secure the inside lane and finished well throughout the season to round out the top five.
Defending Oryx Cup champ Scott Liddycoat will not be in Doha to defend his title.  The team is repairing damage to the 88 Degree Men hull and has contracted with GoFastTurnLeft Racing and that team’s driver Brian Perkins, normally the 21, to carry the 88 number in Doha and score points for the USA Racing Partners.  Perkins ride will be racing as the 88 Snoqualmie Casino.
For the first time in decades, Leland Unlimited will have a new driver in the 100 Fox Plumbing.  Ryan Mallow will be driving the boat he drove in his qualification runs in 2011.  The late owner’s team has carried on in his memory and stayed in the top ten throughout the 2012 season.
Tom Thompson, a veteran inboard racer from Cambridge, Maryland, will be making just his second unlimited start as driver of Miss Peters and May.  That boat crossed the Atlantic earlier than the rest of the fleet and made a European record run on England’s Coniston Water in early November.
Veterans Kip Brown and Mark Evans round out the Oryx Cup field in the 17 Miss Red Dot and 57 Formulaboats.com.  Brown has recovered from a broken leg suffered in the middle of a disappointing season for the Red Dot team and Evans will be making his first trip to Doha after becoming co-owner of the 57 hull with brother Mitch before the season.
“We are very excited to be heading to Qatar to race for the 4th annual Oryx Cup and crown the 2012 UIM World Champion,” said H1 Unlimited chairman Sam Cole. “Then we will stay in Doha to start the 2013 season and crown the 2013 UIM World Champion.  We are also honored that we have been asked to be part of Qatar’s National Sports Day, which is an important event for the country.”
                                    ***************

Saturday, 21 December, ABU DHABI (UAE): Arif Al Zafeen and Mohammed Al Marri completed their Abu Dhabi Grand Prix treble after cruising to a comfortable win in race 2.
Today’s win, their seventh of the season, ends a near perfect season for the Champions, claiming top spot in the World, Middle East and Edox Pole Position Championships.
Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella maintained their impressive run of form to finish on the podium for the second time in two days bringing LFFendi10 home in second place, with Zabo-Isiklar’s Ugur Isik and Christian Zaborowski ending their season on a high with a well-deserved first podium of the year and clinching fourth place in the Championship.
The newly crowned Champions were in a league of their own and took the initiative from the start and led the race from flag to finish and at no time came under any pressure.
By mid-race Al Zafeen and Al Marri had eased out to a 30 second lead and were in cruise control and able to back off in the closing stages to win the 14 lap, 70.17Nm race by 12 seconds. “It was the perfect way to end our season,” said the five time World Champion Al Zafeen. “There was no pressure on us today and the conditions outside the island were much flatter. The start was good for all boats with no issues and once we came inside we controlled the race and our pace.”
Luca Formilli Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella completed their hat-trick of race podiums to round off a very strong second half the year, but had to hold off a strong challenge from Zabo-Isiklar in the closing stages. “This is super good for us and a big comeback in the Championship,” said owner-driver Formilli Fendi. “This boat has made a big difference and our year really only got going in July. We have been able to make some changes to the boat and now have a very good package. I think we can be stronger next year.”
Zabo Racing’s habit of ending their seasons on the podium continued, with Isik and Zaborowski’s strategy of taking their second short lap late paying dividends, moving them up from sixth place at the end of lap six into third spot a lap later.
For the remainder of the race they piled the pressure on and chased down LFFendi10 closing the gap too under five seconds. “It was good race for us. We were a little short of speed but made up for that in the turns. I think if we had a few more laps we could have caught Fendi.”
For the first Grand Prix this season Team Abu Dhabi missed out on a podium finish, with Rashed Al Tayer and Majed Al Mansoori again finishing in fourth.
Gian Maria Gabbiani and Luca Nicolini did not have the pace to run with the others but did have the reliability, ending a positive weekend for the team picking up their best result of the year finishing in fifth spot.
There was disappointment for Victory Team Australia’s Darren Nicholson and Peter McGrath who were running in second place when their race came to an abrupt end after a broken torque sensor forced them to stop on lap seven.
Subseapilot lasted just two laps with Yngve Bratland and Bjorge Jacobsen returning to the pits with an engine problem, Poliform-Spirit of Gabon’s Guido Cappellini and Giampaolo Montavoci following then in on lap 10, also with an engine issue.

ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, RACE 2 – Results
1. 3 Victory - A Al Zafeen (UAE) / M Al Marri (UAE) 00.42.31,12
2. 10 Fendi Racing - L Formilli Fendi (ITA) / G Carpitella (ITA) + 00.11,71
3. 91 Zabo Isiklar - U Isik (TUR) / C Zaborowski (NOR) + 00.16,97
4. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - R Al Tayer (UAE) / M Al Mansoori (UAE) + 00.24,16
5. 23 FA.RO. ACCIAI - G M Gabbiani (ITA) / L Nicolini (ITA) + 03.10,71
6. 74 Poliform - G Cappellini (MON) / G Montavoci (ITA) dnf
7. 7 Victory Team of Australia - D Nicholson (AUS) / P Mc Grath (NZL) dnf
8. 8 Subseapilot - Y Bratland (NOR) / B Jacobsen (NOR) dnf

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - after race 8
1. 3 Victory Team - 177pts 2. 5 Team Abu Dhabi - 127pts 3. 10 Fendi Racing - 87pts 4. 91 Zabo Isiklar - 63pts 5. 96 Spirit of Qatar - 53pts 6. 95 Spirit of Qatar - 45pts 7. 7 Victory Team of Australia - 37pts 8. 23 FA.RO ACCIAI - 34pts 9. 74 Spirit of Gabon - Poliform - 22pts 10. 8 Subseapilot - 7pts 11. 90 Welmax - 5pts 12. 9 Welmax - 0pts
                                            *****************
'SPIRIT OF QATAR AND FENDI RACING WITHDRAW FROM SKY DIVE DUBAI GRAND PRIX'
DUBAI (UAE): After taking an emphatic victory in Friday’s Emirates Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix, Sheikh Hassan  Al-Thani dramatically withdrew both Spirit of Qatar boats from Saturday’s Sky Dive Dubai Grand Prix, race two of the penultimate round of the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.
Together with the crew of Fendi Racing 10, a decision was taken to boycott the race on the grounds that the race course had been changed at the 11th hour to ‘suit’ the local Victory 3 boat. It was also evident Victory3 had prior warning of the change resulting in them installing lower gear ratios more suited to the ridiculously short 3 mile circuit.
“I just had the feeling that this may happen,” said a disappointed Sheikh Hassan, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) and driver of Spirit of Qatar 96. “The course was changed 30 minutes before the race was supposed to start and that is clearly unfair.
“The rules clearly state that all boats must be at the start pontoon at 2.30pm and, at that time, Victory 3 was still in the pits having the gear ratios changed to suit the new course with no penalties imposed at all.
“We all want to race on a level playing field and this was very clearly unfair. We have now decided that the Spirit of Qatar Team will not now participate in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend.”
Class 1 promoter Nicolo di San Germano was quick to point out that he did not feel let down by the actions of the teams who boycotted the race but was emphatic in his support of the decision taken by officials to change the course. “Everybody is responsible for their own actions and if they were unhappy sobeit. But in terms of sportsmanship and sporting actions - I make no comment.

Sky Dive Dubai Grand Prix – race results
1. Arif Saif Al-Zafeen (UAE)/Mohammed Al-Marri (UAE) Victory 3                                 13 laps
2. Rashed Al-Tayer (UAE)/Majed Al-Mansoori (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 5                        + 8.77sec
3. Darren Nicholson (AUS)/Peter McGrath (AUS) Victory Team of Australia 7              +48.36sec
4. Christian Zaborowski (NOR)/Ugur Isik (TUR) Zabo-Isiklar 91                                     +1min 28.25sec
5. Luca Nicolini (ITA)/Gian Maria Gabbiani (ITA) FA.RO.ACCiAI 23                                  +2 laps
Yngve Bratland (NOR)/Bjorge Jacobsen (NOR) Subsea Pilot Racing 8                            DNS
Guido Cappellini (MON)/Giampaolo Montavoci (ITA) Spirit of Gabon/Poliform                DNF          
Luca Formilli-Fendi (ITA)/Giovanni Carpitella (ITA) Luca Fendi Racing 10                       DNS
Hassan Al-Thani (QAT)/Steve Curtis (GBR) Spirit of Qatar 96                                       DNS
Ali Al-Neama (QAT)/Matteo Nicolini (ITA) Spirit of Qatar 95                                          DNS
                             
                                     
23rd November 2014
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