Sheikh Hassan clinches Turbine Class World Championship title in Key West

Sheikh Hassan clinches Turbine Class World Championship title in Key West

11.11.2013: SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL 2013 33rd Annual Key West Super Boat World Championships –

SUPER BOAT INTERNATIONAL 2013
33rd Annual Key West Super Boat World Championships – November 6-10, 2013




•                     Nasser Al-Attiyah finishes second; Unlimited title for Miss Geico

•                     Stunning Superboat win for Spirit of Qatar 20; title goes to WHM

 


His Excellency 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.
 

Italian throttleman Matteo Nicolini and Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah finished their third race in second position to claim an unofficial second place in the Superboat Unlimited class. Marc Granet and Scott Begovich benefited from the demise of CMS with mechanical problems to win the race and secure the Unlimited title in Miss Geico.
 

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 78 miles over 17.75 laps of the course.
 

Sheikh Hassan and Steve Curtis needed to complete a few laps 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. Al-Neama and Moore held on to reach a somewhat premature chequered flag and secure a memorable win.
 

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 modified 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. Miss Mary Mac was also forced out of the race and also suffered an on-board fire.
 



All attention at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) now turns to next weekend’s Qatar Aquabike Grand Prix in Doha.
 

 

Neil Perkins,  also photos

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11.11.2013 / MaP

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