Abdullah Al-Sulaiti to partner Sheikh Hassan in Qatar Challenger
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani (pictured) has confirmed he and Qatari racing colleague Abdullah Al-Sulaiti will attempt to set a new Trans-Gulf speed record for the passage between Abu Dhabi and Qatar in February.
The exact timing of the Gulf crossing between Abu Dhabi and Qatar will depend on weather conditions, but staff at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) in Doha are currently working to prepare the twin gas turbine-engined Nor-Tech boat, Qatar Challenger. Sheikh Hassan is hoping either for the weekend of February 5-6th or 12-13th.
Transmission problems thwarted his previous attempt in 2008 and a hectic schedule of H1 Unlimited Hydroplane and UIM F1 racing at the end of 2009 gave the QMSF little time to prepare for a new attempt.
Global shipping company Peters & May have come on board as a sponsor and have taken responsibility for the shipping and transportation of all equipment needed to bring the record attempt to fruition.
“It is all systems go with a target date for the end of this month,” says Sheikh Hassan, President of the QMSF. “We have been grateful to Peters & May for their valuable support and both Abdullah and I are looking forward to the challenge immensely.”
“We are extremely privileged to be a sponsor of Sheikh Hassan’s record attempt,” said David Holley, managing director of Illinois-based Peters & May, who were also responsible for the shipping of the H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes from the USA to Qatar for last November’s flagship Oryx Cup race in Doha Bay.
“Our relationship with Sheikh Hassan and the QMSF has grown substantially over the past few years. We see this as another example of how our pedigree in high performance racing logistics can further increase the exposure of powerboat racing in the Middle East.
“Qatar has played host to some of the most spectacular powerboat racing and QMSF has set a high standard for others to achieve. This record attempt is a great example of the vision and determination of Sheikh Hassan and is a quality addition to the many benchmarks already laid down for current and future generations to follow.”
Sheikh Hassan has also arranged for a representative from Guinness World Records to be on hand to oversee the record bid and the world-renowned organisation will register the authenticity of the crossing, which is approximately 315km and likely to take about two hours.
The finish ceremony is planned to take place on the Doha Corniche and the post-record bid press conference will take place at the final docking point on the Pearl Qatar.
A vessel tracking system will be supplied by Alfa Telecom to enable followers to monitor Sheikh Hassan’s and Abdullah Al-Sulaiti’s progress.
The President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) is confident that the second attempt will be successful and he has attracted the backing of the Pearl Qatar for the exciting venture, which will run under the full governance of the UIM, world power boating’s sporting body. The record bid has also attracted support from Performance Marine and Mercury Racing.
The Qatar Challenger is based on the streamlined Nor-Tech 50 supercat hull powered by a pair of powerful Lycoming T-53 L-13 BA gas turbine engines, both individually delivering some 1630hp.
The Lycoming T53 is a turbo-shaft unit used in helicopter applications and fixed-wing turbo prop aircraft. It was originally designed by a team headed by Anselm Franz – the chief designer of the Junkers Jumo 004 aircraft – and has a five-stage axial compressor and one-stage centrifugal compressor.