Guinness Record Book registers fastest 185 miles (300km) ever covered by powerboat
Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Qatari racing colleague Abdullah Al-Sulaiti (pictured) entered the record books today (Wednesday) by completing the Trans-Gulf passage between Abu Dhabi and Qatar in a time of 1hr 55min 14 sec.
The duo found an excellent window in recent sea weather conditions to complete the Gulf crossing without a hitch in Qatar Challenger and crossed the finish line in Doha Bay ahead of the expected schedule. They reached speeds well in excess of 125mph (200kph) during the thrilling run through some of the busiest waters in the world.
The record for the fastest 185 mile (300km) ever covered by a powerboat was officially accepted by representatives from Guinness World Records who duly presented Sheikh Hassan and Abdullah Al-Sulaiti with a plaque to remember their success.
“This has been the target for nearly two years and I am so happy to have achieved the goal,” said a delighted Sheikh Hassan, President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).
“When I saw the Doha skyline in the distance I would have carried the boat to the finish! To have broken down in 2008 just 10 miles after leaving Abu Dhabi was heartbreaking, but we were better prepared this time and this is a fantastic achievement for Abdullah, myself and all the team at the QMSF.
“We had planned our route carefully beforehand, leaving the series of islands to our right. One of the helicopters from the Emiri Air Force in Qatar was flying around three miles in front of us and we were in constant communication with them to check there were no obstacles or hazards in the way. It was nice and calm when we left Abu Dhabi, but there were a few small swells out on the open sea – nothing too serious.
“We could have gone a little faster, but we averaged just over 93mph (150kph) and when I saw Doha in the distance we opened up. I noticed 135mph (218 kph) on the GPS at one point on our run into Doha. It was a great feeling to reach the finish.”
Throttleman Sheikh Hassan and driver Abdullah Al-Sulaiti began the run from Abu Dhabi this morning and were scheduled to reach the finish off the Doha Corniche after a two-hour Gulf crossing. The crew then headed to the Pearl Qatar in the twin gas turbine-engined Qatar Challenger for the official finish ceremony and press conference.
Qatar Challenger is based on the streamlined Nor-Tech 50 supercat boat powered by a pair of powerful Lycoming T-53 L-13 BA gas turbine engines. Sheikh Hassan attempted the record run for the first time in 2008, but the bid was thwarted by transmission problems in UAE waters.