Sheikh Hassan withdraws from Class I series

Decision could leave Curtis on the beach

The International Offshore Team Association (IOTA) has put an end to any lingering speculation about the continued participation of theSpirit of Qatarentry in the 2009 Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, confirming HE Sheikh Hassan Bin Jabor Al-Thani’s decision to withdraw the team with immediate effect.

IOTA General Secretary, Marco Sala said that ‘efforts to try to resolve the situation had proved unsuccessful’.

Sheikh Hassan’s decision to withdraw was sparked by an incident at the start of last month’s Norwegian Grand Prix what he describes as ‘the misconduct of teams during the start’ and that ‘officials were too slow to respond to the matter and the action required to be taken during the race’.

It is not sure where this leaves Britain’s seven time world champion, Steve Curtis, who was the top throttleman with the Qatar team