Steve Curtis returns to Class 1 powerboat racing

Two-boat Qatar Team comes back to mainstream competition

Britain’s Steve Curtis (pictured second right) will continue to partner Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani (right) when the Qatar Team rejoins the world Class 1 world championship series this year.

The Middle Eastern team withdrew from the series mid-way through the 2009 season after the Norwegian round in Arendal following a dispute.

The Sheikh and his crews chose instead to compete on the US and Australia offshore circuits, culminating with the 2010 OPA American Supercat Championship title.

The Sheikh has confirmed he will retain throttleman Curtis aboard Spirit of Qatar 96 with Qatar’s Ali Al-Neama partnered by Italian Matteo Nicolini in Spirit of Qatar 95.

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Both boats have been rebuilt in the United States and will now be shipped back to the Middle East to enable Sheikh Hassan’s team of mechanics to complete pre-season preparations.

“The main reason for our return to the Class 1 championship was based on the major changes in the rules and the fact the series now has a new promoter,” said Sheikh Hassan.

“A new group of UIM officials will now be administrating at all the races. I would also like to see strict rules imposed and in cases of infringement not have to wait weeks before decisions are announced.”

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