Dubai based team collects 11th world title
Despite a last minute change of crew, Mohammed Al Marri replacing Nadir bin Hendi, the Team Victorydominated the Skydive Dubai & Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix, the final round of this year’s World Class 1 offshore championship on Friday.
The local team led both rounds of the final contest from start to finish, the crew change having little effect on the outcome.
The result also gave Al Zafeen a clean sweep in the Middle East Championship after winning twice in Abu Dhabi with the now suspended Nadir Bin Hendi, and twice with Al Marri.
The result gave the Dubai based Team Victory its 11th world offshore championship, a record in itself. But it was disappointment for others.
The greatest challenge to Victory throughout the championship season has come from the two-boat team entered by Sheikh Hassan, Spirit of Qatar 95 & 96 the latter driven by the Sheikh himself with Britain’s Steve Curtis as throttleman. Both boats suffered serious mechanical problems in this final event.
An engine problem for Spirit of Qatar 95 as it left the wet pits ended Ali Al Neama and Matteo Nicolini’s title hopes, joining the race three laps down and coming home in eighth place.
A recurrence of steering problems suffered in the first round again hampered Spirit of Qatar 96′. It finally finished no higher than fourth to cap a disappointing and frustrating day for the Qatar Team.
“It was the worst ever Grand Prix for the Qatar Team,” said Sheikh Hassan. “We had the steering lock on us four times costing us vital time.”