By Andy Sambidge
Qatar Marine Sports Federation signs agreement to build 'ultimate' racing boat
Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) has inked an agreement to build "the ultimate turbine-powered racing boat" for the 2013 racing season.
Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani announced the deal with Mystic Powerboats and Whispering Turbines at the Miami International Boat Show.
The new 'Spirit of Qatar' boat will be entered in the 2013 Extreme/Turbine - Unlimited class in the US competition, a statement said.
Sheikh Hassan said he has been in lengthy discussions with partners for some time.
"Our idea is to expand the racing map that we participate in, as well as expanding into new race categories to become the leader in powerboat racing," he said.
"We have raced alongside the Miss Geico (Extreme/Turbine class) team in the past, but we were in two different classes and not far behind, even with the restricted engines we used in 2010."
The president of the QMSF confirmed that the team will enter a single boat in 2013 and is yet to choose the cockpit line-up.
"We are building this team from scratch for this class only. We may use some of our existing crew only if we can find extra time for them to work on this project," he said, adding: "I am confident that when our team registers for the new season, we will be able to race alongside a large number of boats attracted by the entry of a new international team."
Sheikh Hassan said that previous experience of the OPA Offshore series was vital in his decision-making for 2013.
"Racing in the USA opened our eyes to so many things, one of which is being part of an event where the social scene and interacting with other teams and people is a priority. It was also interesting that we caught everyone's attention when we spoke about Qatar."
John Cosker, president of Mystic Powerboats, which are based at DeLand in Florida, said: "Mystic Powerboats will be building the carbon fibre race boat for the team and working closely with Whispering Turbines on the drive train layout and installation."
The new Spirit of Qatar boat will be powered by a pair of T55-L7C turbine engines, delivering around 2,900hp each, and capable of propelling the boat to a top speed in excess of 220mph.