In an astonishing feat at the 2014 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Sunrise Beach, Mo., the Spirit of Qatar team ran its 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran Al Adaa’am 96 posted a remarkable 244-mph top speed to establish a new Shootout record, besting last year’s mark set by the My Way Mystic at 224 mph.
The Spirit of Qatar team celebrates an impressive 244-mph speed at today’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootut. Photo by Jason Johnson
Speedonthewater.com caught up with the boat’s owner and driver Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and throttleman Steve Curtis at the docks at Captain Ron’s minutes after the jaw-dropping speed that had everyone on the property and out on the water hooting and hollering. Earlier in the morning, the catamaran posted a 210-mph top speed after its emergency parachutes deployed at the start of the one-mile course.
“We had so many things in the back of our heads that could go wrong, especially after seeing what happened this morning with Mike (Fiore, the Outerlimits owner who was involved in a tragic accident with Joel Begin, read the story),” said Sheikh Hassan. “I really hope Mike is all right. That whole thing turned me off a little bit and I told the guys let’s postpone it until tomorrow.
“I know they wanted to get it out of the way, and I wanted to get it out of the way, too” he continued. “So when we got out there—I still had Mike’s accident in my mind, I could see it cause we were right there—I said ‘OK, let’s just play it safe.’ Halfway though the run, the boat started to porpoise a little bit. Steve got back on the throttles and nailed it. It hooked back up again and he hammered it all the way down.”
Hassan, who said the team won’t be making any more runs this week but will have the boat on display at Captain Ron’s tomorrow, added that he kept reading the speedometer to make sure what he saw was what was recorded.
“We were approaching the finish and running about 230 mph and it felt like Steve backed off a little bit cause that’s what he wanted to do,” Sheikh Hassan continued. “Then he started back on and I saw 240—I’m pretty sure we reached 250 after the gate. That’s one milestone we got out of the way with this boat. Now it’s time to go out and relax and look ahead to what’s next.”
Curtis, who was smiling as he gave his driver a big hug, said he was still shaking at the docks.
“That was incredible,” he said. “I’m still shaking—there’s still a lot of adrenaline pumping through my bones. It’s a great feeling yet I can’t help but think of my really good friend Mike and hope he can pull through.”