Taking a page from the famed United States versus Europe Ryder Cup professional golf tournament, Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, the head of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, said his organization is making final preparations for a Qatar versus the United States offshore racing series this season. The news was announced in a press release this morning.
According to the release, the initial plan is for driver Sheikh Hassan and throttleman Steve Curtis to challenge U.S racers in their home waters in “as many rounds as possible” on the 2013 Super Boat International circuit. Curtis and Sheik Hassan will compete in their turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic catamaran, which currently is being completed. (Paintwork on the cat reportedly is almost finished.)
“After the Key West experience, winning the World Championship title and the challenges that we faced, I felt that it was time to raise the bar even higher,” said Sheikh Hassan in the release. “Now is the time to fight with the big power in the different classes and at new race venues where the fans appreciate the racing and the atmosphere is fantastic. That’s why we are coming to American open waters to race.”
According to the release, the Qatar Marine Sports Federation plans to field two teams in the U.S. this season using the Qatar 96 catamaran that took the title in its class in the SBI Key West Offshore Worlds last in November 2012. The driver and throttleman for the second boat have yet to be selected.