When Qatar Airways Flight #778 departs Miami at 7 p.m. Sunday evening, the Boeing 777 aircraft’s Economy Class will be littered with offshore racers and their crews, well-known powerboat racing photographer Pete Boden, at least one journalist and a slew of supporters. To that end, I would like to apologize in advance to the rest of the passengers flying Economy to Doha, Qatar, that night. Because I suspect—strike that, I know—that everyone on board headed for the inaugural Qatar Cup will be pretty excited. And pretty excited can translate to very loud.
Plus, there will some, well, large personalities on board. I’m not sure anyone in the entire Qatar Airways organization has ever met anyone like Micheal Stancombe of the Peppers Racing team. Dan Lawrence of The Hulk team? Yeah, now there’s a mellow, low-key guy. Ryan Beckley? The guy practically bleeds adhesive vinyl and outboard engine fuel. And while Randy Swears of Racing for Cancer could be the most soft-spoken racer in the group, he’s also about 12 feet tall and kind of hard to miss. (OK, I exaggerate for effect, but you get the idea.)