Doha – The fastest powerboats on the planet will take to the waters of Doha Bay on Friday morning as the 2013 Air National Guard Hydroplane Championship roars into life with testing and qualifying for this week s fifth Oryx Cup UIM World Championship as reported by qatarchronicle.
Racing is being organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) in conjunction with H1 Unlimited. The QMSF runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani as reported qatarchronicle.
Florida s Steve David will start the defence of his National High Points championship title in U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto and rival Jimmy Shane (U-5 Graham Trucking) will be hoping to retain the 2012 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship he secured in Doha in January. The series will then return to the United States for further rounds in Sacramento (May 31-June 2), Madison (July 5-7), Detroit (July 12-14), Kennewick (July 26-28), Seattle (August 2-4), Coeur d Alene, Idaho (August 31-Sept 2) and San Diego (Sept 13-15).
Kip Brown has stepped into the breach to represent the Spirit of Qatar Team for the first time in the re-liveried U-17 Miss Red Dot, which will run as U-95 Spirit of Qatar in Doha. A three-time E Racing Runabout champion and a five-time 5-Liter Hydro champion, Brown was the 2008 H1 Unlimited Rookie of the Year and earned six heat wins with Miss Red Dot in 2011.
“I am delighted and privileged to be representing Qatar at the Oryx Cup,” enthused Brown, who has been involved in inboard boat racing since his childhood. “It is humbling for me to be in this position and I will do my best to give the team as good a result as possible. With the support of Sheikh Hassan and the Elam (Ellstrom Racing) team mechanics, we are well-placed for the weekend.”
Brown has been to each of the previous Oryx Cup race meetings and has useful experience of the Doha Bay course, but nothing can prepare a driver for the thrill of racing in the world s fastest power boating discipline. “If I had to explain racing one of these it would be pure adrenaline from start-to-finish . You hit terminal velocity down a straight and then almost hold on through the corners. The rush of adrenaline is indescribable as reported by qatarchronicle.
“Acceleration is phenomenal. We won t necessarily see our maximum speed on the Doha Bay course, but the G forces in the turns are incredible. You are looking at 2G rising to around 5G in a turn. In Detroit, I posted a maximum speed of 196mph (315.42 Km/h) and an average lap speed of 158mph (254.27km/h). It s a matter of maintaining maximum focus and total concentration. Things can get out of hand pretty quickly!”
Brown admits that keeping the boat balanced and stable on the high-speed straights and into the turns is crucial for a fast and safe lap. “Several times the boat has lifted and I have managed to trim it down and save the day. You get to learn the feel for everything.”
Also featuring on the provisional starting list for this weekend s racing are Ryan Mallow in U-100 Miss Fox Plumbing, Brian Perkins in U-21 Snoqualmie Casino, Mark Evans in U-57 Formulaboats.com and former Oryx Cup winner J.Michael Kelly in U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing. Tom Thompson (U-11 Peters & May) and Jon Zimmerman (U-9 Jones Racing) complete the nine-boat line-up.
Race officials will run testing, qualifying and the first of the heats on Friday, with Heat 1A scheduled to get underway at 15.30hrs.
Spectators are welcome to attend at any time during the day and there is a grandstand overlooking Doha Corniche with superb views of the course. Food and trade stands and children s entertainment will also be on site throughout race weekend. The pit area will be open to the general public between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on Saturday afternoon.
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