Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis piloted the performance powerboat racer Spirit of Qatar to the Superboat Unlimited class title on Sunday at the Key West World Championship offshore powerboat races.
Al-Thani, of Doha, Qatar, and England’s Curtis took first in the final race after posting second-place finishes during preliminary races on Wednesday and Friday.
“The waves at turns 1 and 2 were just nightmares,” Al-Thani said of the rough, windswept 6.2-mile course. “Steve knew exactly how to balance the boat to get it on top of the waves and just keep it running instead of losing speed going airborne.”
A $10 hydraulic hose might have kept veteran offshore powerboat racer Johnny Tomlinson from winning his 21st world championship Sunday, Nov. 11.
Tomlinson, of North Miami, racing along with Norwegian Tor Staubo in Gasse, a 48-foot MTI catamaran with two 1,350 hp engines, had placed first in the Superboat Unlimited class during preliminary races Nov. 7 and 9. But on Sunday their boat lost steering after a hydraulic line came loose. They went back to the wet pits and tried to fix the problem, but were unable to resolve it.
“It never fails,” said Tomlinson, 50, who has amassed 41 world and national titles since he began racing in 1986. “A $10 part always takes you out of a million-dollar program.”