The Lake News Online
  • Spirit of Qatar crushes Shootout record

  • An international offshore racing team laid claim to the Top Gun title in the 26th Lake of the Ozarks Shootout with an awe-inspiring speed of 244 mph.
    • email print
  • An international offshore racing team laid claim to the Top Gun title in the 26th Lake of the Ozarks Shootout with an awe-inspiring speed of 244 mph.
    It was an incredible show of speed and racing skill, as the Al Adaa 'am 96 Spirit of Qatar hit the 244 mph mark on their second run of the day on Saturday.
    Owned and driven by His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor A-Thani, of Qatar, with British racer Steve Curtis onboard as the throttle man, the turbine powered 50' Mystic catamaran had hit 210 on its first run but ran into problems when the emergency parachutes deployed. By their second run, the team had their sites set on setting a new record. They didn't disappoint as they hit the tail end of the one-mile course at 244 mph. It was the Spirit of Qatar's inaugural Shootout appearance.
    Sheikh Hassan and Curtis shattered the 224 mph record set in 2013 by Bill Tomlinson and Ken Kehoe in My Way. Tomlinson's My Way is also a turbine powered Mystic catamaran.
    My Way did not make an appearance at this year's Shootout.
    The Qatar team is new to the Shootout but is not to the world of high performance boat racing.
    Sheikh Hassan is the president of Qatar Marine Racing Federation, headquartered in Qatar. Curtis is considered to be a world-class boat racing champion.
    Temperatures reaching to the 100 degree mark did nothing to dissuade race enthusiasts from attending the annual event that raises more than $100,000 for lake area charities.
    Thousands of spectator's lined the race course near the Hurricane Deck Bridge while others took part in the event from Captain Ron's venue at the 34.5-mile market.
    Curt McGee, a Macks Creek resident and part of the CMS Racing team, was watching when the record-smashing run happened.
    "It was, wow, outstanding. It took a ton of good teamwork to pull that off. I actually still believe they could have hit it harder though, but the water has been a little rough, this morning it was a little choppy," McGee said.
    Even if you weren't watching at the moment the record was broken, just being in proximity to the course it was unmistakeable that something huge had occurred. That was the experience of Wayne Schaldenbrand, the president of Sunsation Boats out of Algonac, Mich.
"It was an awesome run. I've been coming here for 15-16 years and I've never heard a commotion like the one I heard when it happened. It's their technology. They under-propped it and figured out how to push the limits. They certainly have their stuff together. The air foil on the front to keep it down is quite impressive. It helps to have a $22 million budget, I guess," Schaldenbrand commented.
Page 2 of 2 - Although a tragic accident left two racers injured on Saturday morning around 10:30 a.m., the course was cleared and the race resumed within an hour.
Complete race results will be available later this week.
  • Terms of Service

    Events Calendar