Twin deaths cast gloom over UAE powerboat fraternity

The Victory 1 boat flipped after hitting a wave on the fifth lap, killing riders

  • December 11, 2009
    Mohammad Bin Majid Al Muhairi and Jean-Marc Sanchez died in an accident during the 2009 UIM/WPPA Class One WorImage Credit: Supplied
  • December 11, 2009
    The Victory 1 boat flipped after hitting a wave on the fifth lap.Image Credit: Supplied photo
  • December 11, 2009
    Rescue boats rushed to the scene and tried their best to pull the UAE driver and the French throttleman out.Image Credit: Supplied photo
08 Gulf News

Dubai: A pall of gloom descended on the watersports fraternity here as the Victory 1 pairing of Mohammad Bin Majid Al Muhairi and Jean-Marc Sanchez were pronounced dead after being air-lifted to Rashid Hospital following an incident in the Emirates/Dubai Duty Free Class 1 Grand Prix here on Friday.

"We lost both our pilots in today's crash. Safety boats rushed to the site and attended to both of them, after which they were airlifted to hospital where the doctor pronounced them dead," Saeed Hareb, managing director, Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) and president of the World Professional Powerboat Association, told media.


 

The Victory 1 boat flipped after hitting a wave on the fifth lap and landed face down. It was travelling at around 180km/h. Rescue boats rushed to the scene and tried their best to pull the UAE driver and the French throttleman out.

Rescuers tried to resuscitate the pilots, but to no avail. Both were then air-lifted by helicopter to Rashid Hospital, where doctors examined them and pronounced them dead. "Both were part of our family and our deepest condolences to both their families," a choking Hareb said at the briefing.

Tragedy

Racing had taken off as usual despite the prevailing weather conditions. There was a little drizzle and gusts of winds off the Mina Seyahi waters.

At the time of the accident in the fifth lap, the world champion pairing of Arif Saif Al Zafein and Nader Bin Hindi in Fazza were clear leaders ahead of the Norwegian pairing of Kolbjorn O. Selmer and Jorn Tandberg on board Welmax, while Victory 1 was in third place.

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I've raced (throttled) Super Cat & Super V for years here in the states - this is a very tragic, horrible accident. We all worry about a rear entry stuff exactly like this example where the boat blows over much like the Unlimited Hydroplanes do under speed because that rarely happens to the Offshore boats (I suspect this was a 40' Victory Boat which I believe is the old Tincarra molds branded Victory now). By watching the on-board it looks like they just came out of a turn, and the Throttleman was full throttle for about 8 seconds and Im guessing trimming the boat (positive trim) at least a little to make RPM and speed quickly - this would be when the nose was "light" and under full acceleration would magnify that condition. Again, just guessing but a rogue wave must have caught them off guard and it must have been a big one because its a big piece of equipment to blow over. There have been very few crashes in the sport where the accident results in a "rear entry canopy stuff" so we really dont have a lot to examine to improve the structure in that area and its had to see from the limited footage but it looks like the boat came completely apart in the tunnel - front bulkheads are gone and it looks like the rear is ripped off. The Victory team has been so committed to safety and they are so talented, the sport has lost tremendous compeittors - very sad

Actual Racer

15 December 2009 12:23jump to comments
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