Dubai: Dubai’s Victory Team will be looking to build on their debut success as they prepare for a serious assault for top honours at the 38th Annual Super Boat International (SBI) Key West World Championships to be held from November 4 to 11.
The team has already shipped off Victory 3 and Victory 33 to Florida and the support crew landed in the US to get the boats ready for the three races to be contested in the Superboat Unlimited class on November 7, 9 and 11. The races are scheduled at 10am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm on all three days of the competition.
A portion of the challenging 4.5-mile course runs through Key West Harbour where drivers will be able to touch high speeds of more than 225km/h due to the calm waters.
The two boats were challenging for a spot on the podium during Victory’s debut at the SBI held in Clearwater, Florida, in the last week of September. But an overenthusiastic swimmer strayed onto the course and the race had to be called off.
“As a professional team, we learnt from that first experience. Now it is time to build up on that and see where we really stand in the world of Class One powerboating,” Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Victory Team told Gulf News.
“Nothing changes on our objectives this week as we will be doing everything possible to ensure we land with at least a podium,” he added.
The Key West World Championships are scheduled to kick off at 4pm (midnight UAE) on November 4 with a parade of race boats down the island’s historic Duval Street. Spearheading the Victory Team challenge during the week will be reigning Class 1 world champions Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali alongside John Tomilson [in Victory 33] and multiple world champion Steve Curtis [in Victory 3].
Held for more than three decades now, the SBI Championship is considered one of the most dangerous yet challenging races for dual-engine powerboats. And with just two operative rules — the boat length has to be from 42 to 50 feet and the engine power must match or exceed 1,500hp — Victory Team’s two boats will have their task cut out during the week.
The Victory Team boats will be the only two without any modifications done as the SBI series is eyeing a major overhaul of rules starting next season. “I think we have the perfect package for racing in this series with the new rules coming in play from next year,” Bin Huraiz said.
“Next year, the engine power will be limited to 1100hp per engine or 2200hp overall for all boats and we will go into the season with a distinct advantage. But right now it is about this race and we are confident our duo of Emirati world champions will do well alongside world-class drivers like Steve [Curtis] and John [Tomilson],” he added.