In a ceremony on the awards stage at the 2013 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar, Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, President of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation, and H1 Unlimited Chairman Sam Cole signed a five-year agreement extending the annual event through 2018.
According to the agreement, the event will be held in November of each year.
“The Oryx Cup has had a tremendously positive impact on our sport since we first came to Doha five years ago,” Said Cole. “Combined with the new events on our 2013 schedule in Sacramento, California and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we are looking forward to a very bright future for Unlimited Hydroplane Racing in the US and around the world.”
Cole added, “All of us in the sport are indebted to Sheikh Hassan and the QMSF for the confidence they have placed in our organization and our ability to help them reach their goal of becoming the World Center of Powerboating.”
Cole also pointed out that the Oryx Cup series has come a long way since the original plan to move the fleet of 200 mile-an-hour race boats and support equipment half way around the world was met with skepticism five years ago.
“I want to thank our owners, drivers, team members and officials who have all worked hard to make the Middle East trips successful,” added Cole. “And a special thank you goes to our friend, sponsor and logistics provider David Holley of Peters and May for taking on the huge job of managing our transportation and doing a great job for us year after year.”
“Working with a world-class organization like QMSF has elevated the appeal of our sport,” Cole continued. “ Each year our race crowds increase and the awareness throughout the region is demonstrated through expanded media coverage internationally.”
The February running of the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship on Doha Bay marked the start of the 2013 H1 Unlimited racing season. The fleet is on the way back to the US to prepare for the start of the 2013 domestic season which opens May 31 –June 2 on Folsom Lake in Sacramento, California.
The season will conclude on San Diego’s Mission Bay in September, after stops in Madison, Indiana, Detroit, Michigan, Tri-Cities, Washington, Seattle, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.