Introducing . . . . U-96 Spirit of Qatar - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Introducing . . . . U-96 Spirit of Qatar

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Erick Ellstrom, president of 5 Axis Industries and Marine Technology of Seattle, Washington and His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin-Jabor Al Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation announced today that the former U-16 Ellstrom's Elam Plus will become the U-96 Spirit of Qatar.

In announcing the sponsorship, Sheikh Hassan said, "We at QMSF have always been looking to be involved in almost all forms of power boat racing, and the Unlimited Hydroplanes are no different.  After the great show the H1 teams put on for us in November of last year, we looked to partner with a team that can represent Qatar through QMSF and the Ellstrom team was selected." 

"We have had an excellent business relation with 5 Axis over the past few years," continued Sheikh Hassan, "And I do believe this partnership will grow even more in the future."

5 Axis Industries and Marine Technology, owner of the race team, are owned by Erick and Sven Ellstrom, founder of Ellstrom Manufacturing.  5 Axis supplies propellers to many teams in offshore and other forms of boat racing, including Sheikh Hassan's Spirit of Qatar 95 & 96 team which is currently competing in the Offshore Performance Association (OPA) series in the USA.

Sven Ellstrom commented, "We are very happy to have the opportunity to represent our friends from Qatar on the hydro racing circuit here in the USA and abroad.  We look forward to representing them well for years to come."

Erick Ellstrom added, "As Sheikh Hassan pointed out, we have had a close working relationship with the QMSF for some time.  Having them involved in our race team is another step in our growing relationship which will find us working together in the future on projects involving boat racing as well as other areas."

H1 Unlimited Chairman Sam Cole commented, "We are honored to welcome the Spirit of Qatar and QMSF as a new team sponsor.  This extends the involvement of Sheikh Hassan and Qatar in our sport and can only continue to broaden the scope of our future." 

"I am excited for Sven and Erick Ellstrom and their team," continued Cole. "Representing a country like Qatar speaks highly of their competitive nature and professionalism.  This announcement opens the door for more international opportunities and will give fans in Doha even more reasons to follow the H1 series throughout the year."

The Ellstrom family entered the sport of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing in 1994 as sponsors of an experimental 4-point Unlimited.  In 1995 they built their own conventional turbine powered unlimited and were on the way to becoming one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport, scoring the first of 20 victories in the 2000 season in the Tri-Cities with Mark Evans driving.  The current hull was christened in 2001 and holds the qualifying record on every existing race course.

The team won the 2005 and 2007 National High Point championships and the 2007 and 2009 Gold Cups with current driver Dave Villwock in the cockpit.  Villwock is the winningest active driver in the H1 Unlimited series with 59 career victories, including 15 in the U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus.

The U-96 Spirit Of Qatar will make its debut in the Qatar team colors in the Lucas Oil Indiana Governor's Cup July 2 – 4 on the Ohio River in Madison, Indiana.

Source: H1 Unlimited