The Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) yesterday mourned the death of speedboat racer Rashid Abdulla al-Mansouri who died in a tragic accident during the third round of the Qatar Pleasure Boat and Pro Class Championship at the Katara Cultural beach on Saturday.

Al-Mansouri’s funeral was held at the Abu Hamour cemetery yesterday in the presence of his family members, friends and officials of the QMSF.

“It is a huge loss for us and for Qatar. Al-Mansouri was extremely talented and has always excelled from the time he took up the sport in 2004. The entire QMSF stands with his family in this time of grief,” said Khalid bin Arhama al-Kuwari, head of F1 racing at QMSF.

Al-Kuwari revealed that QMSF president Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor al-Thani was immediately notified of the tragedy.

“Sheikh Hassan was shocked to hear the tragic news and has expressed his condolences to the family. He is currently in the US and is cutting his trip short to fly back. Until his arrival, all the events under QMSF have been put on hold. I will be meeting al-Mansouri’s family today evening, as well,” revealed al-Kuwari.

Al-Mansouri is survived by wife, three sons and a daughter.

A QMSF committee will meet after Sheikh Hassan’s arrival to decide how the federation could support the family.

“The federation is ready to support the family in every possible way. We will meet as soon as Sheikh Hassan arrives to decide on the future course of action. We have never experienced anything like this before. There have been accidents but none have turned fatal,” said al-Kuwari, who remembered al-Mansouri as a ‘very religious, down to earth person and extremely talented sportsman’.

On Friday, al-Mansouri and his co-driver Hamad Jassim al-Mutawa, who is also seriously injured, had won the second place in the Class C. They went out for the tougher Pro Class 1 race, being held under the QMSF banner on Saturday.

On the third lap, their ill-fated boat hit a big roller, while negotiating with the buoy three. The gusts sent the boat airborne and it flipped several times before crashing into the water.

A coast guard boat with divers rushed to the spot and brought the two drivers ashore. A Red Cross team tried to revive al-Mansouri but the impact of the accident was so severe that his neck had broken under the boat, causing him to die due to bleeding.

Al-Mansouri is said to be the first Qatari to be killed in a sports-related accident in the country. Yesterday, authorities took charge of al-Mansouri’s boat from the QMSF headquarters for further investigation.