Leading driver dies at Cowes

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The Independent Online
A driver died during the World Championships at Cowes yesterday when his boat somersaulted and landed upside down.

Hamed Buhaleeba, 30, one of the United Arab Emirates most successful sportsmen, was leading the Class 2 race when the accident happened off Ryde, Isle of Wight.

The drivers of the second-placed boat, behind Buhaleeba's Victory Team M-1, said they saw the 30ft catamaran hit a wave, soar out of the water and land upside down. Emergency services arrived immediately and Buhaleeba, who had won 25 powerboating titles in the last five years, was found to be trapped in the cockpit. Buhaleeba was taken to Gosport where was declared dead an hour later. Buhaleeba's co-driver, his brother Rashid, was uninjured.

Buhaleeba's boat, one of the pair that the UAE Victory Team have been fielding in this class, had completed over two-thirds of the 126-mile race when the accident happened.