22ft sailing dhow; 'match' racing with a difference
Dhows after the first mark. Image copyright DIMC.
by Sharon Allison
Raced as the seventh event of the Majid Bin Mohammed Watersports Championships the final of the Traditional 22ft Sailing Dhow Match Race was held on Saturday in Mina Seyahi. Emaar, skippered by Salim Ali Salim Adidi took first place after a shaky start left them last at the first mark, in second place was Serab, skippered by Abdul Aziz Mohammed Abdul Aziz and third was Humaid Ali Al Muhairi on Al Asifa.
‘Our win today was significant,’ said Salim Ali Salim Adidi. ‘We were last at the first mark but used our tactics well to come back and win the race.’
Dhows at the top mark. Image copyright DIMC.
This season's match race series has been plagued with bad luck and unfortunate rule breaches; the first round earlier in this month saw unfavourable conditions with the wind speed increasing as the boats waited on the start line. Gusts exceeding 20 knots forced the organisers at Dubai International Marine Club postpone the race.
The next endeavour to run the 23 boat race saw the complete opposite conditions with little wind forcing the organisers to move the course out to sea. But the racers luck was not with them again as the wind died as the dhows approached the finish line and in their quest to complete the race competitors took to using oars to propel them contravening the rules and eighteen of the boats were disqualified leaving only five boats and none of the top teams in the competition.
The five finalists. Image copyright DIMC.
‘We have a lot of work to do,’ said the DIMC Sports Committee Chairman, Huraiz Al Mur Huraiz. ‘The development of watersports in the region has been excellent and we want to enhance what has been done so far. We are going over all aspects of each of the sports to see what we can introduce to make further developments.’
Marwn Al Tayer, Saeed Hareb, Huraiz Al Mur Huraiz with the winners. Image copyright DIMC.
The 22ft sailing dhow was designed as the teaching class of the traditional dhow and rules dictate that only the skipper can be over 17 years of age. The rest of the crew must be 17 and the team must be from the UAE. The traditional class are part of the Emirates culture and heritage programme. The 22ft boat is part of DIMC’s youth into sports incentive and was introduced in 1988 to encourage local youngsters to sail and join their fathers and grandfathers initially as crew on the 43ft and 60ft classes before they take over the helm to continue the legacy of the graceful dhows, which started their days as, work boats for the pearl and fishing trade.
Saeed Hareb presenting the winner's trophy. Image copyright DIMC.
Saeed Hareb, CEO of DIMC, Huraiz Al Mur Huraiz, Sports Committee Chairman and Marwan Al Tayer, Sports Committee member for Traditional Sailing, presented trophies for the race,
The next round of the Majid Bin Mohammed Watersports Championship will be on Friday 6th May.