Sunday, 22 May 2011

Preview of Finale of Majid Bin Mohammed Watersports Championships, Dubai

Traditional 60 foot sailing dhow. Image copyright DIMC.

by Sharon Allison

The grand finale of the Majid Bin Mohammed Watersports Championship will be on Saturday. After a month of sports activities including eight events, over two thousand competitors, five disciplines, one hundred and ninety nine boats and skis the Championships will draw to a close with two rounds of the 22ft traditional sailing dhow races. ‘It’s been an amazing show of sportsmanship and skill, which has spanned forty-three days of organisation, preparation and good will,’ said Saeed Hareb, CEO of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC). ‘His Highness has been supporting our events for a number of years and will host the Majid Bin Mohammed Awards Ceremony to be held next month.’

22 foot dhows. Image copyright DIMC.

The incentive behind the Championship is the wish of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to encourage and grow the watersports community and continue to develop the traditional sports, which have done so well in this region.

Wooden rowing boat race. Image copyright DIMC.

The Championships started on May 8th with the traditional wooden rowing boat race, originally used for fishing the boat now is popular amongst young Emirati students. It is 30ft long and takes a crew of ten to race it over a three-kilometre course. Up to forty boats regularly race throughout the season. There were two wooden powerboat races; again the wooden powerboat is reminiscent of the fishing boats, which are still used today. The racing version of the boat is propelled by two 90hp engines and crewed by the driver and throttle man and a fleet of eighteen boats competed in the Championships.

Wooden powerboats racing in front of the Zabeel Saray Hotel on Jumeira Palm. Image copyright DIMC.

The next race with Jet Skis, was the only modern race and introduced an all-international field with entrants from ten different countries including the UAE. The skis are two sizes with five classes depending on ski size and age group; it also included a freestyle display of summersaults and jumps to entertain the crowds. The racing took place at Umm Sequim public beach and drew a big crowd of spectators and the presence of His Highness Shiekh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Makotum who presented the trophies to the winners. There have been two traditional dhow events so far, a 60ft race and a 22ft race and there will be two 22ft races this weekend to bring the Championships to its finale.

Jet skis. Image copyright DIMC.

‘This Championship has been a real success,’ said Huraiz Al Mur Huraiz, Chairman of the DIMC Sports Committee. ‘The combination of events and the amount of local young competitors involved has been so encouraging. We want to foster local sports as much as we want to grow our sports internationally and this month has been a total focus on our youth and tradition. I’m very pleased with the success of the Championships and thank His Highness for his support.’

The racing on Saturday 21st May will start at 14:30.