After a closely contested first round of the Traditional 22ft Dhow Sailing Championships at the end of last month the teams are gearing up to race again this weekend in the second round organised by Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) in Mina Seyahi.
Team Dahees, who was the overall winner of the 2009/2010 season slipped in form during 2010/2011 to finish a disappointing twenty-ninth in the league. ‘We hope winning the first race is a good omen for us and we’re excited about racing at the weekend, the wind looks promising for a good race,’ said Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Al Marzouoqi, skipper of Dahees.
‘It was encouraging to see as many as fifty seven dhows start the season,’ said Huraiz Al Mur Huraiz, Chairman of the DIMC Sports Committee. ‘With so many variables for youngsters to get involved in these days, we’re glad to see that they are still interested in the traditional sailing. These youngsters are the ones who will safeguard and promote the importance of maintaining our local heritage and culture on the water.’
With the temperatures still in the high 30C’s everyone will be hoping for the weather to break in to the milder winter days, although the break doesn’t look set to be happen this weekend but a good 12-knot breeze is on the cards.
‘Sailing is such a healthy sport for youngsters to get involved in,’ said Saeed Hareb, CEO DIMC. ‘It’s easy to spend so much time inside because of the heat during the summer months here in Dubai, so getting out on the water and enjoying the fact that we are blessed with an amazing coastline is so important.’
Following the disqualification of five dhows in the last race for rule infringement, organisers are hoping that the teams will take note this weekend and respect the safety requirements set with regards to wearing buoyancy aids at all times on the water. ‘We want to stress water safety in all areas,’ said Marwan Al Tayer, who oversees the dhow racing on the DIMC Sports Committee. ‘By implementing safety rules to the sailors whilst racing we also hope to in still water safety in general.’
The race will start at 15:00 next to the Palm Jumeirah and is expected to last for about 45 minutes depending on the wind.