More than 1,000 Emirati rowers thrashed through the waters off the capital’s Corniche last Friday 6th January in the Abu Dhabi Traditional Rowing Race, an event organised by Emirates Heritage Club (EHC) and held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, EHC Chairman and Representative of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
A total of four races were scheduled at 20 minutes intervals between 3:30 and 4:30pm, with between 16-17 all-wooden rowing boats allotted to each starting slot. The quartet of races, which will be named ‘Red’, ‘Green’, ‘White’ and ‘Black’ in honour of the UAE flag, will see 16 rowers and one non-rowing cox occupy the 40ft boats.
The 2.8km course runs from the stretch of public beach just opposite Le Royal Meridien hotel to the Hiltonia Beach Club, which is opposite the Volvo Ocean Race Destination Village overlooking the Corniche. With cash prizes of AED110.000 for the top finishers in each race, the winning boats also scooped a brand-new Nissan Patrol 4x4.
The Abu Dhabi Traditional Rowing Race was free to attend, with the best viewing points found at the Corniche public beach, or the Destination Village.