Dhow race at Jumeirah Beach

Watersport season kicked off by Dubai International Marine Club

Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) opens the watersports season on Friday September 23 with a traditional 22ft dhow sailing race at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina in Jumeirah Beach.

Fifty-five entries will take part in the first of four races in the 2011-12 calendar. Al Zeeb, Al Wasf and Al Iz, who ended last season with 20, 21 and 27 points consecutively, are favourites, having each won a race during the last four round championship.

Al Wasf skipper Mohammed Hamad Al Ghashaih said: ‘Sailing is a passion for me and I love to win.

‘The competition is strong and the teams all train hard, it’s important to have trust within your team and develop together. I race in the 43ft class as well and think that competing in the 22ft class has made me a better sailor. It’s a good class to start in.’

A hundred and eighty 22ft traditional dhows competed over the 2010-11 season. Up to a hundred and thirty managed to compete in all the races and the remaining boats managed at least two rounds.

‘As many of the sailors will compete in two or three classes it can be quite a commitment as we will hold as many as 20 sailing races in the different classes over the year, ‘ said Saeed Hareb, President of the UAE Marine Sports Federation and CEO of DIMC. ‘We are committed to preserve the traditional races of the region and we probably have the best success rate in the world in this field.

The race briefing will be at 2pm and the race will start at 3.30pm in Mina Seyahi followed by prize-giving at DIMC. For more information, click here.

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