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Al Rumaithi takes honours in traditional dhow race

posted on 18/02/2008: 1910 views



Forty-four traditional dhows took part in the first heat of the three-round series which acts as a build-up to the Sir Bu Naair race. After much chaos at the starting line behind the buoys, the fleet took off, leaping forward with the thrust of strong winds. To complete the 15 NM journey involving a turn buoy mark, the 60ft dhows had to sail across from The World to the Jebel Ali Channel and then use the downwind to reach the finish line outside Mina Seyahi.

Though only 35 dhows made it to the end, pristine white sails dotted the blurry horizon as the boats danced on the seas. At the head of the pack was Buraq, skippered by Rashid Mohammad Al Rumaithi, who pipped Mohammad Rashid Bin Shaheen of Al Zeer fame.

It was interesting to see Ahmad Saeed Al Rumaithi, skippering Ghazi, use his experience to overtake Rejam by a length to finish in third. Sultan Hareb and his young team came in safely at fifth in Shamardal. The dhow sailing races are without a doubt the most spectacular events on the watersports calendar. Following a carefully planned schedule of contests, the dhow races are a prelude to the most prized finale of the season - the Sir Bu Naair race.

Historical journey

The race is a reminder of the journey that the nation's forefathers took when they went out to sea pearl diving for months on end. The dhows are fashioned in exactly the same way as those used by the pearl sailors of yesteryear. The events have become a family affair over the years and each boat must have a crew of at least 10, and it is not uncommon for up to four generations from the same family to be involved. The next round will be held on May 2. – Gulf News

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