Dubai: Twenty-two children aged eight to 15 completed a six-hour sailing trip around Nakheel’s the World to raise funds for the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club’s (DOSC) Youth Sailing Fund yesterday.
The children completed a 27km course sailing singlehanded in two-metre race dinghies in order to help pay for training, equipment and transport to races.
“This is more than 10 times the distance that the youth sailing squad would cover in a normal race, and being so far out to sea they will also have to cope with bigger swells and winds,” said Francis Carr, Commodore at DOSC.
Sara Al Beih, mother of one of the sailors, said that she encourages her children to sail because it helps build personality.
“I encourage sailing because it teaches my child how to be independent and allows him to make decisions independently,” she said.
Jeniffer Hardie, a mother of another of the young sailors braving the seas yesterday, believes that sailing has allowed her son Mathew to be more confident.
“Participating and winning trophies has definitely given my son more confidence socially which has also affected his performance in school positively.”
Gulf News spoke to some of the young sailors who completed the round trip in order to learn more about their sailing experience.
“I am sailing today in order to raise funds for my training and help out my coaches,” said Ali Eldermedash, Egyptian, 15.
“I started sailing in Egypt and decided to learn the sport after watching my coach sail. Overall, the trip was easy and fun but at some parts of the trip there was little wind so it got a bit boring,” he said.
Scottish expatriate Lucy Wilson, 11, has been training for three years and was the third to complete the trip.
“I wanted to participate because this is a big event and I wanted to challenge myself. At the beginning it was difficult and I was annoyed because I was behind some of the other kids, however, later on I was able to recover and take third place.”
Noor Nazzal is a trainee at Gulf News