Ras Al Khaimah: Thirty dragon boat teams from across the UAE and the Middle East will participate in the RAK International Marine Sports Club Autumn Dragon Boat Regatta 2016, set to be held on November 25 in Ras Al Khaimah.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the event will see more than 700 seasoned paddlers pitting their skills.
Teams will compete in seven race classes, with 22 teams in the competitive category and eight teams in the corporate category.
The corporate teams of RAK Hospital, Emirates Steel and St. George Dragon Slayers are just a few of those participating in the corporate race.
The Dragon Boat event will be held from 8am until late in the afternoon, with spectators able to watch the teams battling it out on the waters from the RAK Corniche area, against the backdrop of the majestic Hajar Mountains.
“Dragon boating is a thrilling watersport, full of adrenaline, sportsmanship and strategy. It is the fastest-growing water sport in the world with over 50 million annual competitions, while it continues to gain much interest in the UAE,” said Rina Gauer, Head of the organising committee.
Teams will compete in five Standard Champion Boats; each boat seating 20 paddlers, besides a steersman and a drummer. For the first time in the Emirates, races will be held using Small Champion Boats for crews of ten paddlers with a steersman and a drummer.
“Training has been focused and intense, expectations are high and passions have been stirred, as the competitive teams prepare to ‘unleash the dragon’, on their quest to win medals, trophies and other prizes,” said Gauer.