Dubai: Al Serb clinched the top honours at an incident-marked final heat of the Dubai Traditional 60ft Dhow Sailing held off the Mina Seyahi waters of the Dubai International Marine Club on Saturday.
It was a result provided on a platter for the Rashid Mohammad Khadim Al Muhairi-owned dhow after race winner Atlas — owned by Faraj Bin Butti Al Muhairbi and skippered by Ahmad Rashid Al Suwaidi — was penalised five places for a start-line infringement.
"Rules are rules and they are meant to be followed by all. It is an unfortunate incident, but as the committee in charge of upholding the rules, we had no alternative as Atlas was not the only boat to be penalised," stated Sid Bensalah, Sports Director at the DIMC.
"This race is always meant to be a warm-up event for the season-ending ‘Al Gaffal' and I am sure competitors have learnt a lot on race procedures before they head into next month's grueling race from Sir Bu Naair to DIMC," said Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the DIMC Sports Committee.
Starting in not so ideal conditions with winds ranging between six and ten knots, the dhows battled to make their way towards the finish line towards the Burj Al Arab. This sort of conditions led the boats to err on several fronts and the race committee stuck to its guns penalising all defaulters, Atlas included, after the conclusion of the race that saw only 46 of the 74 dhows cross the line. Barraq, always a tough competitor with Rashid Mohammad Rashid Al Rumaithi at the helm, came in second, while Khadim Rashid Al Muhairi-skippered Dahees was placed third. Al Iz, skippered by Sultan Ahmad Khadim Al Muhairi came in fourth, Salim Ali Al Adeedi-skippered Emaar placed fifth and Atlas was sixth following the penalty.
Ahmad Mohammad Bin Thani, Chairman of the DIMC board of directors presented the trophies in the presence of board members.
1. Al Serb (Owner: Rashid Mohammad Khadim Al Muhairi; Skipper: Al Hur Rashid Khadim Al Muhairi); 2. Barraq (Owner: Mohammad Rashid Mussabah Al Muhairi; Skipper: Rashid Mohammad Rashid Al Rumaithi); 3. Dahees (Owner: Khadim Rashid Al Muhairi; Skipper: Khadim Rashid Al Muhairi); 4. Al Iz (Owner: Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Skipper: Sultan Ahmad Khadim Al Muhairi); 5. Emaar (Owner: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Skipper: Salim Ali Al Adeedi).