Dubai: Ebrahim Esmail Al Marzouqi and his crew on Al Zeeb won the Dubai Traditional 22-foot Dhow sailing race in front of The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence on Saturday.
It did not come easy though, as the team really struggled to sail the boat through the line to finish the race after the wind died and left the 56-dhow fleet standing in calm conditions. Second was Salik, skippered by Juma Suhail Salim Adidi and third was Al Wasf with Mohammad Hamad Al Ghashaih and crew.
Only one of the two scheduled races in the finale of the Majid Bin Mohammad Watersports Championship could be completed as the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) organising committee were forced to postpone the second race to a later date.
The race started in about eight knots of wind on a 4.5 nautical mile course, but the light wind, mixed with a choppy sea swell, made the already hot and humid conditions tricky for the crews.
"The startline for the race was quite disorderly and some of the skippers were taking too long to get in a straight line," said Marwan Al Tayer from the DIMC Sports Committee. "We set a time limit for the boats to be ready but some boats were over the line at the start and it resulted in 12 of the teams being disqualified."
The DIMC Sports Committee are just completing their first season of events at the club and have been working with the staff to update rules and regulations and enforcing them out on the water.
"The development of the traditional fleets has been very successful," said Huraiz Al Mur Bin Huraiz, the Committee Chairman. "The interest is there and we are seeing an increased demand for the sport and with that comes the need for tighter regulations."
The race ended in very difficult conditions, which stretched the teams to their limits as the wind dropped away just before the finishing posts.
"The finish was so tricky," said the winning skipper Al Marzouqi. "We were all sitting as far forward as possible in the boat to try and move forward after the wind had died. The waves were pushing us but it was so frustrating. However, luckily we managed to cross the line for victory."