Sport | Sailing

Al Zeer retain top sailing honours

Shaheen-skippered team win overall honours despite Toufan clinching the final heat

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 February 26, 2012
  • Gulf News

The winners of the Dubai Traditional 43ft Dhow Sailing Championship
  • Image Credit: courtesy: DIMC
  • The winners of the Dubai Traditional 43ft Dhow Sailing Championship held at the Dubai International Marine Club on Saturday.

Dubai: Toufan won the third heat, but it was Al Zeer who picked up the overall honours at the end of the final heat of the Dubai Traditional 43ft Dhow Sailing Championship held at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) yesterday.

Held on a shorter course due to unsteady and fluctuating winds yesterday evening, Toufan — owned and skippered by Ahmad Saeed Salim Al Rumaithi — swept away the rest of the field to win its first race this season.

Burraq, owned by Ahmad Mohammad Rashid Al Rumaithi and skippered by Rashid Mohammad Rashid Al Rumaithi, was placed second, while Wafi — with Khalaf Butti Al Ghasheesh at the helm — came in third to finish the podium.

However, the season's honours were reserved for Al Zeer, who came in 10th yesterday, but could still walk away the overall winner thanks to emphatic wins in the first two races of the championships in December and last month. The boat — owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council — was skippered by Mohammad Rashid Bin Shaheen.

Ending in second overall was Toufan with 14 points, while Burraq finished third, just one point away with 15.

"I am the champion and we deserved this as we put in a lot of effort to be at the top this season," Bin Shaheen told Gulf News.

Rich heritage

"We want to dedicate this win to Shaikh Hamdan for backing us at every step and ensuring we do not lose the heritage of our ancestors," he added. "Winning is such a great feeling."

Ahmad Mohammad Bin Thani, the new chairman of the board of directors at DIMC, presented the trophies to the winners in the presence of former Victory Team driver Ali Nasser Al Habbala and Huraiz Bin Huraiz, both members on the DIMC board.

Unsteady winds forced organisers to shift the start of the race from the DIMC to Dubai Dry Docks area.

Gulf News