Dubai: Mohammad Abdullah Mohammad Al Marzouqi led his Dahes to a close win over a packed field in the one-off Dubai Sailing Cup 22ft dhow sailing race held at the Mina Seyahi waters off Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) on Saturday.
In a race that witnessed the skills and tactical discipline of sailors, it was Dahes who crossed the finish line first after winds dropped suddenly during the early stages of the race. The meteorological services had predicted gusts of between 13 and 15 knots, but sailors had to do with weak winds between three and five knots, thus seriously impeding the progress of the race.
With all dhows jibbing constantly to catch the wind it was Dahes who showed superior tactics to be the first to cross the finish line nearly one and a half hour after the race had begun. "Never before have we had a 22ft dhow race take so long to complete the course," said Sid Bin Salah, Sports Director, DIMC.
Following Dahes was the Sultan Ahmad Khadim Al Muhairi-skippered Al Iz in second place, while Atiq Mohammad Sabir Al Mazroui-skippered Muzahim came in third to complete the podium.
DIMC board members Ali Bin Gulaitha, Mohammad Suhail Al Ayali and Saeed Al Tayer were joined by DIMC Sports Committee members Huraiz Al Mur Bin Huraiz and Marwan Al Tayer at the trophy presentation at the end.
Given the tough conditions, only 51 of the 78 dhows managed to complete the race.
"In a way this sort of racing was good for the sailors as they prepare for the season-ending Al Gaffal that would also require a lot of tactic," he added.
The Dubai Sailing Cup was the last competition for the dhows before the teams start gearing up for the Al Gaffal - the one last journey from the Sir Bu Naair island homeward to DIMC, before the curtain falls on the water sport season.
1. Dahes (Mohammad Abdullah Mohammad Al Marzouqi); 2. Al Iz (Sultan Ahmad Khadim Al Muhairi); Muzahim (Atiq Mohammad Sabir Al Mazroui); 4. Al Butinah (Yousuf Ahmad Mohammad Al Hammadi); 5. Salik (Juma Suhail Al Tayer).