Dubai: Muqasas, captained by Khalid Mohammad Al Rumaithi, won the final round of the Dubai traditional 43-foot dhow sailing championships on Saturday.
Al Wasef, skippered by Mohammad Hamad Al Ghashesh and Faza Helmed by Khamis Obaid Thani Al Rumaithi finished second and third respectively in this Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) organised event.
Starting near Jebel Ali Port in fairly light winds finished at the Burj Al Arab with a significantly stronger breeze, which had picked up gradually during the hour-long 10 mile race. "We were further out to sea than the other leading boats as we came to the top of the Palm," said Al Rumaithi of his team's win.
"We had clean air with no other boats around us and were able to get ahead. I'm really happy to win, the wind was quite strong and gusty towards the finish and at one point we were overpowered and took on a lot of water. But the crew worked very well to keep the boat speed and we had a great win."
Al Ghasheesh's second place was his best achievement of the season in this class.
"I loved the wind today," he explained, "we were one of the leading boats from the start and had a better angle on the wind towards the finish giving us great momentum as the wind picked up and we got a good result."
Favourite Al Zeer managed to retain its lead in the overall three round Championship after finishing 12th and Muqasas sneaked in to take second place overall after this win giving it a total of 22 points over three races.
A prize purse per race of Dh1.5 million is split between the first 50 boats with a top prize of Dh90,000 for the winner.
The prize money sponsored by the Government of Dubai is to encourage competitors to keep dhow sailing active and boats maintained as part of the UAE's heritage scheme.
The next event to be held at DIMC is the UIM Xcat Middle East Championships on March 24-25.
1. Muqasas, 2. Al Wasef, 3. Faza'a, 4. Atlas, 5 Izam.
1. Al Zeer, 2. Muqasas 21, 3. Al Adeed 22.