Dubai: Ras Al Khaimah and Shanas topped their respective pools in the opening heat of the 30ft Dubai Traditional Rowing Championships held off the Mina Seyahi waters of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), on Friday.
Owned by His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and skippered by veteran Nasser Hassan Al Kas, Ras Al Khaimah had an easy race to top the ‘Blue’ group of boats, while Shanas — owned by the Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman, took top honours in the ‘Yellow’ group.
With a total of 40 boats confirming for the opening heat of the annual championships, the participants were divided into two groups, namely Yellow and Blue to avoid confusion on the course. With each boat having a crew of ten rowers excluding the captain, the mood was upbeat as the 30ft boats jostled for a right position at the start mark close to The Palm Jumeirah.
The crew of Shanas was powerful and soon they were the only ones in the clear with the rest of the pack in hot chase. By the midway mark, it was Marwan Abdullah Al Marzouqi in Jumeirah 4 making a surge to challenge the leader. But the Omani boat just about managed to hold on to their slender lead to win the group, leaving Muzahem 70 — owned by Shaikh Saqr Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi and captained by Hamad Ahmad Ahmadoh — in third position. Zabeel 3 and Ras Al Khaimah 27 occupied the fourth and fifth places respectively in the group.
In the Blue group, Ras Al Khaimah 28 was dominant from the start, and with the tactical guile of its skipper Al Kas, they were safely off for an easy win leaving Wadi Al Farfar 99 in second, while Thouban 10 finished third to complete the podium.
Mohammad Abdullah Hareb, CEO, DIMC, was joined by Jamal Zael Bin Kreshan, Hazim Mohammad Al Qamzi and Major Ali Abdullah Gosaib Al Naqbi at the presentation of trophies at the end of the race. The heat was the first race of the Dubai Traditional Rowing Championships, and also the formal start of the annual watersport season organised by DIMC.
(Yellow) 1. Shanas 20; 2. Jumeirah 4; 3. Muzahem 70; 4. Za’abeel 3; 5. Ras Al Khaimah 27
(Blue group) 1. Ras Al Khaimah 28; 2. Wadi Al Farfar 99; 3. Thouban 10; 4. Dubai 5; 5. Ras Al Khaimah 50