At 14, when most boys are busy with the latest game consoles and video games, Almur Bin Huraiz prefers to jet
ski around the world. The UAE National Jet Ski Champion was crowned World Junior Jet Ski Champion at the World Finals held in Arizona, US last October. Almur is the first Arab to win the Jet Ski World Finals.
He developed a passion for the sport at the age of seven, when his uncle Huraiz Al Mur Bin Huraiz took him to the Jumeirah beach to brave the Gulf waters on a jet ski. For Almur, his uncle is his friend, philosopher and guide, someone he lovingly refers to as 'Bu Salama'.
Today Bin Huraiz is immensely proud of his protégé.
He says, "During the early years I managed to convince the organisers of the Dubai Marine Club to start the junior jet ski class. I noticed in the boy a will to win and a great love for the sport and I knew immediately we had a winner here.
"Almur won the UAE Jet Ski Junior Championship in 2007, and the same year I took him to Europe to participate in the European Jet Ski Championship.
He went through a tough regimen, having to endure difficult weather and water conditions and finally emerged fifth overall in his age group."
Almur practises four to five times a week, and has set himself the goal of being the best jet-ski racer in the world. "When he became the World Junior Jet Ski Champion, it was a very proud moment for him and all of us.
For a while he couldn't believe that he had actually made it to the first spot. His vision is now to be the best pro rider in the world," says Bin Huraiz. Almur's win at the Jet Ski World Finals has raised the bar for the Dubai Jet Ski team, an independent professional jet-ski racing team.
"We are a very small team and currently there are only two members — Almur and his coach, Steven Dauliach from France, also a former professional World Champion," says Bin Huraiz, who acts as the team manager.
Almur became the World Junior Jet Ski Champion scoring 60 points and beating his closest rivals, second-placed Quinten Bossche from Belgium and third-placed Nacho Arwillas from Spain. The win was a result of the intensive training the team underwent for almost three months.
Bin Huraiz says, "In 2008 after the UAE Jet Ski Championship, I took him to Europe once again. The first race was in Croatia where he missed a track and was penalised. He picked up the pace soon after and was ranked third in the competition. We realised he had become more confident and so decided to take him to the US for the world championships in October. His win is a significant achievement for the UAE in the international sporting world. We are very grateful to the Dubai International Financial Centre and Al Mulla Investment Company for supporting us all the way."
For Almur the journey has just begun. After having tasted success, his plan is to participate in more competitions to gain knowledge and expertise. With his tenacity and persistence, it won't be long before he becomes a real pro in the world of jet skiing. n