Dubai: Three boats owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC) were among the top-10 finishers at the 28th Al Gaffal 60ft dhow sailing race that was concluded on Monday.
Leading the three boats was the Ahmad Saeed Salim Al Rumaithi-skippered ‘Ghazi’ as he ended an outright winner along the Jumeirah coastline near the Burj Al Arab on Monday afternoon. ‘Buraq’, owned by Ahmad Mohammad Rashid Al Rumaithi and skippered by Rashid Mohammad Rashid Al Rumaithi came in a close second, while Al Tef, owned by Mohammad Rashid Al Rumaithi and skippered by Khalifa Abid Thani Al Marri came in third.
Another two of Shaikh Hamdan’s dhows went on to finish in the top-10 with Obaid Saeed Al Tayer claiming the fifth place with ‘Al Qaffay’ ahead of Ahmad Saeed Salem Al Rumaithi-owned ‘Bin Ghazi’, while Saeed Mohammad Saeed Al Tayer guided ‘Al Hadhay’ into eighth place leaving ‘Al Tabr’ and ‘Toofan’ to complete the top-10 positions this year.
Shaikh Saeed Bin Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented the trophies and cash awards to the top finishers in the presence of Ahmad Saeed Bin Meshar, chairman of DIMC, Ali Nasser Belhabala, vice-chairman of DIMC, Huraiz Al Mur Bin Huraiz, DIMC board member, Mohammad Hareb, board member and Ceo of DIMC, race director Hezaim Al Qamzi and Mahra Falaknaz, general secretary of UAE Marine Sports Federation (UAE MSF).
Held under the auspices of the UAE MSF and organised by the DIMC, the 28th edition of the race was initially scheduled to be held on May 12. However, with prevalent unfavourable weather over the past few days, organisers were forced to postpone the race for an early morning start on Monday from the Sir Bu Na’air Island and a finish at the Jumeirah coastline off Burj Al Arab.
Organised by the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, the race that was first held in 1991 marks the end of the watersports season in the UAE. The Al Gaffal race represents an embodiment of the past and history along with a revival of memories. The race commemorates the festival that was celebrated by the forefathers of the UAE on their long journey after several months of pearl diving on the high seas.
The theme of the annual race that attracted a record 126 dhows this year was ‘celebrating the Emirates’ heritage: return from the past’. The distance between Sir Bu Na’air Island and the Dubai coastline is a little over 50 Nautical miles.