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From left: Simon Reeves, Ramesh Cidambi and Michal Pajak, Chairman SB20 UAE, addressing media ahead of the second annual Dubai Duty Free Sailing League Regatta on Wednesday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Defending champions Glasgow Kiss will be eager to defend their title in the second annual Dubai Duty Free Sailing League Regatta, which begins at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) on Thursday.

The four-day event was given a rousing start during the opening ceremony and a press conference at the DOSC on Wednesday, which was attended by Ramesh Cidambi, Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Duty Free, DOSC Commodore Simon Reeves and Mohammed Harib, CEO of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC).

Featuring the SB20, one of the most popular open keel design boats in the world, 24 teams, 12 international and 12 local teams, will compete over four days in a series of 10 to 15-minute races with eight boats at a time. Glasgow Kiss will face fierce competition from some of the world’s most talented SB20 sailors. Additionally, this year Samia Bagdady of Saudi Arabia will compete with the Jeddah Yacht Club, showcasing the kingdom’s growing sports culture.

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DDF Sailing League Regatta is likely to witness some impressive contests over the next four days in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

The Regatta is an especially exciting event for spectators as the course runs directly in front of Jumeirah Beach and will also be broadcasted live, showcasing every riveting moment in the race. DOSC will also host engaging social evenings where competitors and fans can refresh and relax. The race village will also return, featuring a live feed available online and an entertaining venue to watch the Regatta.

Inaugural regatta

Commenting on the return of the Dubai Duty Free Sailing League Regatta, Simon Reeves stated: “We are excited to welcome this important race back to DOSC, and we are delighted Dubai Duty Free will return as the title sponsor. Last year’s inaugural regatta proved popular among sailors and sailing enthusiasts. It showcased Dubai’s enthusiastic sailing community as well as DOSC’s ability to host a world-class event, and we look forward to creating an even more impressive experience this year.”

Ramesh Cidambi of DDF said: “We are very pleased to again sponsor the 2022 Dubai Duty Free Sailing League Regatta. It was a fantastic event last year and extremely enjoyable for both fans and competitors, and helped create many ambassadors for Dubai in the international SB20 sailing community. The field this year is even more competitive, and having the event over the UAE National Day holidays will help attract more fans to enjoy the racing and entertainment”

The race promises to deliver days filled with action and adventure as well as show the global sailing community a preview of the SB20 World Championships, which DOSC will host in 2024.