Hamdan Saeed Al Harbi (right) and Suhail Rashid Al Tayer get on to their brand-new jet skis at the Victory Team headquarters in Jebel Ali. Image Credit: Victory Team

Dubai: Victory Team’s fresh initiative of launching a brand-new marine sports academy will ensure an even stronger emirati presence on the international stage, according to top officials from the Dubai-based racing team.

Huraiz Al Mur Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Victory Team, was joined by board members Mohammad Al Mutaiwe and Ganem Al Merri at the official unveiling of a brand-new marine sports academy that will operate from the team’s headquarters in Jebel Ali.

The first two students — Suhail Rashid Al Tayer and Hamdan Saeed Al Harbi — will have a dedicated coach in former ten-time jet ski world champion Stephen Dauliach to get prepared for bigger challenges ahead. The two nine-year-olds have already commenced training and will commence their foray into serious competition at the opening round of the 2019 UAE Aquabike Championship that is slated to take off at the Mercato Beach in Jumeirah on January 12.

“At Victory Team we are constantly innovating with the goal of pushing ‘Brand Dubai’ worldwide. The start of the marine sports academy is for the future of our youth and marine sports. This move will ensure we have world champions across all age categories,” Bin Huraiz told Gulf News on Tuesday.

“As former world champions in Class One, XCats and Aquabikes, Victory Team believes it has a role to play as a global ambassador for Dubai and the UAE. This is perhaps the first team in the world to have a dedicated marine sports academy. Along a period of time I can see these young boys graduate and start representing our team across the world,” he added.

Victory Team made their offshore powerboat racing debut in 1986, but it wasn’t until 1990 that it began to build its own boat. The team debuted as a guest entry during the final two rounds of the Class 1 World Championship in 1992, while taking the top two spots in both races.

Since then, Victory Team has become an international brand while winning an amazing 14 Class 1 World Championships and seven Middle East Championships among others, making them one of the most successful teams in offshore powerboat racing.

Chris Wilkinson, Aquabikes Manager at Victory Team related that the two youngsters will train under Duliac twice a week so that they get adequate time to pursue academics. Victory Team’s Kevin Reiterer, crowned world champion for the third time in December 2018, will visit Dubai regularly to conduct special sessions for the two students.

“We are in the process of seeing if we can have them participate at some of the aquabike competition rounds in Europe during the course of the season,” Wilkinson said. “The goal is always the future. During the course of the season we will also be conducting workshops at various schools and institutions to see how we can get more youngsters to join the academy.”

New entrants:

Suhail Rashid Al Tayer
Born in 2009
Grade IV student at Ittihad Private School, Jumeirah

Hamdan Saeed Al Harbi
Born in 209Grade V student at Shaikh Rashid School, Nad Al Sheba