Excitement for Al Zeeb, in the Dubai Traditional 22ft Dhow Sailing Championships, as skipper Ahmed Ismail Al Marzouqi performed a superb tactical race, out shining the skills of Sultan Saeed Harib on Sharmardel. Sharmardel came a close second place with Dahees and skipper Al Hur R. K. Al Muhairi in third. Dahees could not complain, however as he already holds a strong position overall this season with two firsts and now a third. In the last heat, winner Muzahim was disqualified after the race for not complying with the specified crew age requirement, handing his first place to Dahees.
The World Islands formed the backdrop for the start line of the hour-long race with the turn mark lying off of Port Rashid. Wafi took an early lead but a windward Al Zeeb took control of the race and stretched a lead of three boat lengths by the first mark and dropped low towards the coastline before turning. Sharmardel took a different line and turned straight after the mark to keep further out to sea and it seemed like a good move as Al Zeeb lost boat speed nearer to the shore. Al Sharid, helmed by Majid Ahmed Khadim Al Muhairi was also one of the leaders around the mark and made a midway turn judgment call, but it was Sharmardel in the lead as they approached the narrow pass between the coast and an off shore island before the finish.
The narrowness of the pass was tricky in the gentle wind conditions, Sharmardel, still in the lead turned first heading to the coast to make his final turn through the pass to the finish. Al Zeeb followed sailing further landward before a perfect maneuver turned his boat on a pin to make a clear run to the finish. Sharmardel misjudged the position of his turn, which meant a struggle with little wind too close to the island allowing Al Zeeb to sweep through and take the honours. ‘It was great fun sailing today, we got an early lead and had to sail our own race, our decisions were good in the end although I was unsure at times,’ said Ahmed after his win. Saeed Harib, CEO of Dubai International Marine Club who organized the race purposely set a tactical course to stretch the skills of the young crews. ‘I want to make the sailors think and not just follow each other, the first three boats turned at the mark and went in different directions completely splitting the field. There will be lots of discussion and comparisons after this race.’ He added clearly happy with the outcome.
Provisional Results before scrutinizing
||Ahmed Ismail Al Marzouqi
||Ebrahim Ismail Al Marzouqi
||Sultan Saeed Harib
||Shk Majid bin Mohd. Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
||Al Hur Rashid K. Al Muhairi
||Majid Ahmed Khadim Al Muhairi
||Rashid Ali Salim Al Adeedi
||Sultan Ahmed Khadim Al Muhairi
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