Dubai: Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) will hold a traditional 43-foot sailing race on Saturday, the first round of Dubai Sailing Dhow Championships, to promote the UAE’s bid to host Expo 2020 in Dubai.
The three-heat championship begins with the first being named Expo 2020, which the organisers felt was the best way to support the Candidate city’s bid for the event.
With a fleet of 71 odd magnificent racing dhows contesting for the overall top place and the honour to start next season as boat number 1, all boats will fly the special Expo 2020 flag, organisers said.
“The first four boats have had consistently good scores for the last two races,” said Ali bin Ghulaitha, from the organising committee and officer of the day.
“The skippers will be watching the weather closely over the next few days to make sure they get the best advantage. It is our job to make sure the race is run fairly and safely. Our offshore operation involves around 40 people and 12 boats from DIMC, we also have boats from the police and coastguard and a medical team in support. With 14 crew on each dhow plus the dhows support boat with two to three crew onboard, it means we have well over 1,000 people on the water during the race, which is a lot of responsibility.”
Unsettled weather conditions are set to continue although the weekend is expected to be warmer with winds from the north making the course likely to finish at the Burj Al Arab with the boats mustering in the lee of the World Islands waiting before the start.