30 teams competed in RAK dragon boat race
Ras Al Khaimah - More than 870 paddlers of 30 teams from across the UAE and the Middle East were competing in the race
His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, on Friday morning kicked off the long-awaited RAK International Marine Sports Club Autumn Dragon Boat Regatta 2016.
More than 870 paddlers of 30 teams from across the UAE and the Middle East were competing in the race which took place on the most favoured Corniche Al Qawasim.
Teams, including Qatar and Iran, took to the waters in seven race classes; 22 teams in the competitive category and eight teams in the corporate category. The corporate teams of RAK Hospital, Emirates Steel and St. George Dragon Slayers are just a few of those participating in the corporate race.
His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah
The Dragon Boat event was held from 8am until late in the afternoon, with spectators able to watch the teams battling it out on the waters from the Corniche area, against the backdrop of the majestic Hajar Mountains.
Rina Gauer, Head of the Organising Committee, said dragon boating is a thrilling watersport, full of adrenaline, sportsmanship and strategy. "It is the fastest growing water sport in the world with over 50 million annual competitions, while it continues to gain much interest in the UAE."
This event has grown considerably from the RAK IMC's first Summer Regatta last May 27th, where we had 16 teams competing. After such a successful day, we knew we had to raise the next event to an even higher level of competition, she added.
"With this in mind the club has built a competitive race course of international standard, exclusively for Dragon Boating and a sophisticated timing system will be used to record and capture all results and races."
Teams competed in five Standard Champion Boats; each boat sitting twenty paddlers, a steersman and a drummer, she explained. "For the first time in the UAE, races were held using Small Champion Boats, for crews of ten paddlers, the steersman and a drummer."
Training was focused and intense, expectations were high and passions were stirred, as the competitive teams prepare to 'unleash the dragon', on their quest to win medals, trophies and other prizes, Rina pointed out.
"The event was supported by the office of the RAK Ruler, RAK Municipality, Police and Coast Guard whereas RAK Hospital continues to show its community commitment in providing the medical assistance for the Regatta."