UAE’S ASIAN GAMES HOPEFULS BACK IN ACTION AT DOSC

Two of the UAE’s brightest young hopes for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha are back in competitive action this weekend as the Maktoum Sailing Trophy enters new waters at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 1 Apr 2005, 5:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:52 PM

Brothers Adel and Yousef Khalid are among the crew of Horizon FCB, owned by Shaikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which defends its overall series lead in the fifth of seven rounds which got under way at DOSC yesterday.

The event signals a new direction for competitive keel boat racing in the UAE as for the first time arbitration on the water will be used to hand out instant penalties and possible disqualifications, avoiding the time-consuming process of post-race protests. Maktoum Trophy organisers Dubai International Marine Club have brought in five international judges headed by Croatia’s Neven Baran. All are vastly experienced in events overseen by the ISAF, the world governing body of sailing, as is the Race Officer for the event, Britain’s Brian Hooper.

The DOSC round of the series adds to the sailing education of the Khalid brothers, both of whom are products of the youth sailing programme launched by Dubai International Marine Club six years ago. Adel, who won the Laser 4.7 title at the 2003 European Championships, and Yousef, will skipper the two four-man UAE crews in the new match racing event being introduced at next year’s Dubai Junior Regatta, the world’s largest junior sailing event. In June they will travel to Auckland for a match racing clinic conducted by Emirates Team New Zealand’s Americas Cup coach Rod Davis in preparation for the 2006 Asian Games.

“Both of them are very happy to have been invited to join Shaikh Khaled’s crew for the second time in the series and this is all good experience for them,” said Saeed Hareb, Managing Director of Dubai International Marine Club. Hosts DOSC, meanwhile, look forward to a highly competitive fifth round of the Maktoum series, with the first of five scheduled races which began yesterday and the last one mid-afternoon today.

“Naturally, with nine of our boats competing we’re hoping for some club success, although the main hope is for some close contests to bring out the best in the skippers and their crews, and the signs are that we have an exciting weekend of racing ahead,” said DOSC’s Commodore, David May. The three closest challengers to Horizon are all berthed at DOSC, and they would love to claim a home club clean sweep to set up an exciting climax to the Maktoum Trophy in the two remaining rounds next month.

Sharazad, skippered by David Worrall, made a slow start, finishing fourth in the first two rounds before winning round three and finishing runner-up in the Dubai-Muscat Race to climb to second place overall. One of the favourites at DOSC Serdal Dubai, owned by Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and skippered by Australian Mark Feilberg, which has already shown its liking for short course racing by winning the third round. The problem for Feilberg is that the 44ft boat concedes a big handicap allowance to all its main rivals.

Currently holding fourth position overall in the series, Switch Blade, skippered by David Rostant will be looking to move up at DOSC, as will Yousef bin Lahej in Xclusive and Patrick Cahill’s Southern Cross which currently completes the top six.



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