Saturday will see thousands gathering to see the finals of the SUP competition, traditional dhow race, beach football and volleyball contests, and of course the kitesurfing championship.
The coastline, which features 350 km of natural beauty, is the perfect venue for the Watersports Festival organised by the Western Region Development Council. The event highlights the potential of the region whilst encouraging the public and youth to get involved in the spirit of competition. The festival has featured a cacophony of sports including kitesurfing, kayaking, SUP, jetskiing, beach volleyball and football and swimming.
The swimming competitions, which have now concluded, highlighted some extraordinary local talent. In the 50m Junior, winner was Abdullah Mohammed Al Hammadi followed by Khaled Ismail Al Hammadi and Hassan Sultan Hammadi. The 100m saw a close race with Abdullah Hadi Al Hammadi pursued hotly by Mohammed Abdel Raheem Al Hosni.
The Men’s Pro division (700m) was a real treat as the crowds witnessed stormingly good local talent. Winner Mohammed Al Ghafri (7 minutes and 20 seconds) from the General Directorate of Police Operations was third in the world championship in Dubai in 2011 and first in the Gulf in Kuwait. In second place was Abdullah Naseeb Al Minhali (7 minutes and 23 seconds) from Al Gharbia Police. State champion in 2012, this is Abdullah’s first time in the festival. In third place was Albert Crominas (7 minutes and 30 seconds) who had travelled all the way from Barcelona in Spain because he had heard so many good things about the festival. As the kitesurfing championship continues on, the beach will be full of fun and activity as the ten days draws to a close.
Festival manager Obaid Al Mazrouie said: “Al Gharbia Festival has been everything we wanted it to be and more. It’s success can be measured in so many ways: by the thousands who turned up to enjoy themselves; by the sporting talent and potential that we have been honoured to witness; by the opportunity to share the culture of this wonderful region; and by the inspiring message it send out to our youth.”
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