EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, the gulf region’s only long distance offshore sailing race, is delighted to confirm that Team Abu Dhabi from the UAE will participate as a special guest in the second inport race in the UAE capital tomorrow.
The welcomed news follows Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club continued support for the event with the club taking full of advantage of the race coming to its shores. By participating alongside some of the world’s most experienced sailors who are racing in the 15 day challenge, the local club hopes the opportunity to pit themselves against the best will offer an invaluable experience to its talented young sailors.
Local professional sailor Miguel Contreras is heading the team as skipper, joined by a young crew of regional sailors including Ahmed Ismael Al Marzouqi who represented Abu Dhabi in The Tour last year.
Speaking on the back of this latest development Issa Al Ismaili, Director of Events at the race’s organiser Oman Sail said; “This type of support and commitment from theAbu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club to the future of sailing is exactly why EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour exists. The tour offers an exciting platform to develop sailing and provide unique experiences to a new generation of sailors wanting to compete at the highest level.”
“This is a great boost for EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour and all involved are absolutely thrilled that Team Abu Dhabi will be in the water tomorrow. We wish them all the very best and hope it’s an inspiring experience to savour.” added Al Ismaili.
At 20 years old, Ahmed Ismael Al Marzouqi is the youngest crew at the event. The experience he brings with him from his past participation in the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour last year will be a great asset. He is also from a strong Dhow racing background and has been through an intense training regime in the last month to prepare for this event.
Commenting on Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club’s entry, Ahmed Ismael Al Marzouqi said: “We now have two Farr 30s at the club so we have put a crew together and have been training for a month now. Our skipper has been helping us develop our skills and I really feel the crew has improved, so tomorrow we are looking forward to seeing the rewards of all our hard work. If we get a podium position we would be so proud for our country.”
Reinier D’Arnaud – Centre Principal and Sailing/Events coordinator at Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club – who is committed developing the keelboat programme in the region, said tomorrow’s participation in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, will act as a kick-start.
“The event last year helped us plan our strategy in development and training long term. The idea is to have a full year-long programme of racing and training and develop the crews skills so they can all work efficiently as a competitive team.
“Now we have two Farr 30s, we are really keen to work with Oman Sail to develop the Farr 30 as a one-design fleet in the region, and hence support the event with two teams next year.”
This event, which runs from February 9-24, is now in its fourth year and offers 15 days of intense sailing with a mix of inport and offshore races to test the skills of not only the region’s best sailing talent, but also a selection of elite world class sailors.
Tomorrow’s second inport race of the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2014, is taking place at Water Bridge, the area of water, which connects Abu Dhabi's Corniche – in front of Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club – with the sea. This stretch of water is an ideal location not only for the competing teams but also for spectators who are expected to turn out in force to watch the action. Up to three races are scheduled with the first start at 1100.
Team Abu Dhabi Crew List
Miguel Contreras, Skipper (Portugal)
Sebastien Delasnarie (France)
Ahmed Ismael Al Marzouqi (UAE)
Mohamed Al Obaidly (UAE)
Abdel Aziz Al Obaidly (UAE)
Ahmed Malala Al Quibaisi (UAE)
Jake Williams (UK)
For more information on the race please visit: www.sailingarabiathetour.com