Dhow race on the Corniche – tomorrow 8th March
I must admit it: I could not find many information about this event, apart from the fact that it is called Arzanah Dhow Sailing Race 60FT, (some photos of a previous event are on Facebook), that it is happening from 2pm to 5pm on the Abu Dhabi Corniche tomorrow, Saturday 8th of March, and that is organised by the Abu Dhabi sailing and yacht club.
I called them on 02 658 3333 and they confirmed that the race is on, but that’s all I know!
The tradition of dhow races, as I wrote in a previous post, is still thriving: these boats originally were used as trading vessels, and as an essential part of the pearl-diving industry, but today they are employed for racing. The racing season starts in September, with 12-man teams of UAE nationals competing in a tournament spread over nine months. The final and most prestigious race of the season is from Sir Bu Na’air Island to Dubai, a distance of 54 nautical miles, over a route taken by the early pearling dhows at a time when each captain raced to be the first back to port, and perhaps get the best price for his pearls.
Dhow is not an Arabic word but was adapted by the British from the Persian word dawh, meaning sailing vessel.
The dhow is distinguished from other boats by its triangular sail, known as lateen. Teak is still the mandatory timber, though nowadays is sometimes supplemented by fibreglass and steel framework.
The wood may be varnished yet not painted, in deference to the tradition of leaving the hull above the waterline untreated and painting the part below with lime, as a deterrent to barnacles and other growth.
I guess the best thing is to turn up on the beach and see what happens there, and I look forward to it!
Click HERE to read more about SPORTS in Abu Dhabi.