The graceful Arabian dhow is a cultural symbol of the UAE , its billowing sails mirrored in the design of iconic Dubai hotel Burj Al Arab, among the early landmarks of neighbouring Dubai’s achievement. This traditional wooden sailing boat, whose name derives from the Persian word ‘dawh’ which means sailing boat, was originally utilised for transportation, pearl diving and buying and selling.
Currently, these majestic vessels might be seen under full sail on the horizon each and every winter, racing over the waves of the Arabian Gulf. The boats are crewed primarily by groups of young UAE nationals under stiff competitors, with big prize money at stake. Traditional sailing skills, handed from generation to generation, are nevertheless in use in these races, as sailors hoist the boom transporting the sail by hand, employing conventional block and tackle, and navigate from the strategies of their forefathers.
The substantial white triangular sails, referred to as lateens, differentiate the dhow from other sailboats. When the boats are on the way, the big sails might be seen from an awesome length, making dhow racing an effortless activity to watch from shoreline.
Developing on tradition Frederic Dignef of Outsider Sails continues to be producing sails for dhow racing for five years. This is an area exactly where tradition provides way to technology in favour of velocity. “The sails for dhows are various mainly because the dhows do not need to sail upwind. The races are often downwind or beam reaching so we make the sails a lot more deep and effective,” he states. “The sails had been made traditionally on the seaside without any stitching device, no laptop or computer and low cost cloth. When [companies] began sponsoring races, prize cash became an vital factor for owners so the quest to get a superior sail grew to become important for successful.” The curved boats were initially created from teak and teak is nonetheless the rule, though today’s boat-builders in some cases integrate fibreglass and metal in to the framework for strength and maneuverability. The teak may possibly be varnished, but paint just isn’t permitted. Sails should be white and boats can cost up to AED500,000 (US$136,000) to create. According to Saeed Hareb, president of the UAE Marine Sports Federation and managing director of the Dubai International Marine Club, dhows represent the largest fleet of standard boats on the planet. In an interview with Valencia Sailing, he talked about the importance of preserving the dhow-sailing custom in the UAE for youthful nationals. “Sailing is inside their blood,” he stated. “Their fathers and their grandfathers had been all sailors because they lived by the sea and it was the only means of transportation and trading. Moreover, a good deal of them had been fishermen so they have known the dhows all their life. But, lifestyle and society are evolving and because of this we do not want them to show their again towards the sea.”
Guests can see dhows being crafted the classic way at heritage sites inside the UAE. At the Al Bateen boatyard in Abu Dhabi, craftsmen make use of the unique hand tools along with the historic expertise and skill handed down via the generations to produce the UAE’s most effective racing dhows without having drawings, but towards the precise requirements the sport dictates.
Competitive edge And because all of the boats around the get started line are exactly the same, the competitors is reasonable and successful arrives all the way down to ability, encounter, technique and energy. The sails usually are not hoisted until the race begins and individuals should do that with talent and pace so that you can get going easily. You’ll find 3 courses according to the duration with the competing dhows – 22ft, 43ft and 60ft. During the Louis Vuitton Trophy held in Dubai in the course of November 2010, the worldwide crews had been given the opportunity to race in traditional dhows. They had been impressed by the lack of superior instruments and using the sailors judging velocity from the wind on their faces.Before the race they commented on the smaller size with the rudder and speculated concerning the prospects for capsizing. However they were all smiles just after the race, which was won by the Franco- German alliance All4One.
The racing year runs from September to May. The last and most prestigious race in the time is from Sir Bu Nuair Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi, to Dubai, about one hundred nautical kilometres, subsequent the historic journey of pearl divers right after months of becoming away from household. The race provides prize income of AED10 million (US$2.seven million) and appeals to about 100 teams.
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