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DUBAI LAUNCHES WORLD WIDE SAILING BATTLE FOR ISAF NATIONS CUP

DUBAI LAUNCHES WORLD WIDE SAILING BATTLE FOR ISAF NATIONS CUP

27.03.2006: DUBAI LAUNCHES WORLD WIDE SAILING BATTLE FOR ISAF NATIONS CUP





Dubai International Marine Club stages one of eight regional qualifiers in event to decide world’s top match racing nation
 

A season of top-class international sailing in Dubai continues next week when UAE teams go head-to-head with challengers from Bahrain, Turkey and India as part of a worldwide match racing battle for the ISAF Nations Cup.

Dubai International Marine Club stages one of eight regional qualifiers being held around the globe in an event promising a feast of international match racing after being re-launched this year by the ISAF, the world governing body of sailing.

Other regional qualifiers will follow over the next four months in Finland, Portugal, Slovenia, Great Britain, Ecuador, the US Virgin Islands and New Zealand.

The winners from each qualifying event will join the defending men’s and women’s champions from South Africa and Australia in the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in Ireland in September where they will fight for the title of the world’s top match racing nation.

Dubai had to compete with countries around the world for the right to stage one of the qualifying events. Its selection by ISAF underlines the emirate’s growing status as a venue for world-class sailing, and highlights the drive by Dubai International Marine Club to become a stage for world-class match racing.



'Our successful bid highlights the fact that we are ready to take sailing to a higher level," said Saeed Hareb, Managing Director of Dubai International Marine Club and ISAF Group I Chairman. "By giving us the opportunity to stage such an important event, the ISAF has further shown its faith in the DIMC and in Dubai at staging world-class events."

Hareb said the Dubai bid had been fully supported and encouraged by H.H.Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai International Marine Club.

"Sheikh Ahmed offers great encouragement and support for all our water sport activities," said Hareb. "He is especially keen for sailing to achieve its full potential here, and  was very pleased when we were chosen to stage one of the regional qualifying events for the ISAF Nations Cup."

Following an opening ceremony next Monday, teams will compete in a daily round-robin series of match races leading to the final on Sunday week.

Match racing is growing in popularity in the UAE, helped by Emirates Airline’s sponsorship of Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup, the most famous match racing  event in the world. In January a new match racing series was launched in conjunction with the already well established Dubai Junior Regatta, and after a fascinating week-long series of match racing India came through to win the first Dubai Match Race title.

Earlier this month three-times America’s Cup winning helmsman Russell Coutts defeated Danish star Jes Gram-Hansen in the Dubai Match Race Challenge, a head-to-head showdown which attracted worldwide interest.



For Dubai International Marine Club, the ISAF Nations Cup qualifier is another step towards the long-term goal of having UAE sailors take part in the America’s Cup.

"Sailing is really taking off here, and match racing has a big future," said Sid Bensalah, sailing manager at DIMC and regatta chairman for the ISAF Nations Cup. "As opposed to fleet racing, in which any number of boats, often in difference classes, compete at the same time over a set course, match race sailing is much easier to follow and this gives it wider appeal.

Added Bensalah: "While the tactics of match racing are quite elaborate, you basically have just two identical boats racing against each other. It’s a game of strategy and tactics, and there is only one winner."

Tony Lewis, Total Communications

 

Captions:

1. Saeed Hareb, Managing Director of Dubai International Marine Club and ISAF Group I Chairman

2. Dubai International Marine Club is staging one of eight regional qualifiers for the ISAF Nations Cup, highlighting its growing status as a international sailing venue

3. Dubai is fast becoming a stage for match racing, as emhasised by the recent challenge series between Russell Coutts and Jes Gram-Hansen

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/sailing-dubai-interntional-marine-club-isaf-nations-cup-sheikh-al-maktoum-saeed-hareb-emirate-airline-americas-cup-junior-regatta-match-race---9880.html

27.03.2006 / MaP

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