Al Gaffal Boat hopes for suitable winds to ensure the success of the 33rd edition

18 May 2024

All focus is set on Sir Bu Na’air Island today in anticipation of the 33rd Al Gaffal 60ft Dubai Traditional race, which is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, as the closing race of the Dubai International Marine Club sport season 2023-2024.

The race was supposed to start yesterday morning, Friday, but the weather forecast—low wind speeds—forced the organizing committee to raise a red flag and delay the race start date to early morning tomorrow, Saturday, hoping for better wind conditions.

The great race, now in its 33rd edition, was founded by the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and has been organized by the Dubai International Marine Club since 1991. It commences from Sir Bu Nair Island, passes through Moon Island, and concludes at the Dubai shore, covering a race distance of more than 50 nautical miles.

123 dhow boats have confirmed their participation for tomorrow’s big race. They will all raise their white sails on the waters of the Arabian Gulf, retracing the path of their forefathers' past as they return home from diving and fishing trips in search of abundant livelihoods.

Mohammed Abdullah Harib, a member of the Higher Organizing Committee and Race Supervisor, emphasized that the security and safety of the participants take top priority. He noted that yesterday's weather conditions did not permit the race to proceed due to very low wind speeds, which could have caused delays for the sailors in completing the race on time or even result in some boats getting stuck.

He extended sincere thanks to the success partners from government departments and national institutions, as well as to the boat owners, captains, and sailors, for their patience and understanding regarding the circumstances necessitating the postponement of the race. The organizing committee always looks forward to the success of all events, especially this season finale race.

The Higher Organizing Committee of the 33rd Al Gaffal Race, in the presence of Saif Juma Al Suwaidi, Vice Chairman of the Committee, and Mohammed Abdullah Harib, Committee Member and Race Supervisor, held a meeting aboard the yacht (Dubawi) with a number of captains and sailors to discuss the necessary preparations and equipment for the race and to listen to their opinions.

The race is expected to witness intense competition to claim the title of the 33rd edition, as the sailors have prepared well, evident from their enthusiastic participation and the demand to take part in the large demonstration. Many names have emerged, including 19 champions crowned in the past 32 editions, notably Ghazi 103 (crowned 5 times), Al-Zeer 16 (4 times), Buraq 30 (4 times), Zilzal 25 (3 times), Namran 211, and Sardal 83 (2 times).