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Watersports festival big hit
KT Report / 22 April 2012
The Al Gharbia Watersports Festival drew to a close on Saturday with a cascade of fireworks as thousands gathered on the beach to watch the closing ceremony.
Watersports festival big hitThe Al Gharbia Watersports Festival drew to a close on Saturday with a cascade of fireworks as thousands gathered on the beach to watch the closing ceremony.]
The 10-day event had drawn competitors from over 13 nations and members of the public from all walks of life joined the fun on the beach enjoying stalls and entertainment.
The Festival organised by the Western Region Development Council highlighted the potential of Al Gharbia and served as a means of inspiring youth.
The kitesurfing category of the festival drew participants from both the UAE and all over the globe. As the final results came through the multi-national nature of the event was apparent by the line up of winners.
For the kitesufing freestyle (local) Rashid Al Falasi showed his skills followed by Rashid Al Muhairi and Issa Al Muhairi. France, the Netherlands and Austria battled it for the female freestyle category with Crysal Scaal of France taking first place, followed by Manon Stansbrandt of the Netherlands and Astrid Patrache of Austria.
The kitesurfing racing saw Manon of the Netherlands storming into first place followed by Astrid of Austria and Germany making an appearance through Sabine Stime.
Italy and Egypt dominated the Male kitesurfing race with first place to Mustafa Al Husseini (Egypt) followed by a strong show for Italy in the form of Fabio Tommy and Sylevan Vuosot.
Meanwhile when it came to the local race, Rashid Al Falasi showed how to plane like the wind across Emirati waters followed by Rashid Al Muhairi and Abdul Aziz Abdullah.
The Surf-ski kayaking was also as international as it was ferociously successful, In the female race Thea Van der Westhuizen (South Africa) stole first place followed respectively by Miranda Richardson (New Zealand); and Jennifer Scully (USA).
South Africa battled it out with Australia and Spain for the men’s races with first place to Hayden Smith (Australia); second place Albert Corominas (Spain) and third place John Stadley (South Africa).
Meanwhile back at the beach other competitions were cooking up. The cooking competition was a hit with the crowds with first place to Jihan Ibrahim; second place Halima Mohammed Ahmad; and third place Halima Bashir. The best Areesh for popular dishes went to Layla Awad and for presentation to Najla Kamal.
Finally no watersporting competition on the waters of the Arabian Gulf would be complete without the tradition and elegance of the dhows.
The Al Bawaneesh Dhow Race saw some beautiful traditional vessels moving across the waters of Al Gharbia. In first place was Zilzal owned by Hassan Abdullah Al Marzuqi followed by Afzam owned by Mohammed Rashed Bin Shaheen and Mathayeb owned by Ali Thani Al Rumaithi.
Commenting on this year’s festival, Obaid Al Mazrouie, Festival Manager said “The 2012 edition of the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival has been a resounding success.
“Thousands attended and we experienced great skill and empowering inspiration on so many different levels. The Western Region Development Council is grateful for all the support from different organisations and members of the public who all supported such a worthy event. The festival is so valuable as it draws attention to the potential of the vast and beautiful region of Al Gharbia.”
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