Abu Dhabi Sailing Club coast to Emirates Palace victory

A five-man crew from Abu Dhabi Sailing Club took top honours in the weekend’s inaugural Emirates Palace Invitational Match Race following a two-day unbeaten run against the region’s leading sailing clubs in some heated matches on the water.

Fighting for supremacy in the gorgeous Emirates Palace bay, they were able to clinch the trophy from Team Duboats of Dubai following a penalty, with Dubai Offshore Sailing Club completing the podium in third place.

The Eden Yachting-sponsored prize for best seamanship went to the winning team’s Barry Jarman, while an array of luxury prizes and experiences donated by Emirates Palace Marina, Eden Yachting, Al Mahara Diving and Emirates Palace Hotel ensured no sailor went home empty-handed.

“Match racing is the ‘five-a-side’ version of sailing: each race is just 15 minutes, the boats are equal and the first across the line is the winner,” explained Capt. Toby Haws, Emirates Palace Marina Manager and event organiser.

“It’s the easiest form of sailing for the spectator and sponsor alike, as the action is all close to the shore for people to watch or take part in.”

Sponsors included Duboats – who supplied the two identical Beneteau 7.5 racing yachts teams competed in – Emirates Palace, ART Marine, and the event, which ended with a chilled Sailor Party and barbecue, was also supported by the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club.

“We developed the Emirates Palace Invitational concept to invite the region’s top sailors to experience the great sailing environment our members have every weekend,” Haws continued.

“We have the unique ability to host and run sailing and powerboat events of all sizes, which of course offers marina members and hotel guests front row seats for all the action.

“With the Volvo Ocean Race returning to Abu Dhabi in 2014, it is a great opportunity to capitalise on the investment in sailing the Emirates has made,” he added.


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