SB20 UAE shows solid growth ahead of their biggest international event
The first month of winter has been busy both in the boatyard and on the starting line for the SB20 UAE team! The fleet has now grown to 27 boats and, the stories say, there are two more brand new boats making their way to Dubai soon. Great effort by the measurement team and the crews in the everlasting Dubai heat having measured and weighed all the boats in just one weekend.
A busy sailing season, which starts for the SB20 UAE in October and runs until April has a number of events that are open for local and international teams. Last year there were 12 days of racing over the season with 44 races completed overall. As sailors prepare for Dubai Duty Free Sailing League regatta on 1-4 December 2022 and the Middle East championships on 18-19 February 2023 the start line and mark roundings get to closest ever seen in Dubai! This sets a new challenge for all, including the Race Committee, the jury on the water and, of course, for the teams.
Before the largest international event of the season, Dubai Duty Free regatta (DDF), the SB20 UAE have already run two local events called Commodore Cups with up to 21 boats on the starting line! It does get busy in Dubai these days and as we look at the teams being announced every day on the social media, the question is whether the winners of last year’s DDF, Glasgow Kiss of Nils Razmilovic, will be able to keep their title. Sailing with Nils this year are Steve Lovegrove (UK) and Neil Corder (RSA).
This year they will probably see a stronger competition from local and international teams than in 2021, which was still largely affected by COVID-19 restrictions. We will see on the starting line the recent participants of the SB20 World Championships in Dublin team Supersonic of the SB20 UAE chairman Michal Pajak, Yalla Shamal of Rachel Blackburn and Ragged Edge Racing of Charlotte Borghesi who all showed great sailing in sometimes quite extreme Irish weather. For the DDF this year Charlotte is bringing onboard the Olympic Gold medallist Pippa Kenton-Page, who currently coaches young sailors at DOSC. Local team co-owned Desert Eagle of Portuguese sailor Henrique Anjos originally from Clube Naval de Cascais and German sailor Henrik Witzman, won one of the recent Commodore’s Cups in local waters, so Glasgow Kiss can expect some some tough racing.
On the international teams we will see Sportsboat World Racing with top UK skipper John Pollard joined by Liam Pardy and Finn Holihan, who have recently won the ORC Sportboat Europeans together in the new SB4 Carbon boat. Team Tara from Singapore with skipper Magnus Ekbom, Agoston Sipos and Freddie Hall. The country names among the participants continue to impress – India, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, South Africa to name a few, and we expect to see more in the coming days of teams announcements that will count up to 24 in total.
The conditions for the DDF regatta are very attractive for SB20 sailors and their family or guests. The entry fee includes a fully race-ready SB20 boat with new sails and all related race on-the-water logistics. The crews also receive a welcome pack with event t-shirt and gifts from the sponsors. The hosting Club DOSC will host an opening & closing ceremony with catering and drinks, trophies and prizes will be awarded to the winning teams. Every participant of the regatta can expect lots of fun and exciting racing on top of that!
Simon Reeves, Dubai Offshore Sailing Club’s Commodore was excited to welcome this race back to DOSC and delighted that Dubai Duty Free has returned as its title sponsor: “Last year’s inaugural Regatta proved popular among sailors and sailing enthusiasts. It showcased Dubai’s enthusiastic sailing community as well as DOSC’s ability to host a world-class event, and we look forward to creating an even more impressive experience this year.”
The Class is equally impressed by the growth of interest from the sponsors, which beyond the title sponsor Dubai Duty Free also include:
- CARS Middle East – the region’s news leader in the automotive industry;
- CSM Live, which creates innovative and engaging experiences for clients across a range of industries worldwide;
- RIBCRAFT, manufacturer of technologically advanced, professional-grade rigid inflatable boats;
- Ragged Edge Ropes, Dubai’s foremost rigging and marine rope experts.
The racing format of Dubai Duty Free regatta will see 12 international and 12 local teams competing over 4 days in a series of 10 to 15-minute races featuring 8 boats at a time. The regatta is exciting event for spectators as the course runs directly in front of Jumeirah Beach and will also be broadcasted live, showcasing every riveting moment in the race. The race village will feature a live feed available online and an entertaining venue to watch the racing. The event starts with the opening ceremony on November 30th at 7pm in Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. Racing is scheduled over four days of December 1st – 4th between 12 – 6pm.
The regatta promises to deliver days filled with action and adventure and will offer the global sailing community a preview of the SB20 World Championships, which the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club will host in 2024. Early December is the best time to sail in Dubai with stable sunny weather up to 30°C during the day, 20°C in the evening and luxurious 25°C water temperature. Predominant wind in the area during this time is in 12-15 knots range from NNW/N, which can build up to 18-20 knots N.
To follow the regatta the hosting club DOSC offers an amazing coverage, that you can find on:
You can also visit the event page for the results.
Words: Anna Zyk
Photos: Pia Torelli