PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG navigator, Tom Addis got his first experience of dhow racing when he joined the winning crew of a local Abu Dhabi sailing festival with a $1 million prize pot.
“This was my first dhow sailing and I'm finishing with an unblemished record!” - Tom Addis
Addis and PUMA Media Crew Member (MCM) Amory Ross joined the crew of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s race favourite, Alzeer, which was skippered by Mohamed Rashed Shaheen Al Marar in this afternoon’s 16 nautical mile Abu Dhabi Sailing Festival Race to Abu Dhabi.
"Having the Puma team on board was very interesting, they fitted right in,” said Al Marar. "Although, talking to them, I wouldn’t want to do the Volvo Ocean Race, that sounds very tough."
The race started around 12 nautical miles north west of the city where a fleet of 75 of the sixty-foot dhows began to congregate from mid morning.
A short delay to the start was necessary to allow an easterly breeze to develop, but at just after 1400 local time, the fleet anchored along a start line stretching over a kilometre and a half.
Soon after, a starting gun was fired and the dhow crews cast off the anchor lines, quickly hoisted their balloon-like sails, and the fleet set off en mass towards Abu Dhabi.
The Alzeer crew started perfectly and established an early lead which they never relinquished. PUMA’s Addis looked totally at home on the racing dhow as he scanned the horizon for wind and moved his weight with the rest of the crew to balance the boat.
As the Alzeer closed on the finish the crew began to celebrate and Addis was given the honour of steering across the line in first place.
Meanwhile, Groupama sailing team navigator, Jean-Luc Nélias helped Abdullah Juma Al Marzouqi’s dhow Zelzal into third place in the race.
Speaking shortly after arriving ashore Addis said he and Ross had enjoyed their first experience of dhow racing but felt they had not contributed greatly to the victory.
“We were a very happy crew on board,” he said. “Amory and I were mainly used as ballast but for some reason they let me drive across the finishing line. It was a unique experience.”
“This was my first dhow sailing and I'm finishing with an unblemished record!” he added.
- 27 Apr 2012Five star sailing marks first 1,000 miles to Miami
- 23 Apr 2012PUMA dominate charge home on opening night
- 5 Apr 2012PUMA facing new threat -- Telefónica
- 1 Mar 2012Doldrums dread hits Groupama as D-day approaches
- 16 Feb 2012Chinese fortune smiles on Martínez
- 7 Jan 2012Monsters of the sea, monsters on the greens