Steep competition as dune drivers bid to conquer the sands

The adrenaline-fuelled event, which ends on Saturday, has seen competitors race up steep sand dunes for prizes.
This year's Al Awafi festival, in Ras Al Khaimah, has attracted a large audience. Wam.
This year's Al Awafi festival, in Ras Al Khaimah, has attracted a large audience. Wam.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // More than 20,000 people travelled out to the desert to watch as scores of supercharged 4x4s attempted to power their way to the top of steep sand dunes at the annual Al Awafi festival.

The brave drivers roared their modified vehicles up the 70 metre-high dunes at the weekend in the hope of winning prizes worth up to Dh200,000, as well as cups and trophies – not to mention the respect and admiration of fellow drivers.

Forty four competitors from Oman, Kuwait and the UAE took part, with Emirati Khalid Al Bloushi taking first place in the V8 category, scaling the dune in 4.361 seconds. He also won the V6 automatic transmission category with a time of 4.703 seconds.

Second place in the V8 category went to Yousef Al Ali, with a time of 4.496 seconds. In the V6 manual transmission with turbo section, Obeid Al Rayihi won first place, while second place went to Khalid Bin Turki.

Extra measures were taken by the organisers this year to ensure vehicles did not become stuck in the sand and also to limit the amount of damage caused to the 4x4s during the tournament, said Ahmad Altenaiji, general supervisor.

The huge number of attendees caused a long traffic jam on roads near the tournament. Al Awafi festival, which also features traditional Emirati events, will be held until Saturday.

tzriqat@thenational.ae

Published: December 28, 2014 04:00 AM

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