Abu Dhabi // The UAE will make its debut in the Sailing Arabia - The Tour next year, according to Sheikh Khaled bin Saqer, president of the Sailing Federation.
"We want to make a strong impact when we participate … and will have a strong presence next year," he said after a presentation ceremony yesterday. "Sailing has a great tradition not only in the UAE but the entire region. It is in the modern form now and that is even better for the youth."
Sheikh Khaled sees the regional event growing in stature.
"The Sailing Arabia started with six boats and this year there are nine," he said. "That itself is an encouraging sign. The plan is to have a UAE presence next year and hopefully a few more."
Yesterday's in-port race around the breakwater in Abu Dhabi was won by BAE Systems and Courrier Dunkerque.
The fleet heads to Ras Al Khaimah in tomorrow's third leg of the six-leg competition.
The three final legs take the nine boats to Musandam, Mussanah and then to the finish line at Muscat, the Omani capital. The French boat Courrier Dunkerque is the leader so far.