Sheikh Khaled hails ‘outstanding achievements’ of Abu Dhabi rowers

The team completed a 400km challenge across 11 islands in 10 days

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Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has praised a community sports team for completing a 400km rowing challenge in the emirate.

Active Abu Dhabi, a squad comprising four lead rowers and three support crew, completed the challenge of rowing between 11 Abu Dhabi Islands in 10 days, to celebrate the natural beauty of the emirate.

Sheikh Khaled met the team on Wednesday where he highlighted the rowers' outstanding achievements and praised their efforts to promote community-wide active participation in outdoor activities.

He also urged the group to continue taking part in initiatives that increases awareness of their natural environment while connecting the wider community through sport.

The rowers navigated their way from the far western border of Abu Dhabi to Yas Island to highlight the importance of preserving marine life.

They set off from Ghagha on November 1 before daily stops at Dalma, Sir Baniyas, Fatayer, Al Bazm, Marawah, Salahah, Al Jirab, Al Nouf and Nurai.

They camped out at some of the islands overnight, before continuing their journey the following day.

The team capped off the inaugural Row Abu Dhabi on November 10 after reaching Yas Island.

The achievement was inspired by Mansour Al Dhaheri, who took part in the row after swimming 65km around Abu Dhabi Island in March.

Four coastal rowing boats were used during the 26-week training camp as the team rowed 15 million metres while preparing for the challenge.

The challenge was launched by Active Abu Dhabi, supported by Khalifa University and event sponsors, to promote the environment surroundings of the capital.

The team are also leading a series of yearly programmes designed to encourage more to take part in sporting activities.

It is also hoped the group’s achievement could inspire an Olympic rowing programme in the emirate.

“There were moments throughout the 10-day mission where we did not think we would finish,” said Dr Paul Walker, a Hintsa performance coach and Active Abu Dhabi programme manager, earlier this month.

“All the work put in by the entire team really paid off. We pulled together to overcome all the obstacles in what was another hugely successful step on the Active Abu Dhabi journey.”

Updated: November 22, 2023, 2:24 PM