The second staging of the Delma Sailing Festival for a record prize money of Dh25 million is set to draw more than 100 boats and 3,000 sailors in the 60-foot traditional sail boat race from October 25 to 29.
The details of the event held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Rulers Representative in Al Dhafra, and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club was announced at a press conference on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC).
The Festival, coinciding with the Year of Zayed that marks the centenary birth anniversary of the UAE’s Founding father, will run for four days and cover 80 nautical miles.
The winner will receive DH1.5 million with the second and third placed boats Dh1million and Dh900,000 respectively. The first three will also receive a car each, making it the richest prize fund for a traditional sailing race.
HE Aref Hamed Al Awani, Secretary General of ADSC, emphasised the importance of preserving tradition and culture through the sailing festival.
“The Delma Festival takes us back in time when we pearl diving and fishing was a norm, and sailing was a skill,” he said.
“In addition to the financial rewards, the Delma Festival confirms the importance placed from our country’s leadership to uphold culture and tradition at the highest level.”
Ahmed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club, also stated that the aim of the festival was to offer entertainment for the whole family as well.
“There will be a wide range of exciting side events for the whole family to enjoy while following the sailing race. There are also games and various competitions for the visitors to participate and win valuable prizes.”
Majed Atiq Al Muhairi, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club, defined sailing as a skill and designing the traditional sail boats as an art.
“It takes a lot of skills, aerodynamics of the boat and a good leadership to win the race,” he said.