Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dubai Dhow

Dubai, I've been told, is the Switzerland of the Mideast. I've never been, but from what I read, it's over the top, a little bit like our Las Vegas; swanky communities on man made islands, the worlds largest indoor snow skiing facility, skyscrapers with every imaginable type of avant-garde exteriors....

But they do race a traditional sailing craft, the dhow. This video shows the largest class, 60 footers, and they must be the fastest lateen rigged boats in the world. This particular one is cooking, the bow wave is coming off the hull about half way back and the wind looks to be only around 8-10. Or, as the video documents, they were cooking. At about 1.43 into the video either the trimmer screwed up .... or there was a breakdown, the main was suddenly dumped, the dhow lurched to weather and most of the crew ended up in the water.

But like high performance sailors anywhere; if you've had a good ride before disaster struck, it's still a good laugh. Good spirits all around as the crew is scooped up by the support boat.

More information on the Dubai Dhow racing can be found here

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