Kingdom Match Race Championship preview
by Rami Ayoob on 13 Dec 2012
The 2012 Kingdom Match Race is about to underway and prominent teams will sail their boats at Bahrain Sailing Club near Al Jazayer Beach in Zallaq. Twelve teams in total, representing eight countries, are set for another match racing battle over the next five days of racing in an event that has been upgraded to Grade 2 following the tremendous organization of the previous nine championship editions.
2012 Kingdom Match Race Rami Ayoob
The event is organized by the Bahrain Maritime Sports Association for the 10th time and is sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
Poland and Kuwait, each taking part with one team, arrived in Bahrain yesterday to complete the championship line-up.
Kuba Pawluc and Nayef Al Haddad, to respectively skipper Poland and Kuwait crews from today, headed to the Bahrain Sailing Club where they examined the racing location and conducted their first practice session.
Other teams in the fray include two each from hosts Bahrain, Russia and Oman, besides one crew each coming from Estonia, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.
Tunisia’s delegation, skippered by Haedi Znaid,i was the first to reach Bahrain last Sunday and includes three other crew members.
Estonia and its four-member crew, led by Mati Sepp who has the highest ISAF ranking of 24, head into this year’s championship as one of the title favourites.
Russia 'A' and 'B' teams are respectively skippered by Andrea Arbozov and Musikhin Sergey, ranked 46th and 26th, who were also present at the club yesterday as they have put the finishing touches to their preparations ahead of this match racing competition that features J24 boats.
Bahrain's boats will be sailed by crews skippered by Ebrahim Abdulla and Abdulla Janahi, Qatar will be captained by Walid Al Shersheni, while Ahmed Al Mamri and lady sailor Intisar Al Tobi will lead the Oman teams. Adel Khalid-skippered the UAE is the other team taking part.
Meanwhile, the weight in session took place yesterday at the club, conducted by a team of professional judges, led by Luca Babini of Italy. Other judges are Piero Occhitto of Italy, Thierry Poirey of France and Russia's Vladimir Pavlov.
India’s Abhimanyu Patankar, along with Kasem Ben Jemia of Bahrain, Pakistan's Tareq Javed and Bahraini Ebrahim Hazeem and Sameer Shuwaiter are race officials, while ISAF representative Marianne Middlethon of Norway is scheduled to arrive today to observe the championship.
The technical and judging committees had a meeting yesterday when all development related to the championship were reviewed with teams' representatives. The draw ceremony and race timetable were also conducted later yesterday.