ADIMSC gears up for frenetic month of powerboat racing

Salem Al-Romeithi
Updated 09 November 2016

ADIMSC gears up for frenetic month of powerboat racing

ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) is gearing up for one of the busiest and most important months of thrilling offshore and F1 H2O racing action in its history.
The ADIMSC will host three vital Grand Prix race meetings in three different UIM-sanctioned racing championships in the space of four frenetic weeks, starting with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final round of the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series, on Nov. 17-18.
There will be no respite, after some of the world’s finest offshore racers have battled it out for supremacy off the Abu Dhabi Breakwater and Corniche, as the club will then switch its attentions to hosting the four-day UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, one of the sport’s most prestigious racing series’, from November 22-25.
The thrilling spectacle of offshore powerboat racing will then be replaced in the spotlight with what promises to be a thrilling conclusion to the 2016 UIM F1 H2O World Championship, with the ADIMSC hosting the penultimate round of the series on an in-shore course, near the Abu Dhabi Breakwater, on Dec. 8-9.
The host venue will form an integral part of the racing as well as club personnel organizing the three UIM–sanctioned events. Team Abu Dhabi will be hoping to defend the Class 1 world title it won last season and spring back into contention to win the UIM F1 H2O Drivers’ Championship for the fifth time and the first time since 2006. A team driver is also in contention to win the UIM F4-S Championship for the first time on the two shorter support races that run during the December 8-9 race meeting.
Team Abu Dhabi is supported by Etihad Airways as the official carrier and sponsor and runs under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, adviser to the Head of State and chairman of the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC). The racing team runs under the auspices of the ADIMSC, racing manager Guido Cappellini and Salem Al-Romeithi.
“This is a crucial period in the 2016 UIM racing calendar with two championships nearing their conclusion and the ADIMSC also hosting the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship,” said Salem Al-Romaithi, assistant general manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC).
“Bringing these three events together to the high standard that we want to achieve is a complete team effort for everyone connected with the club and we are all relishing the prospect of witnessing spectacular racing in three different sporting disciplines on our home waters close to the ADIMSC.
“It all starts with the final round of the XCAT series and then we host the Class 1 racing virtually straight afterwards. Then, we have just less than two weeks to prepare for the arrival of everyone from H2O Racing and all the competitors taking part in the F1 and F4-S Championships. These are exciting times for everyone connected with the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club and I am sure local enthusiasts and spectators will turn out in great numbers to support and enjoy the racing.”

Schedule of events:
Nov. 17-18 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, final round of the 2016 UIM XCAT World Series
Nov. 22-25 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, 2016 UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship
Dec. 8-9 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi, penultimate round of the 2016 UIM H2O World Championship

KSA’s martial arts heroine: ‘I got into kickboxing by coincidence, as I just wanted to join a gym’

Updated 21 min 34 sec ago

KSA’s martial arts heroine: ‘I got into kickboxing by coincidence, as I just wanted to join a gym’

  • Young Saudi triumphant at Open International Tournament despite just two years of training
  • Zahra Al-Qurashi took the gold in the women’s 70 kg category, beating Jordanian Heba Wasfi

JEDDAH: Zahra Al-Qurashi never expected to be where she is today: A gold medal winner in full contact kickboxing at the Open International Tournament for Clubs aged just 21. What started out as a gym class two years ago soon turned into a passion, leading to her victory in Amman on Sunday.

“I got into kickboxing by coincidence, as I just wanted to join a gym. I found the class and gave it a try, and decided to keep attending the classes,” she said. “A year ago, I joined Flagboxing Gym, and started training with my coach Grethe (Kraugerud). With her help, I developed my style and I am improving every day.”

Full contact is a discipline of kickboxing where punches and kicks must be delivered to legal areas of the body. According to the World Association for Kickboxing Organizations’ rules, it is legal to attack the front of the head and front and side of the torso, using “ankle-level foot sweeps.” It is prohibited to attack the throat, lower abdomen, back, legs, joints, back of the head and top of the shoulders.

A medal at her first international competition, then, speaks volumes about Al-Qurashi’s tenacity. She took the gold in the women’s 70 kg category, beating Jordanian Heba Wasfi.

“As soon as I entered the ring, everything went blank, I couldn’t hear or see anyone but my opponent, so I don’t really recall hearing my name even,” said Al-Qurashi. “I got a couple of really good kicks and punches, but she was a good opponent. I was in my own zone though, following every move and made sure I didn’t make mistakes.”

Zahra Al-Quraishi, 21, is already a gold medal winner at an international event despite being a virtual rookie in the demanding sport of kickboxing. (Supplied photos)

Hala Al-Hamrani, the owner of Flagboxing Gym in Jeddah, said: “I am over the moon. I have dreamt about this happening for 16 years, ever since I started coaching. My goal was to eventually provide the ladies of this country with an opportunity to compete.”

For approximately two months, Kraugerud, from Norway, oversaw Al-Qurashi’s workouts, adding more sparring, interval training and intense ring practice.

“I’ve had Zahra spar with men, who are bigger and stronger than her, to give her a sense of what to expect in the ring, to give her more confidence and make her mentally prepared,” said Kraugerud. “I was very proud of her as she entered the ring, you could see the respect for the sport reflected in her. We did a really good job at Flag, we really pushed for this together as a team. She’s young, but she’s talented and she will go far.”

Al-Hamrani, a member of the Saudi Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Federation, added: “We got her ready by providing her with the right practice and training. It’s a dream come true and it’s very overwhelming because it was such a long process for something like this to happen. Zahra is an up-and-coming athlete who hopefully has a long future and I’m extremely excited to see what that future holds.”

Abdul Aziz Julaidan, chairman of the Saudi MMA Federation, hailed the result after a tough bout between the two competitors, and thanked Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sport Authority, for the support he had given to the team.

Upon returning to her hometown of Jeddah, Al-Qurashi was greeted by her mother. “I was hugging her and crying and mom, being mom, asked if I was crying because I got hit,” she laughed. “That was her way of saying: I’m proud of you.”