37th America’s Cup yacht races start in Jeddah

37th America’s Cup yacht races start in Jeddah
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The 37th America’s Cup yacht race started in Jeddah for the first time on Wednesday with the participation of six teams. (Supplied)
37th America’s Cup yacht races start in Jeddah
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The 37th America’s Cup yacht race started in Jeddah for the first time on Wednesday with the participation of six teams. (Supplied)
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Updated 29 November 2023
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37th America’s Cup yacht races start in Jeddah

37th America’s Cup yacht races start in Jeddah
  • Jeddah Yacht Club hosts the second preliminary sailboat race until Dec. 2
  • Saudi Sailing Federation’s CEO Samia Baghdadi said: “We aim for this championship to inspire Saudi athletes in water sports”

JEDDAH: The 37th America’s Cup yacht race started in Jeddah for the first time on Wednesday with the participation of six teams.
The second preliminary sailboat race continues until Dec. 2 at the Jeddah Yacht Club, under the organization of the Saudi Sailing Federation and in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports, a media statement said.
In this first-of-its-kind round outside Spain, the teams will compete to reach the podium and win the qualification round for the final, which will feature only two teams.
American Magic team won the round in Vilanova, northern Spain, in September with a slight lead over the other teams.
Samia Baghdadi, CEO of the SSF, said: “This comes as a continuation of a series of major sporting events hosted by the Kingdom during the past period, confirming its status as the preferred destination for sports and athletes from all over the world. Additionally, we aim for this championship to inspire Saudi athletes in water sports and contribute to achieving their targets and continuous growth.”
Grant Dalton, CEO of the America’s Cup, said: “We are proud and excited to host this round of the prestigious international yacht championship in Saudi Arabia … we constantly strive to contribute to making the Kingdom a new global center for water sports. We are also looking forward to witnessing its strong and exciting competitions in the Red Sea waters of Jeddah.”
The six teams competing include the defending champion, New Zealand’s Emirates, along with Ineos from Britain, American Magic representing the US, Italy’s Prada Pirelli, Red Bull Racing of Switzerland, and France’s Orient Express Racing.
The America’s Cup yacht race is one of the oldest international championships in water sports. It began 172 years ago and has been developing ever since, with the latest AC40 boats reaching speeds of 100 km an hour.
The organizing committee said that sports fans will be able to attend championship events for free by booking via https://webook.com/en-US/events/americas-cup, and can watch the action on large screens at the event venue, as well as visit the fan village.


All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race
This season, all 10 Formula 1 teams will support one driver who will have the team’s livery on their car. (FILE/AFP)
Updated 04 March 2024
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All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

Here is everything you need to know about the Kingdom’s inaugural F1 Academy race — opening the second season of the all-female racing series — taking place in Jeddah from March 6 to 8 ahead of the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Created by Formula 1 in 2022, the F1 Academy is an all-female racing category featuring some of the world’s best drivers. It is designed to develop women racers aged 25 and under.

Susie Wolff, wife of Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, holds the position of managing director at the F1 Academy.

This season, all 10 Formula 1 teams will support one driver who will have the team’s livery on their car. Brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Puma and Charlotte Tilbury have stepped in to sponsor the remaining drivers.

Teams and drivers

The five teams on the F1 Academy grid are Rodin Motorsport, Prema Racing, Campos Racing, ART Grand Prix and MP Motorsport.

Each team will have three drivers, compared to two in Formula One.

Nine of the 15 drivers from the inaugural season are set to return including Emirati sisters Hamda and Amna Al-Qubaisi, both backed by Red Bull.

The full 2024 lineup is below:

Full 2024 F1 Academy schedule

The 2024 season will see seven rounds across three continents over the course of 10 months.

The opener will be held at Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Corniche Circuit before it hits the US at the Miami International Autodrome in May and the iconic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the third round.

  • Round 1: March 6-8  Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Round 2: May 2-4  Miami, US
  • Round 3: June 20-22  Barcelona, Spain
  • Round 4: Aug. 22-24  Zandvoort, Netherlands (Circuit Zandvoort)
  • Round 5: Sept. 19-21  Marina Bay, Singapore (Marina Bay Street Circuit)
  • Round 6: Nov. 28-30  Lusail, Qatar (Lusail International Circuit)
  • Round 7: Dec. 5-7  Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina Circuit)

Points system

Each weekend there will be a qualifying round and two races. During qualifying, each driver’s fastest lap will set the order for race one. The drivers’ second fastest laps will set the grid for race two.

In both races, points will be awarded to the top 10 classified drivers as follows — from 25 to one — as they are in Formula 1. Each weekend, a driver is able to accumulate a total of 56 points; the teams are competing for 122 points.

For more information click here


SAFF: 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship ‘will be the first of many’ tournaments held in Kingdom

SAFF: 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship ‘will be the first of many’ tournaments held in Kingdom
Updated 01 March 2024
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SAFF: 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship ‘will be the first of many’ tournaments held in Kingdom

SAFF: 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship ‘will be the first of many’ tournaments held in Kingdom
  • Jordan defeat Nepal in penalty shoot-out to claim victory in 1st official 11-a-side women’s tournament held in Kingdom
  • Saudi officials hail ‘exciting new era for professional women’s football’ after milestone event draws nationwide interest

RIYADH: The latest chapter in Saudi Arabia’s football evolution came to a close last weekend as the 2024 West Asian Football Federation Women’s Championship — the first official 11-a-side women’s tournament held in the Kingdom — reached its conclusion. 

A milestone occasion that attracted nationwide interest and engagement, the eighth edition of the championship was staged in Jeddah throughout its 11-day duration from Feb. 19 to Feb. 29 as seven countries competed alongside the host nation.

Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Nepal, Palestine, Syria and Guam joined Saudi Arabia with fixtures played at the King Abdullah Sports City and Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sport City stadiums. A total of 15 matches were played across the group and knock-out stages.

The final was played in front of over 4,000 fans at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sport City Stadium and ended 2-2 after full time, with Jordan winning the tournament via a penalty shoot-out against Nepal in Thursday’s final.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation’s message following the 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship was clear — this debut official 11-a-side women’s tournament on home soil “will be the first of many.”

“We promise that the 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship is the start of an exciting new era for professional women’s football in Saudi Arabia,” Lamia Bahaian, vice president of the federation, said in a statement.

“Besides showcasing our hosting credentials to the region and wider world, it has paved the way for more competitions to make their way to our shores in the years ahead. For sure, this will be the first of many.”

Bahaian said that the women’s game is inspiring audiences as a driving force for positive change, with the Saudi Arabia women’s national team “instrumental” to the direction of travel.

“Reaction to the tournament and the way it was received by fans and the wider community was incredible — witnessing fans embrace the competition, get behind our women’s national team, and attend matches was a genuine joy,” she said.

“Our national team has been instrumental here. The players are pursuing their dreams and representing their country for everyone to see. This has helped introduce women’s football to audiences new and old, laying new foundations for sustained growth and development while contributing to a positive shift in wider society.”

Underpinned by a strategy to help elevate Saudi Arabia to elite status in world football by 2034, huge strides have been taken in the last few years, with growth witnessed across a series of key metrics. 

Since 2021, the number of female clubs nationwide has increased by 112 percent, with the number of local players up 150 percent and national teams up 300 percent.


Jeddah race to showcase Red Sea city’s charm

Jeddah race to showcase Red Sea city’s charm
Updated 29 February 2024
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Jeddah race to showcase Red Sea city’s charm

Jeddah race to showcase Red Sea city’s charm
  • Half marathon hosted by Saudi Sports for All Federation, Historic Jeddah Program
  • Runners of all ages, abilities will pass famous landmarks over 4 routes

JEDDAH: Runners in Jeddah will take in the city’s charming sights on March 3 during a half marathon hosted by the Saudi Sports for All Federation and Historic Jeddah Program.
The event will include four routes for male and female runners of all ages and fitness levels.
The Historic Jeddah Program was launched by the Saudi Ministry of Culture to elevate the Red Sea port city as a key center of heritage within the Kingdom.
Bab Jadid, known as Jeddah Old Gate, will serve as the start and finish line for all race routes.
Adults can take part in the half marathon distance of 21 km, while the 10 km race is open to runners aged 12 and above.
Meanwhile, the two other races of 4 km and 1 km are open to runners of all ages and fitness levels, including those with special needs or disabilities.
The event will feature a range of activities within the race village, which is welcoming visitors starting Thursday.
Musical and cultural shows will be held, alongside a range of traditional food offerings for visitors.
The race routes pass by charming streets and famous historical landmarks, including Naseef House, the Al-Matbouli Museum, Al-Jafali Mosque, King Fahd Fountain and the Jeddah Corniche.


First La Liga Futures competition in Saudi Arabia kicks off March 1

First La Liga Futures competition in Saudi Arabia kicks off March 1
Updated 29 February 2024
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First La Liga Futures competition in Saudi Arabia kicks off March 1

First La Liga Futures competition in Saudi Arabia kicks off March 1
  • The U-14 tournament, hosted at Mahd Sports Academy in Riyadh, will feature 8 La Liga and 4 international teams

MADRID: La Liga FC Futures U-14, a flagship tournament featuring the youth academies of top-tier Spanish clubs, and being held in Saudi Arabia for the first time, kicks off on March 1.

The matches, to be played at Mahd Sports Academy in Riyadh, has been organized in collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Sports. For the first time, the players making up the competing sides will be in the under-14 category and will play 11-a-side matches.

The tournament will feature 12 clubs, eight EA Sports La Liga teams, plus AS Roma (Italy), SL Benfica (Portugal), Olympique de Marseille (France) and Mahd Academy (Saudi Arabia).

La Liga’s leadership chose Saudi Arabia as the host because of the country’s emergence as a hub for sporting and cultural activities in recent years. The most popular sport in the Kingdom is football, with the highest level of participation among those under the age of 30.

For the past 15 years, La Liga matches have been followed by millions of football fans across the Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia now has six official supporter clubs.

The 12 teams will be divided into three groups: Mahd Academy, FC Barcelona, AS Roma and Cadiz CF (Group A); Atletico de Madrid, Olympique de Marseille, Sevilla FC and Villarreal CF (Group B); and Real Betis, Valencia CF, SL Benfica and CA Osasuna (Group C).

Matches will kick off on March 1 at 9:30 a.m. (Saudi Arabia time) and March 2 at 10 a.m., with the quarterfinals being played on Saturday at 5 p.m. The semifinals will kick off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with the final at 5 p.m.


Saudi Paralympic weightlifters participate in Dubai’s Fazza Para powerlifting championships

Saudi Paralympic weightlifters participate in Dubai’s Fazza Para powerlifting championships
Updated 28 February 2024
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Saudi Paralympic weightlifters participate in Dubai’s Fazza Para powerlifting championships

Saudi Paralympic weightlifters participate in Dubai’s Fazza Para powerlifting championships
  • Saudi participants who win gold, silver or bronze qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics
  • Mohammed Al-Harbi, president of the Saudi Weightlifting Federation, heads 12-player team

DUBAI: The Saudi Paralympic weightlifting team hopes taking part in the Fazza 13th Para Powerlifting 2024 World Cup will mean qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The championships, which started on Wednesday, are being held in Dubai until Mar. 6. Saudi participants who win gold, silver or bronze medals are automatically eligible for the 2024 Olympics.
Mohammed Al-Harbi, president of the Saudi Weightlifting Federation, heads a 12-strong team that comprises Adnan Bousaid, Talal Al-Balawi, Asil Hausawi, Tariq Balghaith, Saeed Hausawi, Khalid Al-Najim, Sulaiman Al-Shaddoukhi, Abbad Hausawi, Fajr Al-Sumairy, Shareefa Al-Amari, Hassna Al-Najm, and Maha Al-Rashidi.