Photos By: Ali Suliman
Jet skis played a magnificent epilogue for the Abu Dhabi heats of the Emirates Jet Ski Championship. Thus concluded the 2013 season of the seven-category championships, where the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) were crowned both the final rounds’ and season’s champions in a spectacle that had over 75 participants in all categories.
The beginners-sitting category was clinched in the Abu Dhabi heats by Abdul-Aziz Al-Omar (Kuwait), with Abdul-Aziz Al-Farhan (Kuwait) coming in second and Saud Abdul-Aziz coming in third. As for the standing-limited category, first place went to the UAE’s Saif Moh’d Saif Al-Moasem, with second and third place going respectively to Rashid Al-Owais (UAE) and Abdul-Aziz Al-Omar (Kuwait).
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti jet-skier Mohammed Ibrahim Bu-Rabie clinched first place in the sitting-jetski category, with Khamis Al-Hosani (Oman) and Mohammed Abdullah Al-Haidos (Qatar) coming in second and third place respectively. International participants also had their fair share of victory, particularly in the standing-pro category, where Austrian skier Kevin Reiterer easily took first place over Frenchman Camon Ludovic and Al-Morr Mohammed bin Huraiz of the UAE, who came in second and third respectively. Meanwhile, the standing-intermediate category went to UAE’s Jaber Mohammed Saif Al-Moasem, with second place going to Frenchman Gactan Sublis and third to Kuwait’s Tareq Al-Issa.
The showmanship category saw some great performances and was not short of fabulous stunts, with first place going to Mohammed Al-Rumaithi, second to Khalid Al-Qubaisi (pictured on the front cover this month), and third to Rashid Saleh Al-Mulla, all UAE nationals. Meanwhile, the sitters-pro category titles went to Khalifa Belselah (UAE) in first place, Abdullah Nader Ben Hindi (UAE) in second, and Mohammed Jasem Al-Baz (Kuwait) in third place.
Honouring the season’s champions
The race organisers were quick to honour the season’s champions, doing so immediately after their category awards. First was the overall season beginners-sitting category going to Kuwaiti participant Abdul-Aziz Al-Omar with 307 points, with Tamer Bu-Faisal of Qatar coming in second with 300 points, and Saud Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia with 235 points. Bu-Faisal had been the category leader until the Abu Dhabi heats, where he receded to second place in the general rankings.
The season’s titles in the standing-limited category easily went to Saif Mohammed Al-Moasem of the UAE, who clinched the title with his full 360 points. In second place was Rashid Al-Owais (UAE) with 308 points, and Abdul-Aziz Al-Omar (Kuwait) with 263 points.
In the sitting-jetski category, the season’s title went to Mohamed Bu-Rabie of Kuwait with 327 points, with his countryman Khalid Bu-Rabie coming in second with 293 points. In third place was Rashid Al-Manaii with 272 points.
Kevin Reiterer once more aced the standing-pro category with 313 points, with Frenchman Steven Dauliach coming in second with 291 points. Al-Murr Mohammed Bin Huraiz of the UAE came in third place with his 281 points.
The beginners-intermediate category saw UAE’s Jaber Mohammed Saif Al-Moasem crowned in first place with 353 points, with second place going to Frenchman Gactan Sublis with 310. Third place was awarded to another Frenchman Coste Evan with 250. Showmanship category titles were given to Khalid Buti Al-Qubaisi (UAE), with second and third place respectively going to Emirati Mohammed Saeed Al-Rumaithi, and John Akuma of Japan.
With 327 points, Emirati Khalifa Belselah was able to clinch the season’s title easily over Qatari Waleed Mahmoud Al-Sharshani’s 297 points and Kuwait’s Mohammed Jasem Al-Baz’s 227.
Honouring the winners at the closing ceremony was Salem Al-Rumaithi, Assistant General Manager of the ADIMSC. Also present were race General Supervisor Nasser Al-Thaheri and Technical Coordinator Mohammed Al-Hamli.
Salem Al-Rumaithi: “Our race is international”
From his side, Mr. Al-Rumaithi congratulated His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, president of ADIMSC, on the success of the show and its beautiful organisation. He also congratulated all the race winners, emphasizing that the day’s two most important outcomes were the rise of Emirati champions to the lead in many categories, and the race’s international nature. Al-Rumaithi was quoted as saying, “The success of the race in its greatest image is thanks to the grand vision and talent that all contestants possess; something which was quite obvious in the success stories in all categories.”
Al-Rumaithi emphasized the fact that the final heats were an important calling point for all contestants, the evidence being the increase in their numbers in all categories, saying, “The large number of participants today made us very proud and exponentially multiplied the race’s success.”
The levels of technical quality shown during the final heats were also lauded by Al-Rumaithi, who ensured that the championship tour had successfully planted these qualities in its contestants, saying, “The championship now has a solid foundation which has attracted many of the sport’s contestants and stars from all corners of the world. We are very proud that the UAE championship contributes to the advancement of jet-skiing as a sport in general, and that it continues to bring out generation after generation of Emirati contestants participating in the world’s largest championships.”
As to the importance of the sport to the Emirates in general, Al-Rumaithi assured that jet-skiing had successfully joined the series of sports that Abu Dhabi promotes and supports in its drive for higher numbers of tourists and presence, something which the UAE had become very successful at doing for other championships for various other sports. He added: “The club has cemented the most important rules and foundations for the organisation of various marine sports, utilising the club’s unique location at the wave breaker to make it one of the most important touristic destinations in Abu Dhabi, especially considering that the championships are held in wintertime, the height of the emirate’s touristic season.”
Al-Rumaithi concluded by saying, “I would like to thank all government organisations that helped us organise the race. They all had a major impact on its success, as well as its technical and organisational accomplishments. Of special mention here are the Critical Infrastructure & Coastal Protection Authority, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Abu Dhabi Municipality. We would also like to thank the Abu Dhabi Yacht and Sailing Club, who gave us their full logistical support in organising the race.”
Al-Thaheri: full marks for judging
Race General Supervisor Mr. Nasser Al-Thaheri expressed his relief with the high technical calibre of the championship, emphasizing that the judging team that took part in it truly excelled in their duties. He said, “I say to the judges ‘you were the stars, and you brought out the race in its best and most beautiful picture to the world.’ We haven’t had any complaints or grievances from the contestants, and for the first time we did not have to restart any races as we had to do in the past. The jury fulfilled their duties completely, from overseeing the race details to the starting line, which is always a cause of concern for us.”
Race breaks record
ADIMSC has now broken a record in hosting jet ski championships when all seven categories of the contest were completed in exactly one hour and 45 minutes. This was aided by the instructions given in meetings to the contestants by Al-Thaheri, who emphasized the importance of being near the starting line of each category’s race before the end of its predecessor’s own race. Also aiding the record was the lack of accidents or repeat of race starts except for once – an unprecedented feat.