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22 March 2005, 12:37 pm
Host Club Challengers Primed For Big Effort
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Maktoum Sailing Trophy
Dubai, UAE

As the Maktoum Sailing Trophy prepares to enter it's final month, Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) is poised to play an influential role in it's climax. While Horizon FCB holds a commanding lead, seven of the top ten challengers are berthed at DOSC and they will all be looking to make a big impression when the club stages round five on 31 March-1 April.
Owned by Sheikh Khaled BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN and skippered by Frenchman Christophe VANEK, Horizon boosted her chances of taking the new Maktoum Trophy back to its base at Jebel Ali Sailing Club with victory in last month's Dubai-Muscat Race.

The common view is that it will take a series of mishaps or mistakes on the part of Horizon to prevent Sheikh Khaled's 36ft Beneteau yacht form becoming the first winner of the Maktoum series.

No-one, however, is throwing in the towel just yet, least of all the three boats closest to Horizon. Sharazad skippered by David WORRALL (UAE), Serdal Dubai owned by Sheikh Rashid BIN KHALIFA AL MAKTOUM and skippered by Australian Mark FEILBERG, and David ROSTANT's Switch Blade, all of which are berthed at DOSC will be desperate to close the gap on VANEK.

'With nine of our boats competing and the club's own event now approaching, we're very pleased to be playing a part in making the Maktoum series a success in it's first year,' said DOSC's Commodore, David MAY.

'The aim is not only to attract attention from overseas, which is already happening, but also to raise the profile of sailing here and unite the entire UAE sailing community. We hope our support will help the series to go from strength to strength in the years ahead.'

DOSC is currently enjoying a boom period, with sailing membership full and a clubhouse extension having been followed recently by the addition of new berths, meaning the club can now accommodate 114 boats up to 60ft in length.

No-one will be trying harder to score a victory on home waters and put the pressure on Horizon than WORRALL, a DOSC member for eight years who is also Vice President of the UAE IRC Owner's Association, which oversees the new International Racing Certificate class of sailing boats.

A disqualification in one of the opening round's five races saw Sharazad slip to a fourth place finish which was repeated in round three. But victory in round two and second place in the Dubai-Muscat Race has kept WORRALL and his crew on the trail of Horizon and they will be going all out for victory in the fifth round at DOSC.

So will Serdal Dubai, which showed her liking for short course racing by winning the third round of the series at JASC, although skipper FEILBERG and his crew will be facing longer legs at DOSC where the 44.7ft yacht will again be giving away a big handicap allowance to all its main rivals.

Enthusiasts can follow the series on the official DIMC website at www.dimc-uae.com

The other two remaining rounds are the Dubai-Sir Bunair-Abu Dhabi Race on 7-8 April and the Around The World Race in Dubai on 21-22 April.

Top Ten Positions After 4 Of 7 Rounds

Pos Boat Helm Pts
1 Horizon FCB Christophe VANEK 89
2 Sharazad David WORRALL 81
3 Serdal Dubai Mark FEILBERG 76
4 Switch Blade David ROSTANT 72
5 Xclusive Yousef BIN LAHEJ 61
6 Southern Cross Patrick CAHILL 46
7 Mina Effect Brian HILLESDON 41
8 Shockwave Aquamarine Alan SKENNERTON 35
9 Twister Glywn ROWLANDS 29
10 Insatiable John ROSE 26
Tony Lewis (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Horizon:© Event Media
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