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
|1||Horizon FCB||Christophe VANEK||89|
|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|