Sponsored by Thuraya and SAFA CB, the fourth of seven rounds in the Maktoum Trophy is providing a tough test of stamina, navigation and all-round sea craft. The pressure was on series leader and last year's winner, Horizon FCB, owned by Sheikh KHALED BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN, as the race got under way.
Only ten points separated the top six boats after the first three rounds, with Sharazad, skippered by David WORRALL (UAE), and Serdal Dubai, skippered by Mark FEILBERG (AUS), both looking to make their challenge for the outright lead on the journey to Muscat.
Back on board Horizon FCB for the Dubai-Musat-Race is French Americas Cup skipper Alain FEDENSIEU (FRA), who helped the boat secure victory in round one and has returned to assist skipper Christophe VANEK.
Just before the start, VANEK said: 'You need a very good navigator and you have to keep a close check on the weather all the time, and be able to handle the strong currents and tide in the Straits of Hormuz. How you deal with these things can make all the difference.
Added Vanek: 'We have a lot more boats running this time so it's gong to be a lot tougher than last year. In a race like this you need a good start and then must try to make a break and push hard all through the night... The difference between this and two short course races is about the same as the difference between Formula One and the Paris Dakar Rally. In this kind of race anything can happen.'
After his victory in the 105-nautical mile second round Dubai-Sir Bunair-Dubai Race, WORRALL has high hopes of boosting Sharazad's challenge for the lead in the series.