For a second year, the event forms the third of five rounds in the 2006-07 UAE National Sailing Championships, so there will be a great deal at stake for the young hopefuls going into action at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Events Arena in Dubai.
The growth of the Jumeirah Regatta into a major fixture with all round significance is highlighted by the fact that, for the first time since it was launched in 1991, the event is likely to feature more cruiser and catamaran sailors than juniors over its two race courses.
While the fleet of cruisers and catamarans compete outside the UAE Championships, the Jumeirah Regatta title has become a prestigious prize in its own right, at the same time the event is a perfect warm up for the Maktoum Sailing Trophy in February.
Something For Everyone
'The event now has something for just about everyone,' said Gerald LAWLESS, Chief Executive Officer for Jumeirah Group, and a keen member of Jebel Ali Sailing Club. 'Its inclusion in the UAE Championships for the first time just over 12 months ago was a positive step forward, and we're pleased to be supporting the ongoing measures in the UAE to help youngsters further their sailing education
'At the same time the event is attracting more and more cruisers, including many new boats. This illustrates how the popularity of sailing in the UAE is growing, and the Jumeirah Regatta will continue to develop in line with this trend.'
Among the new boats featuring for the first time in the Jumeirah Regatta will be high performance 29ers - the smaller version of the Olympic 49er - as well as double hander Laser Vagos and Mumm 30 racing yachts.
While some of the youngsters on view will be gaining their first serious competitive experience beyond their local club activities, the junior line up will also include most of the members of the UAE national team, created by the youth sailing programme launched seven years ago by Dubai International Marine Club.
Now in their sixth year, the UAE Championships draw entrants from Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Jebel Ali Sailing Club, Dubai International Marine Club, Emirates Heritage Club Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi International Marine Club and Abu Dhabi Sailing Club.
After the first two rounds, DOSC sailors lead four of the seven categories, with Alastair TATE topping the Laser category, Oliver GROGONO heading the Optimist overall standings, Alexander SLATTER leading the Optimist cadets, and Marcel HERRERA the Toppers.
JASC sailors head two classes, Justin WALSH in the Laser Radials and Guy WOLFENDEN in the double-handers, with Abdul AZIZ of Emirates Heritage Club Abu Dhabi in front in the Laser 4.7s.
After the Jumeirah Regatta the UAE National Championships continue with further rounds at Abu Dhabi International Marine Club on 9-10 February and finally Dubai International Marine Club on 6-7 April.