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22 April 2005, 01:48 pm
Serdal Dubai Snatches Runner's-Up Spot
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Maktoum Sailing Trophy
Dubai, UAE

Horizon FCB rounded off a triumphant Maktoum Sailing Trophy campaign with victory in the final round today, whilst Mark FEILBERG (AUS) guided Serdal Dubai to overall runner's-up spot in a dramatic climax to the series.
With just one of six races remaining in round seven off Dubai International Marine Club Shahrazad, skippered by David WORRALL (UAE), looked like she would cling on to second position in the series as a superb weekend of close combat racing drew to its conclusion.

However the final race of the day brought one last twist, as Serdal Dubai came through to win from David ROSTANT's Switchblade while Shaharazad slipped to fifth position.

The result promoted Serdal, owned by Sheikh RASHID BIN KHALIFA AL MAKTOUM, ahead of Shaharazad in the final standings, with Switchblade narrowly missing out on a podium finish. The three boats were finally separated by just two points.

Having already clinched the Maktoum Trophy, Horizon, owned by Sheikh KHALED BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN, was not content to take things easy in the final round and won it by the narrowest of margins from Serdal. The result underlined Horizon's supremacy in a series, which now looks certain to go from strength to strength.

As skipper Christophe VANEK (FRA), Sheikh KHALED and the rest of the crew received the seventh round winners' trophy, Saeed HAREB, managing director of organizers Dubai International Marine Club, was already looking forward to the start of the second series in November.

'We expect to have around twice as many boats competing, including challengers from Europe and Australia, and the prospects are very exciting,' he said.

With a panel of international judges on hand and some intriguing close combat unfolding, a number of instant penalties were handed out for infringements, including one for Shahrazad at the start of the day's first of three races.

This was won by Serdal Dubai, but skipper FEILBERG's hopes of a repeat win in the next race were dashed half way through it when he encountered problems with the jib, and Horizon went on to secure victory. 'That problem cost us the race, and the final series, but we have to be happy overall,' said FEILBERG.

Alan SKENNERTON's Shockwave Aquamarine was forced to retire during the same race after hitting rocks on the breakwater surrounding The Palm Jumeirah.

'We were hit by a big gust and a wave from a passing boat and lost control and went up on to the rocks,' said SKENNERTON. 'We bounced a couple of times but I think we've been lucky because, although there's some damage to the hull, it's nothing major.'

The final race was one of the most dramatic of the series, as Serdal Dubai completed a clean sweep of line honours while Horizon and Switchblade fought out a great battle of wits.

ROSTANT looked to have taken the initiative before being knocked back by a penalty turn, but he fought back in brilliant style and despite crossing the finish line fractionally behind Horizon took second position on handicap.

Once again John ROSE skippered Insatiable to a series success to emphasise his mastery in Class 2, but he was pushed all the way by David MADDEN in Time Out who took second place on the day and in the series overall.

Tony Lewis (As Amended By ISAF). Image Maktoum Sailing Trophy champion, Horizon:© Event Media
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