ABU DHABI // Calm winds in the capital yesterday transformed what was meant to be a kitesurfing event into a paddle-boarding competition on the Corniche. More than 30 competitors who gathered at the beach struggled to launch their kites at the event, which was sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club.
The event was originally scheduled to begin at 2pm, but after waiting for two hours in hopes the winds would pick up, organisers decided a change of plans was in the wind.
As would-be spectators enjoyed the calm weather and relaxed on the shore, the competitors brought out surfboards and geared up for a paddleboarding contest. In the end, they had to race across a five-kilometre course standing upright on a surfboard and use a kayak-type paddle to propel their crafts.
Three winners were named in each of four categories: males, females, UAE nationals and juniors (under 15).
Eight races were held in each category, which ultimately determined the stand-up paddle-boarding champions.
The kiteboarding champion, however, had to wait for another day to be crowned.