MIRFA // Adil Khalid underlined his status as an elite Emirati sailor, winning the penultimate round of the Laser Standard class to clinch the UAE Regatta championship series.
His victory in the 10-day Al Gharbia Watersports Festival over the weekend provided him enough points to secure the championship crown in his category. The last round of the race series is to be held in Ras Al Khaimah on Saturday.
Khalid, 24, edged out Daniel Kilsby and John Woolcock, both of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, in the seventh race of the championship series.
"It was a tight race but everything panned out quite well for me at the end," Khalid said.
"For me, it has become a routine because I spend most of my time either sailing or surfing. I don't even keep a count on the local events that I take part throughout the year."
He said he takes a break during Ramadan, and perhaps four or five days before a major event "to recover from the work I do day in and day out".
Khalid represented the country in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Asian Games, and became the first Emirati sailor in the Volvo Ocean Race when he was picked from 120 hopefuls to be a member of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team.
Khalid was also the captain of Team Abu Dhabi's all-Emirati effort in the Sailing Arabia competition, in February, and he and the crew had to be airlifted to safety after the vessel got stuck on a sand bar during night racing from Doha to Abu Dhabi.
"We never expected something like that to happen, but it happened," he said.
"It was a bad experience but we managed to come out without any injuries and trauma from that incident. They are all back in the business and that's a positive sign."
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