x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Success for father and son in UAE Jet Ski Championships

The bin Hendis were competing in the Pro Runabout GP class on the second day of competition, but were joined by 68 pilots from 10 nations who contested a series of races.

Riders compete at the Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai yesterday. Pawan Singh / The National
Riders compete at the Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai yesterday. Pawan Singh / The National

DUBAI // Like father, like son. Nadir bin Hendi, the Emirati jet ski world champion, secured a convincing victory in the UAE Jet Ski Championships yesterday and was joined on the podium by his offspring, Abdullah Nadir, who finished in third place behind Khaled Salem bu Rabe'el of Kuwait.

The bin Hendis were competing in the Pro Runabout GP class on the second day of competition, but were joined by 68 pilots from 10 nations who contested a series of races, including Junior Ski, Pro Ski and Ski Limited.

With a backdrop of planes and parachutes all taking part in the Dubai International Sky Diving Championships, Nadir bin Hendi's victory was so emphatic that when he sped past the checkered buoys bobbing off the shore of The Walk near Jumeirah Beach Residence, he appeared to have finished around sixth.

In fact he had lapped several of his competitors in the 15-minute race.

It was the first time the championships have been held at The Walk after the series recently relocated in a bid to attract more followers.

"I am very happy to win," bin Hendi said after receiving his trophy and posing for photographs.

"It was fantastic to race here because before we were competing in a closed area, but now there are a lot more spectators and it gives you extra motivation to succeed."

The event drew interest from bewildered beach-goers unaccustomed to such high-speed machines, from which Huraiz al Mur bin Huraiz, chairman of the organising committee of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), takes great pleasure.

Bin Huraiz was instrumental in DIMC's decision to relocate from Logo Island, near Palm Jumeirah, to The Walk.

"We wanted larger audiences, so we could open the sport up to more people," bin Huraiz said. "It is incredible, really. We have had many spectators, many of which are new to the sport, but they watched and I hope they enjoyed.

"Jet ski racing can be confusing if you take your eyes off it because the leader is not so clear, so the most important thing is to watch the start and then stay focused on the leader.

"It doesn't get much better than this, It's amazing here. There is so much going on and it makes me very proud of what we as a country are achieving - and, relatively speaking, we are still only at the beginning.

"[Yesterday was] a great success, but we have even bigger plans for the next race."

Round 3 of the championships takes place on February 10 at Abu Dhabi Corniche.

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae