x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Children take to the water in junior sailing festival

A Junior Sailing Festival put kids in touch with sailors competing in the Volvo around-the-world race.

Children are introduced to the sport at the Abu Dhabi Junior Sailing Festival.
Children are introduced to the sport at the Abu Dhabi Junior Sailing Festival.

ABU DHABI // The Etihad Abu Dhabi Junior Sailing Festival gave Amir Doria Belkhir an opportunity to experience the sport yesterday.

She was one of 60 children to get a taste of sailing as part of the Volvo Ocean Race.

"I played with my new friends and had fun on the boats," said Amir, 8, an Algerian. "At the start it was hard but when I knew how to do it, it was easy."

Two Azzam crew members also gave advice to children at the Volvo Ocean Race's Destination Village. "The facilities down here are perfect for them. Abu Dhabi has good winds and flat waters to learn in and the facilities are brand new," said Butti Al Muhairi.

Adil Khalid, the only Emirati on board Azzam, said the children were enthusiastic.

"It's better than wasting their time or going to shopping malls. They should do something in their life and they can be something and can make a name and be a star in their country," he said.

eharnan@thenational.ae