x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Surfers ready to hang 10 in Dubai

More than 100 surfers will head into the waves today.

DUBAI // The wind is right and the conditions favourable for surfers taking part in the Dubai Sunset Beach Open today.

More than 100 residents are hoping for the perfect waves on which to showcase their skills in front of the judges when the men's heats get under way at the Umm Suqeim beach at 8am.

During January, weekend surfers were thwarted by waves that died off on Thursday and did not reappear until Monday. This weekend, however, holds more hope - by 2pm today, the waves are expected to be two metres high.

"Some people like us, who are not used to the cold, will be in wetsuits," said Daniel van Dooren, the co-founder of Surf Dubai. Others, he said, find the Gulf's winter waters pleasantly mild and "won't bother".

The men's finals will be held today after six hours of heats. The competition continues tomorrow for women and the under 16s.

Prizes worth Dh12,000 are up for grabs from the surfwear company Quiksilver.

Winners will receive a surfboard and a homemade trophy.

"It's a tradition we started the first year and it looks like we'll continue it," Mr van Dooren said.

"The talent here is quite high. The first time we ran it, it was just a few of us competing. Now there's a few who have competed at high levels in South Africa and Australia who are now living and working here."

Fahim Al Qassimi competed in the event last year.

"We don't have world-class surf, but we have world-class surfers," he said.

"It's a lot more fun here. While competitions are organised elsewhere by large-scale companies which bring in people from all around the world and make it a spectator sport, here they bring the community together and make it a family event."

eharnan@thenational.ae