x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

UAE jet ski champ misses out on world title

Khalid Salem Al Qubaisi was headed for the top position at the event held at Lake Havasu in Nevada when mechanical problems with his jet ski ended his chances.

UAE champion Khalid Salem Al Qubaisi of the IPIC jet-ski team shows off his skills during a competition in Qatar this year. Courtesy IPIC jetski team
UAE champion Khalid Salem Al Qubaisi of the IPIC jet-ski team shows off his skills during a competition in Qatar this year. Courtesy IPIC jetski team

ABU DHABI // The UAE’s top freestyle jet skier has vowed to keep training after narrowly missing out at the world championship in the United States.

Khalid Salem Al Qubaisi was headed for the top position at the event, at Lake Havasu in Arizona, when mechanical problems with his jet ski ended his chances.

“It was going really well and I thought I could at the very least get a top-five position with how I was competing,” said Al Qubaisi, 33.

“But then the engine failed and we could not get it working again to go out and try again.

“It is such a real shame with all the preparation that went in but I will get back to Abu Dhabi and keep training and then come back again to go for the world title.”

The Abu Dhabi resident said messages of support from friends and colleagues at the capital’s International Petroleum Investment Company had strengthened his resolve for the next competition.

“I have been getting calls and texts from friends and colleagues and although it was not happy news, at least I gave it a good shot and it just makes me more determined for next time,” he said.

Al Qubaisi will fly back to the UAE to complete his training regime in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for several contests through the year.

The world championship, which is held each year at Lake Havasu in October, is one of the most coveted titles for jet-ski racers.

Competitors from more than 36 nations battled for the top spot in the freestyle races with Anthony Burgess from Nantwich in England taking the victory.

rtalwar@thenational.ae