Al Gharbia Watersports: kite heaven competition at Mirfa

With his special ability to captivate audience through his eye-catching performance in kite-surfing, and his ability to challenge wild winds at 18 knots of speed with a single hand, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamdan Bin Mohamed Al Nahyan is in fact a modest person who seeks to place the UAE on the map of international water sports events.

Sheikh Ahmed participated this year in the freestyle kitesurfing contests at Al Gharbia Watersports festival, taking place at Mirfa Beach from April 22 to May 1, 2010, reaping the gold spot for the second consecutive year, though he admits that he practices many other water and general sports including surfing, free-diving, horse-riding, 4 wheel-rallys and mountain climbing, in addition to parachuting.

During the festival Sheikh Ahmed presented indeed some of the best performances in the freestyle kitesurfing competitions, with high and long eye-catching acrobatic leaps and was matched only by few competitors who failed to catch-up to his enthusiasm and persistence.

Sheikh Ahmed revealed that he acquires a strong passion for competing with kitesurf professionals, and that the festival provided him with this opportunity after continuous and relentless preparation and training for the second round of the festival, which turned out to be above all expectations, especially with the excellent services and facilities provided by the event's organizers, including the smooth registration process, as well as designated resting halls and mobile medical clinics, and hence securing every aspect needed for a world-class competition.

The Sheikh noted the growing number of professional and amateur participants and the increasing number of visitors who flocked to Mirfa Beach from across the UAE, the region and the world, marking the efforts of the organizers and the attractive natural settings of Mirfa Beach.

He explained that the UAE enjoys extended beaches and favorable seasonal winds that qualify the country to adopt water sports, especially in Abu Dhabi, where the beaches head towards the North, providing for an excellent setting for sailing and surfing sports.

Nevertheless, Sheikh Ahmed expressed his discontent as to the limited number of participating UAE athletes, which he attributed to the long distance between Mirfa and other emirates and the commitments of many athletes to their day jobs, preventing them from dedicating more time to a sport that the UAE nationals can excel if allowed the time and opportunity to participate in international competitions.

He admitted that competitions were fierce this year, especially that many participants were able to present outstanding performances in the preliminary stages thanks to the favorable 17 and 18 knots winds, a matter that necessitated additional efforts from the Sheikh who is always anxious to achieve the best scores, and who succeeded in reaping the top spot of this year's round, despite the fierce competition from UAE's Rashed Al Qamzi, and South Africa's William Lee who presented sophisticated moves.

Sheikh Ahmed announced that measures are nearing the end for establishing a private club for kitesurfing in the UAE, assuring his commitment to that end and to support the country's endeavors to become one of the major world players in this sport.

He revealed that the private club will start in Abu Dhabi city and then extend to Mirfa and Delma, to be followed by the other emirates including Dubai, where a distinguished kitesurf club already exists, and that the remaining steps only pertain to procedures and official measures.


SOURCE: WAM