Team Xcellent Clinches Victory at the 2024 Dubai Duty Free SB20 Sailing Asia Pacific Championships
The Dubai Offshore Sailing Club witnessed the grand finale of the Dubai Duty Free SB20 Sailing Asia Pacific Championships on February 4, 2024. Over three days, the event showcased a thrilling blend of challenging camaraderie among the 38 participating boats, each competing for the coveted first-place title. Emerging as the overall champions on the third and final day were team Xcellent from the United Kingdom, skillfully helmed by John Pollard, securing their triumph. Desert Eagle 2 and Kidzink closely followed in second and third place.
Day One set the stage with three fiercely contested races, ultimately won by Kidzink. Named the overall lead on Day Two, Team Xcellent, with Desert Eagle 2 and Kidzink in second and third positions.
Day Three saw unexpected turns at every corner with much to be celebrated. In race seven of the 2024 Asia Pacific Championships, team Xcellent took the lead with the fastest speed of the day, maintaining 16.7 knots for 500 metres. Sitting at the second and third highest speeds, Rental Car from Singapore at 16.4 knots and Team Kesbeke, the first Corinthian team of the SB20 Championships at 16 knots.
Commenting on the unpredictability of the day three races, Roger Wilson, Principal Race Officer, commented: “Each team did exceptionally well today. With wind speeds of 13 – 14 knots, gusts of 16 and excess waves of a metre high, all participants demonstrated resilience and commendable team work.”
Race Director Alan Ruigrok expressed gratitude to all participants, sponsors and spectators alike: “We’ve been really fortunate, we’ve had a fantastic regatta overall with the breeze in our favour at 15 – 22 knots of wind, sunshine, a brilliant race management team and great racing. A special thanks to our lead sponsors Dubai Duty Free for making it possible, and to all the teams, from near and far, for their participation”. Commenting on the standard of racing: “The level is super high now, we’ve got professional teams in and lots of really really great sailors”. There is no denying, the energy and enthusiasm demonstrated over the past three days has been invigorating.
Hearing from the overall winners themselves, Team Xcellent made the following statement and expressed their delight at the outcome, emphasising the honour it represents: “What a last race. Perfect sailing conditions, weather absolutely beautiful. Shifts, good sailing, what more could you want coming to Dubai”. In addition, they thank Dubai Duty Free and the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club for providing a platform of exceptional calibre to showcase skills and talents.
Their achievement was honoured during the championship’sclosing ceremony, marking the conclusion of three days of festivities at DOSC’s Tentola Racing Village. Distinguished attendees included Captain Khalid Alowais, board member of the UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation, and Ramesh Cidambi, Chief Operating Officer at Dubai Duty Free commenting “The event was fantastic and I’m really really proud of all the sailors, fast and furious would be the subtitle of this event. Let’s see what happens at the World Championships in two weeks”.
Text Credits: Sociate Sameeta/ Amber
Photo Credits: Mikey Brignall
Video Credits: ICARUS Sports
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