I stumbled onto a great club in a place you might least expect, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The club is made up of Brits, Ausies and Germans, all working in Dubai. They have a great location, a protected beach with lots of cats and a kids program with Opti's, Lasers and such. They race every Friday, which is like our Sunday (day of worship, not much is open). I found out about it through sheer luck as I was talking to Matt McDonald (Vectorworks Blade builder) about missing the next local regatta, I told him I was going to be in Dubai...he told me he has sent 3 Blades to Dubai and I should get in touch with them. So I did. Thanks Matt!
David Hollingsworth was very nice to make the long drive out to my hotel, take me to the club on Friday morning and return me Friday night. He's from Perth but been in Dubai for 10 years working for Emirates Airlines.
I was amazed at the number of cats they have there. Most stayed under cover but the 3 Blades came out, 3 Spitfires, 2 Hobie FX-1's, a couple Shadows, an F-18, a Nacra 16 square with spin, several Hobie 16's and some other cats as well, along with the Lasers and a kid's fleet of a small mono dinghys but I don't know what it was called, two man, with spin.
Anyway, the racing was great, the club does a fantastic job setting the courses out in the Persian Gulf. The wind started out light for the first two races, but built all day, and after the lunch break the sea breeze filled in, we had good wind (10-15?) and big waves for the last two races. I was lucky enough to get a ride on Nick's Blade when his son allowed me to fill in for him on the later two races.
If you are considering a job in the UAE but worried you won't have any "fun", go for it! They have a great club and race every Friday. Tell the wife about all the shopping malls, there's even an indoor ski slope in one!
Many thanks to Dave, Nick, Oscar and everyone else who welcomed me warmly to their great club. If you ever find yourself in that part of the world looking for something to do on a Friday, check out Jumeria (sp?) beach, just look for all the masts!
Is it these guys: Jebel Ali Sailing Club www.jebelalisailingclub.com I know that there are Spitfires based there. Looks fantastic ! Tim should be our "Catamaran Roving Ambassador" <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Thanks Dermot, that's the place! Go to the left side links and click on "catamaran fleet" then scroll down to see pictures of the cats out racing. Beautiful place, warm water and plenty of wind. Click on the red Toyota Sponsor Pack to see more pictures of the club area and cats. I was looking for the link on the Dubai International Marine Club but couldn't find what I wanted, the link you posted is correct. Thanks.
I have made an error in my initial post, I miss-stated Dave's last name, it is Holligan, and he's from Sydney, not Perth. All apologies to Dave, too many beers afterwards I guess, kind of blotted out the details. At any rate, if you find yourself in the Dubai area you should take time to see their excellent club. (Dermot, I guess I flunked the Ambassador test...)
If you're into Google Earth check out the Dubai area. The sailing club mentioned is at the base of this man-made sand structure. The construction of this multi sandbar thing has been the topic of several Mega-Engineering shows (Discovery Channel?) Scan the area for more inovative coastal construction monsters. Incredible!
And that's just the small one, they are building two more like it only much larger! The club is at the left base inside the two break waters, where you see several docks with boats, about middle bottom of that picture.
And that's just the small one, they are building two more like it only much larger!
Right you are! If you look on Google Earth due north of "Dubai City" you can find a triangular island being built with this massive barge which is shooting a huge jet of sand onto the northeast shore. Cool shadow!
Nothing hides from Google's All Seeing Eye! (Except V.P. Chaney's house which he had Photoshopped out of the photo database).