Most members know of my predilection for sail and if it's a bit unusual, all the better.
Browsing through various boaty youtubes last night I came across some of racing dhows. Now I'm not talking about the traditional Arab trading dhows, these were full blown racing machines. Two sizes, 60ft and 43ft, they were like long narrow racing dinghies with a bit of a keel on them. Two masts on the 60footers, one on the 43. Huge lateen sails. I couldn't understand the commentary, it was in Arabic. All boats started the race moored stern on to the quay. A flag went down, racehorse style, and they were off. Sails went up. Fair breeze, so all the crew were standing on the weather gunwhale,with ropes going to the masthead to support them, to keep her upright, though a couple capsized. It seemed as if it was a straight course of several miles on a broad reach. This was I imagine to save the complexities of tacking large lateen sails The speeds were terrific and it all looked very exciting. Interesting point, I did gather that the person very much involved in every way is Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum who with his brother have a huge interest in horseracing in the UK.