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How to catch waves in the UAE

Desert crossing

by fat bike

Andy Whitaker cycles through Wahiba Sands

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Exclusive interview

Windsurfing legend Robby Naish Action on the high seas

Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2013 Get to us on Facebook!


Issue 27, March 2013




On the Cover: Sailing Arabia Managing Editor Daniel Birkhofer Editors Glaiza Seguia, Tara Atkinson Designer Oybek Daniyarov Administration Jane Mesina Sales & Marketing (advertisement enquiries) Tara Atkinson Tel: 04-447 2030 Mobile: 055 9398915

They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone. In my case, that was the moment I stepped on a plane bound for Dubai a few years back. I think I’ve done a lot of learning and growing up since then – like most expats here, I took on jobs, gained “the dreaded Dubai weight” and met a lot of crazy people. I recently found myself at a career crossroad that was willing me to either stay stuck or push on. Of course, one must always push on. So here I am sitting at my sunny little spot at the OutdoorUAE headquarters and pondering how just in a matter of days I have been literally thrown even farther away from my proverbial comfort zone. I’m not fit, sporty or outdoorsy. But I’ve blindly convinced myself that just because I do some exercise every now and then, I’m as active as I can get. Then I flipped through the OutdoorUAE magazine and read about this lady who ran from Dubai to Fujairah, this guy who went on solo off-road expeditions in the desert just for kicks, kids who do competitive motocross, runners and riders who take on punishing multiday races, and climbers who have scaled the Seven Summits, just to name a few. My first thought was, “They must be insane,” but then it dawned on me that nope, I’m just lazy. During my first few days here, I’ve already kayaked, raced on a sailboat and met some very interesting people whose athletic abilities intimidate me to no end, yet they firmly shook my hand and happily clapped me on the back like a buddy. This is a community of passionate people who not only do all of these amazing activities, but also share their stories and invite you to come join the fold – it’s really inspiring! Just have a look at our water-themed features and photographs this month and I bet you’ll want to take a dip in the sea later.

Published by Outdoor UAE FZE P.O. Box 215062 Dubai, U.A.E. Tel. 04-447 2030 Distributor Tawzea, Abu Dhabi Media Company P.O. Box 40401, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Printed at Galadari Printing & Publishing LLC P.O. Box 11243 Dubai, U.A.E.

The team told me that it’s just a matter of time before the outdoor bug bites me too and I think it already has. Well, I’m not scuba diving yet (I can’t swim, but I’ll work on that), but I’ve been cycling around the neighbourhood and I have an insatiable taste for adventure, so baby steps for now. I’ll definitely see you guys out there!

© 2013 Outdoor UAE FZE Issue 27 March 2013


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hoW to catch Waves in the uae

Desert crossing

by fat bike

Andy WhitAker cycles through WAhibA sAnds

Daniel Birkhofer Founder and Editor in Chief


Exclusive interview

WinDsurfing legenD robby naish Action on the high seas

Jane Mesina Administration

Tara Atkinson Sales and Marketing

Glaiza Seguia Editor

Oybek Daniyarov Graphics & Programming

Zaid Adham Arabic Editor

sailing arabia – the tour 2013

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Issue 27, March 2013

The information contained is for general use only. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this magazine has been obtained from reliable sources, however the publisher is not responsible for any errors. All information in this magazine is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information. In no event will the publisher, its related affiliates or anyone else be responsible for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this magazine. All contents are under copyrights and may not be reproduced in any kind without written permission. © 2013 Outdoor UAE FZE Reg. at Creative City Fujairah P.O. Box 4422, Fujairah, U.A.E.



Kit Belen Our fishing pro

Pete Aldwinckle Climber and all-round adventure seeker

Gordon T Smith Desert Diver and wannabe Marine Biologist

Mike Nott The 4x4 expert

John Basson Moto/ATV and all round adventure seeker

Tori Leckie Writer, runner, blogger, adventurer and adidas athlete

Sandy Joy Rubin Pilates and yoga expert and general thrill seeking move-aholic

Darryl MacDonald Photographer, journalist, climbing and hiking junkie currently living in Oman.

Ian Ganderton Kayaker, climber, mountainbiker and snowboarder. Enthusiastic jack of all trades, master of none.

Jim McIntosh Mountain goat Mack and hiking route pioneer





















BEST SHOTS Here are the best shots sent in by you for the monthly ‘Want


Fame?’ photography competition! Thank you for all your entries, they were all great and it was hard selecting the best photos this month. Congratulations to the top 3 winners (who each receive Buff headwear and 5 free copies of the magazine) Colin Handy, Charlotte Hudson and Abdel Elecho. Well done! To submit your shots, simply email us at with the subject ‘Best Shots’. You can submit a maximum of 3 images per month.


Desert driving Colin Handy On the edge

Charlotte Hudson


Searching for surf in Ajman

Abdel Elecho




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EVENTS CALENDAR Stay up-to-date with the latest events

. 8 Featured Event pg

Dubai International Boat Show 2013

March 5 to 9, 3:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Dubai International Marine Club - Mina Seyahi The largest maritime sales platform in the region returns with over 750 international companies from 49 countries showcasing a wide range of marine equipment, services and leisure boats, including the most luxurious super yachts. Be sure to visit OutdoorUAE at stand EX-52 outside, next to the F&B tent for some photo wall fun, exciting prizes and live demos. Public visitor tickets are available at the entrance for 60 AED. For more information, visit www.

Zayed Sports City 5K and 10K

March 8, 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi The last run of the three-series race is open to runners of all abilities and age group, and is also in support of the Special Care Centre. The course through the Zayed Sports City facility starts from the Haddins Gym past the bowling centre, ice rink and through the iconic national stadium. For more information, contact Steven Watson at

Oakley Run Series Race 4 of 5

March 9, 7:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai Open to runners of all levels and age group, the penultimate 4km fun run and 8km of this fiveseries race will take the participants through the picturesque course around the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The Oakley Run Series forms part of the Oakley Super Series where all athletes qualifying for a series ranking will have a chance of winning an all-expense paid trip to Adventures in the Alps, a retreat resort based in the French Alps. For more information, visit or get in touch with Warren van der Merwe at

Urban-Ultra Big Stinker 2013 March 15, 7:30 a.m., Ras Al Khaimah

Prepare to get stinky with Urban-Ultra’s mountain adventure run. Choose from a 12km, 24km or 36km distance run up and over a beautiful mountain (540m) with ascent and descent per 12km loop. Camp on Thursday night atop the mountain or drive up in the morning and run one, two or three loops of the well-marked course. Registration closes on March 9th, so sign up now at Contact for more information.

The 2013 Mafraq Hotel Cross Country March 22, 5:00 p.m., Mafraq Hotel Abu Dhabi

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Striders running club and hosted by the Mafraq Hotel Abu Dhabi, the 14th annual Mafraq Cross Country is an individual event of 2km, 5km and 10km distance on flat asphalt road and sand dunes in a designated and marked course. It is a late afternoon run across the hotel’s car park and out into the sands. For more information, contact Steven Watson at






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EVENTS CALENDAR Autodrome 10K 2013

March 22, 7:00 a.m., Dubai Autodrome Motor City Head down to the Autodrome race pit for the 2.5km junior (under 16 years old) and 10km adult challenge organised by the oldest running club in Dubai, the Dubai Road Runners. Register online at or contact Graham at

ZOGGS Mina Mile Open Water Swim Series

March 23, 8:00 a.m., Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina Dubai Test your skills off the Barasti Beach waters for the final of the two-race series, which is open to male and female of all age groups. Swim for 200m (12 years old and under only), 400m, 800m and 1.6km and entrants can participate in as many races as they wish on the day for the same entry fee. This event is part of the Oakley Super Series and by entering you stand a chance of winning an all-expense paid trip to Adventures in the Alps. For more information, visit or get in touch with Warren van der Merwe at

Dubai World Cup 2013 March 30, 4:30 p.m., Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba The countdown to one of the most prestigious events of the horse racing calendar has begun. The 18th edition of Dubai World Cup and the culmination of Dubai’s 2012/2013 Racing Season will showcase the world’s top horses, jockeys and avid racing fans. For tickets and information, log on to or contact 04 327 2110.

Jebel Ali Resort Sprint Triathlon March 30, 7:30 a.m., Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa

After the successful trial race last January, the sprint distance triathlon will see competitors swim 750m, then cycle three laps for 20km and, finally, run two laps for 5km around the resort. Buffet and prize giving will take place as soon as the last competitor has finished. Register at and for more information, contact David or Rachel Mutch at

Probike Weekly Monday Night Ride Every Monday, 6:40 p.m., Al Qudra Road cycle track

Join Probike bike shop for their weekly all-year round evening ride at the Al Qudra cycle track. It’s a 36km ride out-and-back and suitable for all abilities. Meet-up is at the usual start point at the roundabout just after the new Dubai Cycling Course gateway. Front and rear lights and a helmet are required! For more information, contact Probike at 04 325 5705 or visit





NEWS + Comment Super yacht experience at the

Dubai International Boat Show The Dubai International Boat

Show (DIBS) has confirmed that 19 of the world’s most luxurious super yachts will be on showcase – this represents a 40% increase from last year. In addition, the newly established Super Yacht Experience, which falls under the umbrella of the global Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), has confirmed 11 members are already committed to DIBS.

In its 21st year, the multi-awarded DIBS will provide a platform for the widest range of boats in the GCC, latest innovations, world premieres and regional launches. The event will run from the 5th to 9th of March 2013 at Dubai International Marine Club in Mina Seyahi, attracting over 750 companies and brands. More than 26,000 visitors, 5,000 VIPs and high net worth individuals are expected to flock to the event.

Strong international participation

Exhibitors from more than 49 countries will take part including debut appearances from Malta, Armenia and Malaysia. Eight country pavilions are confirmed this year, while Turkey returns with the biggest confirmed floor space of 800sqm – eight times larger than last year. The USA state of Florida will have a new dedicated pavilion due to strong demand from the United States. Multiple industry-leading educational and experiential sessions will also take place over three days. During the seminars and workshops, experts will address the latest industry trends, technologies and regulations. Exhibitors will also have an exclusive opportunity to meet, network and develop new business opportunities and relationships with key buyers in an interactive environment.

Major marine industry players confirmed

On water, the event will host the biggest super yachts available in the region. Among the major super yacht players displaying their latest models and designs are AMELS,



ART Marine, Benetti, Fincantieri, Gulf Craft, Heesen Yachts, KaiserWerft, Lürssen, Mondo Marine, Oceanco, Palmer Johnson, Sanlorenzo, Sea Pros, Sunseeker, Trinity Yachts and Westport. Key exhibitors returning to the show include Al Shaali Marine, Aquaspeed, Azimut Yachts, Emirates Boats, Exalto, Elcome, Gulf Craft, Gulf Development Systems, Heinen & Hopman, IMG Boats, Japan Marine, Luxury Sea Boats, Macky Marine, MTU, Princess Yachts, Sunseeker and Al Yousuf Yamaha. Many companies and brands have a larger presence this year such as Japan Marine and specialists in GPS technologies Abdulla Mohammad Ibrahim General Trading representing Garmin. Newcomers this year include Omani yacht interior company, Gumwood Yacht Interiors, and National Paints among others.

Rapidly-growing marine market

“Considering Dubai is a gateway to the affluent Middle East and Asian luxury buyers’ market, in which one third of the world’s largest super yachts are owned by GCC nationals, the Dubai International Boat Show has cemented its position as the region’s largest and most preferred sales platform. The Middle East has established itself as one of the fastest growing leisure marine markets in the world and the show continues to be a major factor in driving the marine industry’s business in terms of research, product sourcing and networking opportunities,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the event. The Dive Middle East Exhibition (DMEX) segment of the show has seen a 35% expansion this year with new international exhibitors from France, Germany, Oman, USA and more. Key segments of the show also include the Marina Display area, comprising the largest on-water

display in the Middle East; Luxury Supplies and Services housing the finest luxury fixtures and fittings from around the world; and Equipment Supplies and Services, an indoor area filled with exhibitors specialising in products essential to servicing the leisure marine industry. The Supercar Promenade also showcases the world’s most exclusive vehicles on four wheels alongside high-end marine crafts. Manufacturers and dealers will be situated within the purpose-built promenade at the Dubai International Marine Club. Among the prestigious key sponsors that are welcomed back this year is luxury watch brand Officine Panerai as supporting partner. Mercedes Benz is supporting the event as the official car, while the official footwear partner is Crocs. Leading private jet manufacturer Bombardier joins the show as a major supporter for the second year. OutdoorUAE is also one of the exhibitors at the Dubai International Boat Show. Visit us at stand EX-52 outside, next to the F&B tent.


NEWS + Comment Following Thesiger’s footsteps Explorer and adventurer Adrian Hayes launches book


Wadi Adventure to host surfing part of the All Stars Invitational

The UAE-based British

world-record breaking polar explorer and adventurer Adrian Hayes has launched his first book titled “Footsteps of Thesiger” in January, and he’s set give a talk about it and his 44-day journey through the Empty Quarter at the annual Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature on March 9th. The famed British explorer Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger spent five years between 1946 and 1950 living with the Bedouin of Southern Arabia and crossing the legendary Rub al-Khali or Empty Quarter of the Arabian Desert. In 2011, as part of the of UAE’s 40th anniversary celebration, the Dubai-based author and father of two attempted to retrace Thesiger’s footsteps by crossing the desert on foot and by camel. Wearing traditional Arabic garb and with two Bedouin companions along with a number of other

travellers, Hayes crossed one of the harshest desert terrains with huge sand dunes, flooded wadis and temperatures of over 50°C. The explorer – who once completed the Three Poles Challenge in 19 months – has documented this 1,600km trek from Salalah, Oman to Abu Dhabi, UAE in the photo journal. The photographs in the book complement its engaging narrative, victories, trials, and the beautiful landscape they travelled through. The book is not only about the test of endurance, but also a modern-day reinterpretation of history as well as a journey of the mind. British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes said in the book’s foreword, “We are all pioneers at heart and I believe there is an instinctive urge in human beings to discover something ‘unknown.’ Some of us choose to act on this urge, and ‘Footsteps of Thesiger,’ with its great pictures of a memorable journey and a still-vibrant culture and people, is a truly inspiring read.”

Wadi Adventure, the

first man made whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing facility in the Middle East located in Al Ain, has put itself on the global surfing map over the past year with its sensational wave pool that is set against the desert backdrop, making it one of the most striking and unusual surf destinations imaginable.

With three different settings featuring a right, a left and a closeout, the wave pool will provide the most level playing field ever witnessed for competitive surfing. On April 4th and 5th, Wadi Adventure will play host to Waterman League’s Stand Up World Tour All-Stars Invitational that will see some of the world’s best Stand Up Paddlers battle it out on the water for

Women pedal for peace

Follow The Women as they cycle through UAE Since 2004, the UK-based charity

organisation Follow The Women has been cycling around the world to promote peace and cultural understanding in the Middle East. In partnership with The Emirates Cycling Federation, the international group composed of women from 40 different countries geared up and saddled their bikes for the first Pedal for Peace event in the UAE which ran from February 16th to 23rd. More than 130 members from the group and female Emiratis joined in the cause and rode for 50km each day through the seven emirates, visting charitable institutions,



meeting with the sheikas and passing by national landmarks. According to Follow The Women founder Detta Regan, they are just a group of ordinary women, who hope to inspire others not only to ride, but also be empowered to do something for their community. “Using our bikes as a tool to get the message of peace across, we want to raise awareness and see women come together to appreciate cycling; to get to know each other’s stories, meet people as we pass through and get to know UAE in a different way,” said the 66-year-old cyclist and 1000 Women Nobel Peace prize nominee (2004) ahead of the event. Follow The Women has organised rides in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine and involved over 1,800 women. Previous projects included building of fully-equipped

the 20,000 USD prize. Each athlete will get to surf on their backhand, forehand and shoot to boost progressive manoeuvers off the closeout, allowing us to further push the cutting edge of stand up paddlesurfing and adopt the most progressive format yet on the Stand Up World Tour. This part of the event will take place on the 4th and 5th April and will be streamed live at The event is exclusively limited to the invited All Stars Riders and some UAE and GCC Riders. The main race competition sprint race will be hosted by The Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yachting Club on the 6th and 7th of April 2013. All UAE residents and riders need to register for the wave and race competitions starting from the 3rd of April 2013. Last date of registration is the 26th of March 2013. For more information log on to: or email

playgrounds in the West Bank and Gaza, the provision of sewing machines and equipment to Palestinian women in refugee camps and support for a youth counselling project in Ramallah, Palestine. “When my dad died, his last words as he took my hand were, ‘I want you to work for peace,’ so he gave me a mission and that’s what I’m trying to do with our group. It came from this little idea of riding a bike and now members have said it has changed their lives,” she added. “We have a ‘go, see, tell and act’ philosophy: go the country, see the reality, tell the people about it and act upon what you’ve seen. You can act in a very small ways and they turn into big actions.” Funds raised during the eight-day ride which began from Dubai and passed by Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Quwain, Ajman, Abu Dhabi and ended in Sharjah will be donated to the Red Crescent for projects in Palestine and other areas in the Middle East.

New Trek Concept Store to open Gymcare General Trading is

pleased to announce that they will be opening the first Trek Concept Store in the Middle East on March 10th 2013 on the newly opened Dubai Cycle Course.

The Dubai Cycle Course, situated on the old Al Qudra Cycle Path, between Arabian Ranches and the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort, will soon be supported by fully-serviced new facilities including a unique café/restaurant, Trek Bicycle Store, bike rental, first aid clinic and plenty of parking for bikes and for cars. There will be changing areas which will have toilets, showers and lockers and will be serviced regularly to a high standard. The entire area will be set in beautiful landscaped gardens with shaded outdoor seating areas, including plenty of hard-standing car parking and racks for bicycles. The new Trek Concept Store will be run to the same legendary high standards as you will have come to expect from the biggest bicycle brand in the world, offering a vast range of bicycles, all with lifetime warranties on their frames. The shop will also offer a workshop with an entire range of spare

parts, accessories and clothing, all strongly represented by a complete range of Women’s Specific Designs from Trek, Bontrager and other famous cycling brands. Finally, the strong emphasis on customer service will ensure a great bicycle shopping experience for every customer, from entry level rider and

complete beginner, right through to the pro level racer. The workshop will also provide comprehensive support to the bike rental facility, customers of the new facility and to general users of the cycle track.


A Boat In A Bag An introduction to folding kayaks Not many people think of checking

a boat in as airline luggage, but I do and it’s no more hassle than checking in a golf bag or diving gear. My kayaks are proper sea kayaks, but not the plastic hardshell kind that you regularly see off our beaches, instead they are skin-on-frame boats that can be dismantled and packed into bags. This means that they can be stored in a closet, left in the trunk of your car or flown as airline luggage for kayaking holidays in far-flung places. Even for road trips, up into the Musandam or the east coast of Oman, not having a large boat strapped to the roof of your 4x4 makes the journey a lot easier.

When first looking for a kayak that was easy to store, I did the obvious thing and evaluated inflatable kayaks, they’re easy to assemble and pack away quite compactly. However, most inflatables have the disadvantage in that they aren’t easy to steer and, having no rudder along with a high profile, get pushed around a lot even by light breezes. Folding kayaks don’t suffer from either of these issues. Traditional Inuit kayaks from the frozen north are built from a wooden frame covered with seal skin and have been used for around 10,000 years in the roughest conditions for tough jobs such as hunting seals. Modern folding kayaks share this heritage, being an interlocking frame covered in a canvas and hypalon skin. Frames are still made from wood, such as those built by Klepper and Long Haul, but folding kayak makers also

Words + Photos By: Craig Reynolds use modern materials such as aluminium. In fact, my folding kayaks, made by Folbot, have sturdy aluminium frames and have stood up to a decade of use and abuse. The skin usually consists of an upper deck, made from high quality canvas, sewn or RF welded to a hypalon hull. Hypalon is the same material that rigid inflatable boats are made from, so it’s incredibly tough, withstanding rough landings on rocky shores and being dragged across barnacles (although I wouldn’t recommend doing that too often.) The word “folding” is not an accurate term, instead they can be dismantled and packed into bags. Folding kayaks are very seaworthy; the paddler sits low in the water so they are harder to capsize, while the skin and frame flex in rough seas absorbing impact, resulting in a far more stable and smooth ride than normal hardshell sea kayaks. Being a family man, the safety of my kids was a prime concern and the stability of folding kayaks was a major consideration. I was paddling with friends in the Musandam and was still quite comfortable in some very choppy waters when they decided to turn around as their sit-on-top fishing kayaks were becoming very unstable and dangerously close to capsizing. Assembling a folding kayak for the first time can take 45 minutes or more as you familiarise yourself with all the components and the process. But I can now assemble one in roughly 15 minutes and disassemble it in even less, very often within the same

Craig Reynolds

Craig Reynolds was born and raised under the African sun and has been wondering around in the outdoors for as long as he can remember. He used to climb about twenty kilograms ago, often dragging an old Pentax K1000 up the crags. He is an unrehabilitated Land Cruiser addict who is often sunburnt and generally in need of a shave and you can see his photos and read his infrequently updated blog at


A boat is in there. My expedition grade kayak comes in two bags, others fit into one.


The frame is assembled and ready to insert into the skin.

time fellow paddlers have loaded and tied down a hard shell onto their car’s roof. I don’t always disassemble my kayaks, sometimes I leave them assembled for weeks at a time if I am paddling regularly, treating it like any other sea kayak. Assembly begins by putting together the ribs and longerons, each kayak has a slightly different process. Once this is done the skin is laid out and the frame is inserted into the skin, a wiggle and a shake is sometimes required to seat it properly. Special tubes along the inside of the kayak skin, called sponsons, are inflated by mouth. Sponsons serve two purposes, firstly they tighten the skin and hull giving the kayak rigidity and, secondly, they improve stability, pushing the kayak upright if it leans over too far. Finally seats, an optional rudder and optional float bags are inserted and you’re ready to launch. Disassembly is simply the reverse process, but as I have said, I often leave mine assembled at the start of the kayaking season. Folding kayaks are particularly suited for apartment dwellers and travellers looking for a kayaking getaway. Paul Theroux, in his epic travel book “The Happy Isles of Oceania,” describes paddling a folding kayak through 51 pacific islands between New Zealand, via Papua New Guinea and Easter Island, and Hawaii. It was perfect for loading aboard planes and small ships, able to carry enough camping gear for extended trips and tough enough to endure months of rough seas, sharks



and treacherous shores. My kayaks have flown internationally and have travelled long distances in the back of my car while being stored in a downstairs bathroom during the worst of Dubai summers. Try doing that with four normal sea kayaks! So, if you are keen on paddling but have little storage space, or you’d love to travel the world and see it from the waterline in your own boat, give folding kayaks some consideration.

Folding kayaks are tough

A common query I get from hardshell kayakers is how rugged folders are, the opinion being that skin-on-frame boats can’t be that tough. On the contrary, folding kayaks are extremely rugged, military forces are known to regularly drop heavily loaded ones from helicopters at the start of missions. Dr Hannes Lindeman took 72 days to do a solo crossing of the Atlantic, covering 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to St Martin in the Caribbean in a Klepper Aerius rigged with a sail. Erik Spellman and Clifford Mee were forced to abandon theirs in the Arctic due to potentially lethal weather conditions, believing that they’d never see it again. Months later, they were contacted by an Inuvialuit elder who had found it buried in the snow, perfectly intact, having survived an Arctic winter.

15 minutes it’s assembled, sponsons inflated and we’re ready to paddle.

Folding kayak resources

For those wanting to know more the best overall resource for information, try the and the book “The Complete Folding Kayaker” by Ralph Diaz (available on I own four folders, all bought online and shipped to me from who specialises in aluminium framed kayaks. I have seen also seen them in Al Masaood on Sheikh Zayed Road. There are plenty of other manufacturers suited to all budgets, the website has an exhaustive list. Some well-known makers of top-quality, expedition grade kayaks: • Klepper is a longstanding German manufacturer synonymous with wood-framed kayaks. Ask any German outdoors fan and they’ve probably heard of it. www. • Long Haul, an American maker of kayaks that are very similar to Klepper. Long Haul specialises in heavy duty expedition level kayaks and they have been used for Arctic crossings. • Nautiraid, based in France, makes a wide variety of folding kayaks including military specced versions. • In my opinion Feathercraft boats are the Rolls Royce of aluminium framed folding kayaks, but with an eye-watering price to match. You get what you pay for. www.

Decklines allow you to stow gear on the deck, in this case a bilge pump. Camping and expedition gear can be stowed below decks, keeping the centre of gravity low.

And off she goes! Even the paddles dismantle into short lengths for stowing in the bags.






Children sail around The World

in less than six hours Words By: Jennifer Hardie Photos By: Dubai Offshore Sailing Club

On Saturday, 16th February, twenty-two children aged as young as eight circumnavigated The World independently in single-handed racing dinghies in five hours and 45 minutes. The children from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) race squad are among the nation’s most talented young sailors. Their voyage around The World archipelago was a fundraiser for the club’s Youth Sailing Fund, which helps to pay for training, equipment and transport to races. The World is a collection of 300 islands off the coast of Dubai in the shape of a map of the globe. Its breakwater has a circumference of more than 27 kilometres. On the day of the event, everyone arrived bright and early at DOSC: parents clutching coffee and wishing they had another few hours in bed on a Saturday, while the kids were running around excitedly knowing that in a few hours their adventure would begin. There was one problem – at 8:00 a.m. there was no wind at all, however, in the distance there were ripples on the water, but clearly there was wind further out towards The World. DOSC’s team of more than 20 volunteers on six safety boats gave the kids a quick tow out to the start of The World. On the day, there were 22 youth sailors in Lasers and Optimists and 11 adults accompanying them in single handed racing dinghies. Despite the initial hiccough of no wind, it picked up, and by 9:00 a.m. the kids were off. The Lasers, a much quicker racing dinghy, raced off and soon there was a big gap between Lasers and Optimists, being sailed by children ranging from age eight to 13 years old. “This is more than 10 times the distance that the youth sailing squad would cover in a normal race,” said Francis Carr, Commodore at DOSC. “Sailing around The World was a big expedition even for a group of experienced adult sailors in large yachts, let alone



children on their own in two-metre racing dinghies.” Once the sailors got used to the conditions of varying winds and currents, everyone soon got into their groove. Some were elated realising that they were sailing around The World, while others got a bit bored after sitting in their boats for what seemed like hours on end – when you’re eight or nine years old – 10 minutes seems like two hours! About three hours into the sail around The World, the Lasers had done about three quarters of the way around the islands, while the Optimists had made it around the long, slow stretch across the top of the islands, where the wind seemed to drop off. DOSC organisers expected the event to take up to eight hours, but the kids sailed quicker than expected and the Lasers finished the course in four hours and the Optimists completed it in five hours and 45 minutes. All of the kids were elated when they returned to shore. “I really enjoyed the whole day out on the water,” said Fionn Conway, 14 years old, one of the first sailors back on shore, after sailing a Laser Radial. “I’m also pleased that I could personally contribute money to the Youth Sailing Fund, which will help all of us get better with our sailing.” Noah Fisk, age eight, is one of the race squad’s youngest sailors. “I’m so proud of myself that I got the whole way around The World. It was a big achievement and I’m happy that I did it.” “This was a unique opportunity which I would certainly do again,” said Tijn Boenk, 14 years old. “The wind and tides out there were very different to what I would normally need to handle.”The seven girls and 15 boys in their small two-metre racing dinghies were shadowed by their coaches and parents in several safety boats. A big crowd cheered them in to the beach as they returned to DOSC.

More information about the DOSC youth sailing programme can be seen on their website: http://doscyouthsailing. or if an organisation would like to sponsor the club’s youth sailors, contact:




TransHajar Mountain

Bike Race 2013 In 2006, Lake Araparkis competed in his first multiday mountain bike race, the Cape Epic, an eight-day, 800km race through the Western Cape in South Africa. He loved the experience so much he decided to do it again the following year and again the year after that. His love of endurance races continued with the TransRockies, another race of epic proportions through the Canadian Rockies covering 350km and nearly 12,000m of elevation gain. In the years since then, Lake has competed in 12 races covering three continents, completing all of his training right here in Oman. In 2011, while training for the Cape Epic, he thought it might be interesting to invite other riders to participate in his training. He put together a website for the event and invited the local cycling club. He expected only to get a small group of locals to train with and explore some of the surrounding areas, so he was a little surprised when a large group of cyclists from the UAE also showed up eager to ride. He welcomed them along, appreciating their enthusiasm, and so began the TransHajar. There were 23 participants in 2011 and when he did it again in 2012, it more than doubled in size with 53 participants. Lake works with a very small group of volunteer organisers and a nearly nonexistent budget to organise the race every year. But somehow, he still manages to put on a world-class event. The course this year was a total of 310km covered over four-days passing through some stunning examples of the beautiful Omani landscape. Currently in its third year and still in its infancy, the race has a very “grassroots” feel to it making it a much more intimate expe-



Words + Photos By: Darryl MacDonald rience than some of the larger races I’ve had the privilege to attend. The group is small enough that all of the faces become recognisable quickly, and the racers have room to spread out on the course, avoiding some of the congestion you might see in other events. This year, the race boasted a total of 81 riders, representing 15 countries. Among them were some big names on the scene such as former world triathlon champion and winner of the Cape Epic, Hannele Steyn. Also, ex-Olympian Rob Barel, whose list of victories are so long they wouldn’t fit in this article and also has numerous triathlon medals in the international and European circuits. The rider list included members of the local cycling club, with three Omanis, as well as riders from Italy, Spain, UK and Canada, just to name a few and making for an eclectic mix. The female category had a very strong presence this year with a total of seven women. Among them were race director for the Cape Epic, Kati Csak, and one of the top riders from the UK National series, Julie Elder. One of the things I enjoyed the most about helping out with this event is seeing such a broad range of participants. The professional athletes at the front are always amazing to watch in action, they work hard but somehow make it look easy. Hannele Steyn had a big grin on her face every time she passed me, even when she was tackling some of the biggest hills on the course. On the last three stages, Rob Barel and Thomas Kammermann came across the finish line nose to nose, for an exciting photo finish. However, one of the big highlights for me is the riders at the back of the pack – the weekend warriors. That is where the true inspiration lies. These folks ride up to four times longer than the leaders, coming in with cuts, scrapes, bruises and blis-

ters in the worst places. These are the ones coming in with broken bikes and battered egos, but giving every last ounce of reserve just to cross the finish line. One rider I spoke with on day three, the longest day at 129km, told me, “I’m done, I can’t do any more. I won’t ride tomorrow.” Several of the other riders and I tried to coax and encourage him to come back, but it seemed he had made his resolve. The following morning, I was both surprised and happy to see him show up for the final day, but it was the look of pain that crossed his face when he got on his bike that was inspirational. Everyone I spoke with throughout the race seemed to be enjoying their time, and the entire event from top to bottom was very well-organised. I spoke with Lake after the race to find out what kind of changes participants can look forward to for next year, and it sounds like there are some big plans in the works. The race will go from a threeday to a five-day event with the amount of single-track increasing substantially, making the course more technical than previous years. The organisers are currently looking at changing the venue as well to explore other areas of the Hajar Mountains. Registration for 2014 will start shortly, so for those of you looking for your next big challenge, get out there and start training!

BEACH FESTIVAL The waiting is now over, we are back with the second OutdoorUAE Beach Festival. SAVE THE DATE

Friday 19th April 2013

for more details visit or call us 04 4472030

Join us for a fun day out with free activities for the young and old! Open from 10am – 7:30pm. Entrance 75 AED for adults, kids bel ow 10 years old enter free.




AD4X4 ladies rock Liwa

Liwa, Empty Quarter, Abu Dhabi – December 2012 Words + Photos By: Melissa Mac Bean (Nautibean)

I’m a proud female member of the

Abu Dhabi based AD4X4 off-road club and in November 2012 my friend Sam invited me to attend what would turn out to be one of my most memorable and exhilarating outdoor adventures here in my four years living in the UAE. The idea seemed “simple” – a ladies only, two-day off-roading, dune-bashing trip in Abu Dhabi’s majestic Liwa dunes. The off-road team was swiftly formed – Anne (aka Smiley), Lia (aka Tweety), Jayne , Agne, Luna, myself (aka Nautibean) and Sam (aka Tillybean). We are an extremely diverse group of women from a variety of different cultural and religious backgrounds, age groups, professions and driving experience. However, we all have one thing in common, and that’s our passion for the UAE’s outdoor environment and our pleasure of driving in the desert. With some sceptism from our male counterparts, but mainly bemusement, concern and heaps of encouragement and support from our partners, we began



thrashing out the finer details and logistics of our two-day overland trip. Roles and tasks were assigned by our trip leaders and on the cool morning of 7th December 2012, we gathered at the last petrol station in Mussafah to admire each other’s cars, refuel and prep ourselves with caffeine for the three-hour drive to Arada, Liwa. Liwa is situated in Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter, approximately 250km from Abu Dhabi. These gargantuan mounds of shifting sand are subtly different from more frequented off-roading areas in the UAE. Some are tall and gracious, others elegant and mysterious, but all are tempting and provide a variety of challenges for differing levels of driver experience. Upon reaching our entry point, we quickly deflated, posed for some pictures and set off into the “baby powder,” which is so recognisable of the sands of Liwa. After a few “stucks” and recoveries, we crossed some sabkhas and began to gain momentum, while we climbed the steps and plateaus to play in the higher, more challenging dunes of Liwa. After being followed by a local driver, who seemed utterly flabbergasted by a convoy of seven women, and completely incapable of keeping up with us, we crested our vehicles for a sunset group photo and decided to locate a suitable point for our campsite. We agreed on a campsite in some of the highest of Liwa’s dunes, a site that allowed breathtaking views of the gently rolling sands of Liwa stretched lazily below us. Having efficiently pre-planned who would be responsible for bringing which items, we quickly had our camp set up in style with tents, comfortable beds, tables (with table clothes) and a roaring fire. We soon settled down to an evening of refined company, gourmet food, shisha, giggles and laughter. Having not driven with most of these women before, it was a fantastic way of getting to know them all better, understand their stories and what drew them to the UAE. I really have a lot of admiration for each one of these women after having spent time with them. After hours of swapping stories and getting taught how to dance “Dabkha” we slowly began to settle for the night with exquisite silence engulfing us and just the stars above for company. Due to the lack of usual male sleeping

e, Luna, Jayne, Tweety

All of us: Tillybnean, Smiley, Agn and Nautibea

noises, we had a relaxed and comfortable sleep and we awoke to three different types of coffee being prepared as well a sumptuous breakfast spread. We had a lazy start to the day, packed our gear and began moving for our second day in the sand. As we danced across the dunes in our 4x4s we had the opportunity to take in some truly awe-inspiring views, with changing hues, the lighting creating natural works of art. The vastness of Liwa’s dunes can give a real sense of isolation and allows you to reflect on how privileged we are to be able to access these areas freely. The biggest challenge I personally faced on the trip was the descent down a mammoth dune slip face which was above 200m high. This is a descent definitely not for the faint-hearted as the sand roars around you while your car makes a controlled slide down the dune. Sadly our trip began to draw to an end as we reached Tal Moreeb Dune. We relaxed in the shade of our cars while dining on a delicious picnic of leftovers and watermelon while having a chance to admire the vista we’d just crossed. For us less experienced drivers, this trip was a fantastic opportunity to test and hone


our skills under the watchful supervision and guidance of our more experienced female drivers. We had ample opportunity to practice cresting, side slopping, to play in bowls and practice recoveries. With the absence of the extreme adrenaline often present when driving with our male drivers, we were able to take this trip at a more leisurely pace with less pressure, which left me feeling far more confident in my own skills as a driver. Although we perhaps did not possess the physical strength of our male comrades in AD4x4 Club, on this trip we proved that as women, we had the logistical coordination, capabilities, technical and driving skill set as a team to manage any situation that arose, without the help of men. It goes to show that brains are definitely more important than brawn in the desert. AD4x4 is a family club with a priority on safe driving and this was evidenced in the exceptional organisation of our trip leaders and their constant focus on safety as the priority in our trip. From start to finish, we

Motocross: A family sport We are an adventure-seeking, outdoor sports family of five. My husband initiated this sport with a passion and had decades of motorcycle riding pre-marriage and kids. So, it is reasonable that he took me, put me in the desert dirt of Western USA and taught me how to ride a dirt bike. Here we are many years later in the Middle East with three small children on two wheels in the sands of Dubai. Naturally, our children have acquired a passion for the fun sport of dirt bike riding and we have chosen motocross because it is the most family-friendly environment for us to ride together. It takes skill and focus to learn how to ride a dirt bike. It requires undeniable discipline and drive. Above all else, it takes courage. All these qualities combined, earns children’s sacred confidence. It is not easy and yes, it can even be dangerous. We make certain that we use every safety precaution and

Words + Photos By: Lacey Sexson teach our children the skill they need to ride the safest. It is an investment of our time, which is in turn an investment in our children. We encourage them to venture the sport at their own pace and challenge themselves. Any momentary lapse in their focus can be cause for a consequence, a real physical consequence at times. This is one of many life lessons learned on a dirt bike. Sometimes, we makes mistakes, but we get up, dust ourselves off and try again. In our family, to finish is to win, but never, ever give up. Our daughter, Sienna (seven) proudly puts on her pink gear and rides


successfully and safely completed this trip with no major incident. This Liwa desert challenge got me thoroughly hooked on driving in the desert and I have proven to myself that whatever the guys can do, I can do better and in more style. Two months later, I now own my own Jeep Wrangler TJ and I enjoy my weekends by driving with my husband and friends in Abu Dhabi’s deserts. I’m also now starting to find sand in my ears two days after the weekend, nuts and bolts in the washing machine and can identify car parts better than my husband. I’m certainly looking forward to our next ladies-only trip in Liwa. More information of AD4X4 can be found at: Website: Facebook: AD4X4 Email:

gracefully around the track. She hasn’t quite taken on the passion for racing but enjoys the family aspect of the sport and supports both her brothers and daddy alike. I too love to ride and together our family takes turn riding and spectating one another. Our sons, Myles (five) and Liam (four) eagerly anticipate every race day at the Dubai Motocross track. This love started with their bicycles and it progressed naturally to their love for dirt bikes. It has proven to be a very effective form of parenting for us. Their passion is a form of motivation and encouragement in our daily lives. It is often used as an incentives and positive reinforcement. We hope to use these tools to parent our children well into adolescence and into their days of adulthood. Children today have so many choices of activities that they often don’t learn what true commitment, dedication, focus and drive really mean. You must have these qualities to be successful. In order to have these qualities, children must learn them and practice them. What better way than finding a skilful sport, they can learn and love for life. The Dubai Motocross track has a traditional track and very nice mini track situated adjacent. We spend many hours together as family training, laughing and learning. The mini track is such that I can stand in the middle of it and watch all three children go around and around and spectate, supervise and adore. My husband and I take our turns riding the big track too and the kids hang out, play and watch us. We bring our picnic and sit to have lunch or dinner and sometimes, both. Dave and I have taught our children to ride. We continue to support them, encourage them and watch them grow into amazing, independent, confident little people with skills they will grow upon for life. Together, we are family who rides and simultaneously grows together. The invitation to join is always open. Visit or follow them on Facebook. Cheers and we hope to meet you and your kids real soon. See you in the dirt!




Testing Your Sea Legs

Sailing Arabia the Tour 2013 The sun was high up, the wind was

softly blowing and the water was virtually flat. As I was sitting there at the stern of the Farr 30 sailboat fussing with my lifejacket, I thought, “this is going to be a very relaxed boat ride.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.

In Ras Al Khaimah on February 19th, OutdoorUAE were invited to experience part of the 2013 EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour (SATT) in-port racing at Al Hamra Marina & Yacht Club. Staged by Oman Sail for the third year running, SATT kicked-off earlier during the month on February 10th and with nine teams in total, representing Oman were Renaissance Team, Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat, BAE Systems Team, and Royal Navy of Oman, representing UAE were Team AISM and Team Abu Dhabi, EFG Bank (Monaco), Team Messe Frankfurt (Germany) and Team Delft Challenge (Holland). The regatta traversed the Arabian Peninsula starting from Manama, Bahrain to Doha Qatar, to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Khaimah, UAE. Then off to Oman stopping at Musandam, Mussanah and finally Muscat on February 25th. At the Ras Al Khaimah stopover, the organisers briefed us that there would be two races if the wind permits. I’ve never been on a sailboat before, more over race in one, so when I approached the EFG Bank boat at the docks, I didn’t know what to expect. The crew of five burly men were busy prepping and some were applying sunscreen, when our French skipper Sidney Gavignet came aboard and assured me that we would have fun today. The scent of the salty sea and days of its voyage permeates from all corners of the boat. There were shoes and gloves tied on the lifeline. The motor was gurgling, the radio was buzzing and control lines were being pulled. As we headed to the start off point, the guys started dumping water off the boat and Sidney was giving out final instructions “don’t block the instruments” and to me, “watch your head” pointing to the boom. All of the teams’ crew were a mix of foreign and local sailors. Suddenly, the noises died down and there



Words By: Glaiza Seguia Photos By: Daniel Birkhofer was a quiet intensity in the air, like the calm before the storm. Then the countdown, the horn and the race was on! The next thing I knew, we were slicing through the water as Sidney with tight hold of the steering calmly commanded to jibe, starboard tack and hoist the spinnaker – all alien terms to me – and like clockwork, the crew got in position. Communication is key to this sport. With zero knowledge on sailing, all I did was just sit there and watch in awe as they manipulated wind with their sails to manoeuvre the boat. But as the race escalates and we were leading, Sidney tells me to follow him and I found myself shifting from opposite sides of the boat at every turn to help with the balance of weight. At some point, there was a collision between AISM and Renaissance behind us, but the team remained focused. The race ended as quickly as it began and we came in second position, just a few seconds behind the BAE Systems. While I was still reeling from the intense 30mins and steadying my wobbly legs, Sidney and Neal McDonald were already discussing the late jibe that lost their place. It was time for the second race and for me to change boats. A motorboat sped through one side of the EFG Bank boat, picked me up and left my editor Daniel with the guys. After a quick thanks and congrats to the crew, I was being ferried to the all-ladies

team of Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat skippered by British Dee Caffari. I was welcomed with an excited hoot and “we have another lady on board, girls!” All too quickly, the race was on again and I noticed the difference between the male and female sailors. In my observation, the men were more reserved and technical, while the seven women had more pep; the men had more muscle, while the women relied on strategy. Al-Thuraya, who started at seventh place in the first two legs, placed fourth this time, so they were quite happy and they beamed at me saying, “You must be our lucky charm, you should come with us to Oman!” Team EFG placed first in the second race, so I guess I must be Sidney’s jinx. I told him that much after lunch, and the former Olympic sailor and Volvo Ocean Race veteran just laughed. “I don’t think it’s related to luck at all. In the first leg, we lost because we couldn’t jibe, in the second race, we won because we didn’t jibe again. So we didn’t do anything different, it just worked out better.” Sidney tells us that during their short stop in the region, he learned sailing in the Middle East is very different from Europe, but it was rewarding to discover this part of the world. His mindset for the entire race was quite simple: “I just really try to sail as cool as possible. If you want to get the best



Liz added: “Women also tend to plan more ahead and ask questions – sort of like asking for directions. Men sometimes have to work more to build that teamwork and trust. I think it also comes with age,” she said with a laugh and a knowing look at Sidney, who coolly replied, “Well, experience is very, very valuable in this sport.” The region’s only long-distance offshore race saw world-class sailors take on the challenging route across the Gulf and in the end, Dubai-based Team AISM skippered by champion helmsman Bertrand Pacé took home the top prize followed by BAE Systems in second place and EFG Bank in third.

2 BAE Systems Team


3 EFG Bank Monaco


4 Team Delft Challenge


5 Team Messe Frankfurt Team


6 Renaissance Team


7 Al Thuraya Bank Muscat


8 Royal Navy of Oman


9 Team Abu Dhabi



TIMES Privilege




just Got riGht reasons


rIDInG ClaSSES Free oF cost*



of it that are more difficult for women and there are some more techniques that we use. Nothing against the men, but sometimes instead of just grunting through something and using strength, women might think of a strategic way to make it easier.” Sidney agreed, “I’ve sailed twice across the Atlantic double-handed, two persons on the boat, with girls. As men, we can go at the bottom of our reserves and then we’re dead for 10 hours or something, but women they have better energy management. For me, it’s been very interesting to sail with girls, I’ve really learned from them.”



out of yourself and the best from the people surrounding you, don’t put pressure on them, because pressure diminishes the potential. It’s not a problem if people are not good; it only becomes a problem if you don’t see any progress. It takes a lot of energy to teach in a racing environment, but you’re happy to do it when you see the person improving.” Al-Thuraya’s Elizabeth Bayliss and Katherine Pettibone joined our table, and although they are rivals on the water, on shore they’re buddies who just enjoy the sport. I asked Liz if it was more physically challenging for them and she said, “There are more aspects

Aboard the EFG Bank boat

* Te r m s

Ladies from Al-Thuraya Muscat team


Overall results 1 Team AISM

‫يكن الفريق جيدا أو متمرساً‪ ،‬بل تصبح هذه مشكلة إن‬ ‫لم ترى أي حتسن أو تطور‪ .‬يستهلك التعليم في عالم‬ ‫القوارب الشراعية الكثير من الطاقة و الصبر‪ ،‬و لكنك‬ ‫تكون سعيدا ً عندما ترى الشخص يتحسن‪”.‬‬

‫الذي أفقدنا تلك الثواني القيمة‪.‬‬ ‫أتى وقت السباق الثاني و اإلنتقال الى قارب آخر‪ ،‬فأتى‬ ‫زورق صغير ليأخذني من قارب إي أف جي الى قارب آخر‬ ‫بينما ظل احملرر دانيل في القارب األول‪ ،‬و بعد تبادل التباريك‬ ‫مت نقلي الى قارب فريق بنك مسقط املكون من النساء‬ ‫بقيادة الربانة دي كافاري البريطانية‪ .‬إستقبلني الفريق‬ ‫بالتحيات املتحمسة و قالوا “ها قد شاركتنا سيدة‬ ‫أخرى!” و بذلك أبتدأ السباق الثاني‪ ،‬و فورا تبينت لي‬ ‫الفروقات بني فرق الرجال و السيدات‪ ،‬فكنت قد الحظت‬ ‫بأن فرق الرجال كانت أكثر صرام ًة و إنتباها ً للعوامل‬ ‫التقنية‪ ،‬بينما كان السيدات أكثر حماساً‪ ،‬و بينما كانت‬ ‫الفرق النسائية تعتمد على اإلستراتيجية في تسيير‬ ‫سباقاتها‪ ،‬كان الرجال أكثر قوة‪.‬‬ ‫أتى فريق الثريا في املرتبة الرابعة في هذه السباق‬ ‫عندما كان في املرتبة السابعة في السباق األول‪ ،‬مما زاد‬

‫من سعادتهم و حماسهم‪ ،‬و أضافت إحدى أعضاء الفريق‬ ‫“ال بد من أن وجودك معنا كان من حظنا‪ .‬عليك أن تأتي‬ ‫معنا الى عمان!” ‪ .‬أما فريق إي أف جي فأتي في املرتبة‬ ‫األولى في هذا السباق‪ ،‬مما جعلني أظن بأنني رمبا كنت‬ ‫سبب نحس سيدني في السباق األول‪ ،‬فشاركته اخلاطرة‬ ‫عند الغداء فضحك و قال “ال أظن أن احلظ عامل في هذه‬ ‫السباقات‪ ،‬ففي السباق األول خسرنا املرتبة األولى ألننا لم‬ ‫ننحرف في قيادتنا بشكل مناسب‪ .‬أما في السباق الثاني‬ ‫ففزنا ألننا لم ننحرف قط‪ .‬لم نفعل شيئا ً مختلفاً‪ ،‬و لكن‬ ‫عوامل السباق كانت لصاحلنا”‪ .‬ذكر لي سيدني أيضا ً أن‬ ‫وجوده هنا علمه بأن اإلبحار في الشرق األوسط يختلف‬ ‫عن اإلبحار في أوروبا‪ ،‬ولكنه يكسب املرء فرصة استكشاف‬ ‫هذه املنطقة‪ .‬وجهة نظر سيدني للسباق كانت بسيطة‬ ‫جدا ً‪“ :‬أحاول أن أبحر بكل هدوء و راحة البال‪ ،‬فإن كنت‬ ‫تريد أن تعطي أفضل ما لديك و تخرج أفضل ما لدى‬ ‫زمالئك في الفريق فال تضع الضغوط عليهم‪ ،‬ألن الضغط‬ ‫النفسي يقلل من اإلمكانيات‪ .‬ليست مشكلة إن لم‬

‫شاركني أنا و سيدني في احلديث إليزابيث بايليس و‬ ‫كاثرين بيتيبون من فريق الثريا‪ ،‬و مع أنهم في تنافس على‬ ‫سطح البحر‪ ،‬كانو أصدقاء أعزاء على الشاطئ‪ .‬سألت‬ ‫ليز إن كانت املنافسة متعبة أكثر لهن فقالت “ال تخلو‬ ‫املنافسة من العوامل التي جتعلها أكثر صعوبة للسيدات‬ ‫لكننا لدينا من األساليب ما نستعمله للتخفيف عن‬ ‫ذلك‪ .‬و مع إحترامي للرجل‪ ،‬فبدال ً من أن نتعب أنفسنا‬ ‫جسديا ً عبر هذه السباقات بإستخدام القوة‪ ،‬بإمكاننا‬ ‫أن نستخدم اإلستراتيجيات لتسهيل األمور‪ ”.‬وافقها‬ ‫سيدني في ذلك قائال ً “أبحرت عبر احمليط األطلسي مرتني‬ ‫مستعمال يدي اإلثنتني بشخصني فقط على القارب و مع‬ ‫السيدات‪ .‬بإمكاننا كرجال أن نستهلك جميع قوانا في‬ ‫سباق ما لننتهي في قاع طاقتنا و كاألموات لعشر ساعات‬ ‫أو أكثر‪ ،‬و لكن السيدات لديهم أسلوب إقتصاد للطاقة‬ ‫مثير لإلحترام‪ .‬اإلبحار مع السيدات دائما ً مفيد‪ ،‬فقد‬ ‫تعلمت منهم الكثير‪”.‬‬ ‫أضافت ليز قائلة‪“ :‬للنساء عادة التخطيط للمستقبل‬ ‫و طرح األسئلة ‪ -‬مثل السؤال عن الوجهات‪ ،‬و لكن الرجال‬ ‫عليهم أن يبنوا ثقتهم و روح الفريق بني بعضهم البعض‪.‬‬ ‫أعتقد أن ذلك يأتي مع العمر‪ ”.‬و ضحكت ناظرة الى‬ ‫سيدني الذي رد بكل برود “اخلبرة شديدة األهمية في هذه‬ ‫الرياضة‪”.‬‬ ‫السباق الوحيد من نوعه في املنطقة استضاف‬ ‫البحارين احملترفني من مختلف أرجاء العالم في حتد ممتع‬ ‫عبر اخلليج العربي‪ ،‬و في النهاية فاز فريق أيه آي إي إم من‬ ‫دبي بقيادة الربان بيرتراند باسيه‪ ،‬و أتى فريق بي أيه إي‬ ‫سيستمز في املرتبة الثانية‪ ،‬و فريق إي أف جي في املرتبة‬ ‫الثالثة‪.‬‬ ‫النتائج الكلية‪:‬‬



‫الطواف العربي‬

‫سباق الطواف العربي لإلبحار الشراعي‬

‫كانت الشمس عالية في السماء‪ ،‬و‬ ‫نسيم البحر يداعب املاء الهادىء‪ .‬جلست‬ ‫على مؤخرة السفينة الشراعية ‪rraF‬‬ ‫‪ 03‬ألعب بحبال سترة النجاة التي كنت‬ ‫ألبسها‪ ،‬و تواردت لي فكرة…قلت لنفسي‬ ‫“ستكون هذه رحلة قارب مريحة ” …و‬ ‫لكن كم كنت على خطأ!‬ ‫يوم التاسع عشر من فبراير متت دعوة مجلة أوتدور يو أيه‬ ‫إي الى اإلشتراك في سباق الطواف العربي لإلبحار الشراعي‬ ‫لبنك إي أف جي في احلمرا مارينا في رأس اخليمة‪ ،‬و الذي‬ ‫أقيم للسنة الثالثة على التوالي برعاية عمان لإلبحار‪.‬‬ ‫كان السباق قد دشن قبل بضعة أيام مبجموع تسع فرق‬ ‫لإلبحار‪ .‬مثل سلطنة عمان في السباق‪ :‬فريق رنيسانس‪،‬‬ ‫بنك الثريا‪ ،‬بنك مسقط‪ ،‬فريق بي أيه إي سيستمز‪ ،‬و فريق‬ ‫البحرية العمانية‪ .‬كما مثل دولة اإلمارات فريق إيه آي إس‬ ‫إم‪ ،‬فريق أبو ظبي‪ ،‬بنك إي أف جي موناكو‪ ،‬فريق ميسسي‬ ‫فرانكفورت األملاني و فريق ديلفت شالنج الهولندي‪ .‬أبحر‬ ‫السباق مبحاذاة شبه اجلزيرة العربية إبتداءا من املنامة الى‬ ‫الدوحة و من ثم الى أبو ظبي‪ ،‬دبي و رأس اخليمة لينتهي‬ ‫السباق مبسقط يوم اخلامس و العشرين من فبراير بعد‬ ‫املرور أوال برأس مسندم و مضيق هرمز‪.‬‬ ‫عند محطة رأس اخليمة‪ ،‬أخبرنا املنظمون عند تفاصيل‬ ‫السباق‪ ،‬مضيفني أن من املتوقع أن يكون هناك سباقني إن‬ ‫سمحت الرياح بذلك‪ .‬لم أكن قد أبحرت في قارب شراعي‬ ‫قط قبل ذلك اليوم‪ ،‬ناهيك عن السباق فيه‪ ،‬لذلك فلما‬ ‫أقتربت من قارب بنك إي أف جي عند املرفأ لم أكن بعد قد‬ ‫كونت إنطباعا عن ما ينتظرنا‪ .‬عند القارب‪ ،‬كان الفريق‬ ‫املكون من خمسة رجال أشداء يضعون كرمي الوقاية من‬ ‫الشمس على أجسادهم عندما أتى إلينا ربان الفريق‬ ‫الفرنسي سيدني غافينييه و وعدنا بيوم ممتع‪.‬‬ ‫رائحة ملح البحر تأتي من كل زاوية على القارب مؤكدة‬ ‫لنا طول األيام التي قضاها على األمواج‪ ،‬و كانت األحذية‬ ‫و القفازات مربوطة في حبال القارب‪ .‬تداركنا أصوات خرير‬ ‫احملرك و أزيز الراديو الالسلكي و سحب احلبال‪ ،‬و ملا باشرنا‬ ‫اإلقتراب الى نقطة بداية السباق بدأ الفريق بسكب املياه‬ ‫من على القارب حتت أوامر سيدني‪“ .‬ال تقف أمام أجهزة‬ ‫التحكم” و “خذي حذرك”‪ ،‬و الذي قالها لي عندما‬ ‫واشكت على اإلصطدام بالصارية‪ .‬و فجأة و في ملح‬ ‫البصر إنخفضت األصوات حتى واشكنا الصمت القاتل‪،‬‬ ‫و بات اجلو شديد اإلنفعال كالهدوء قبل العاصفة‪ .‬أتى‬ ‫العد التنازلي‪ ،‬و من ثم صافرة اإلنطالق! و قبل أن أتدارك‬ ‫أحاسيسي كنا قد إنطلقنا كالسكني في املاء بقيادة‬ ‫سيدني وراء الدفة بينما إنتشر الفريق الى مواقعهم‬ ‫‪25‬‬


‫اخملصصة‪ .‬بدى لي أن التواصل هو من أهم خصائص‬ ‫هذه الرياضة‪ ،‬و لكن بجهلي بكيفية ممارستها ما كان‬ ‫بوسعي سوى اجللوس ملشاهدة الفريق يسير الريح‬ ‫ملشيئتهم لقيادة القارب في اإلجتاه املطلوب‪ .‬و لكن‬ ‫عندما إشتدت حمية السباق طلب مني سيدني أن أتبعه‪،‬‬ ‫ووجدت نفسي بعدئذ أحترك بني جانبي القارب من حني‬ ‫الى آخر لتغيير توازنه ملا كان مناسبا ً حلركته آنذاك‪ .‬أتت‬

‫حلظة إصطدم بها قارب فريق رنيسانس بفريق إيه آي إس‬ ‫إم هددت بأن تشتت تركيزنا و لكننا لم نخضع لذلك و‬ ‫استمرينا بالسباق‪ .‬و كما إبتدأ السباق بسرعة فانتهى‬ ‫أيضا بسرعة لنجد أنفسنا في املرتبة الثانية بعد فريق بي‬ ‫آيه إي سيستمز بفارق ثوان معدودة‪ .‬و بينما كنت أحاول‬ ‫أن أجمع قواي اجلسدية و النفسية و أسند نفسي على‬ ‫أرجلي املرتعشة‪ ،‬تناقش سيدني مع زميله عن اإلنحراف‬




Extremes in Dubai Words By: John Holden Photos By: Arabian Escapes

What is it about all that sun and sand which makes expats go to the extremes? John Holden speaks to a group of Irish people living in Dubai who have all taken to extreme sports – triathlons, iron man contests, polar and desert marathon running – to get their kicks and raise money for good causes in the process. Ireland wouldn’t be well-known for its marathon runners or triathlon athletes. And yet long distance running and endurance activities are growing in popularity like never before, both for those living at home and abroad. “These days, it seems like there’s a triathlon happening somewhere in Ireland every weekend,” says 31-year-old Marie O’Neill from Tipperary. O’Neill lives and works in Dubai, but recently completed the SunSmart Ironman contest in Busselton, Western Australia in December 2012. In doing so, she raised well-needed resources for the educational NGO the Raye Foundation in Ethiopia. O’Neill believes she’d probably be training hard if she still lived in Ireland, but Dubai has had a special effect on her motivation and determination. “There are a lot of people out here getting involved in this kind of thing,” she says. Plus, the facilities are great. There are plenty of pools to swim in and tracks to run on. The heat can be a factor, but one learns ways to get around it.” Like training in the middle of the night. This is a reality cousins Ulick (35) and Michael Burke (31) are all too familiar with as they train for the Marathon Des Sables (MDS) in Morocco in April. This gruelling 250km marathon is run over seven days and competitors must carry everything they need on their backs for the week (except water). Why would anyone choose to do such a thing? “I’ve reached a stage in my life where every-



one around me is getting very busy, getting married and starting families,” explains Ulick. “I felt I needed to do something different for myself too. I’m out here in the Middle East and all around us we see desert and heat. So I wanted to find something that complimented this training environment.” In fact, Ulick is not alone in his determination to weather the elements. Every year the MDS is booked out (it had 1017 competitors in 2012) with competitors from all over the world. “It’s a life changing experience,” he says. Ulick and Michael will be raising money for charity Facing Africa Noma and have set a goal of 30,000 GBP. “We looked around for a few different charities and felt people could resonate most with this charity, mainly because it’s based in Africa.” Living in a place like Dubai, it makes a certain amount of sense to sign up to something like the MDS. The similar climate and terrain of Morocco means training on the outskirts of the city would get you nicely prepared for the Sahara Desert. So what about living in a region that can reach temperatures of 50°C in the summertime, but choosing to challenge yourself with a marathon located in the polar circle near the North Pole? Now that’s going to extremes. But 40-year-old Limerick-born Diarmuid O’Malley has never been one to shy away from a challenge. Having already completed several marathons, and ultra marathons, O’Malley was keen to do something different. And that’s why when he and his friend Neil Munro decided they wanted to go full circle (or polar

circle to be exact) they couldn’t have picked anything more extreme than the Polar Circle marathon near Greenland in October 2012. OutdoorUAE supported Diarmuid and Neil on their polar journey through editorial in our September, October and November issues 2012, if you want to find out about how they prepared for something like this, logon to to view the past issues online “The very different climate from here in Dubai meant we had to adapt our training significantly,” says O’Malley. “The Polar Circle marathon takes place in October, so training was in high temperature season here, with average summer days of between 45 and 50°C, with lots of humidity. And that’s what gets you. You get overheat fairly quickly but it’s the humidity that can make endurance sports very difficult. You lose so much fluid in the heat.” Fluid retention is also a major obstacle in a cold weather marathon for very different reasons than if in warm weather. “When it’s hot you know you’re thirsty, but in the cold it’s not always as obvious that your body needs fluids so you have to remind your-


self to keep saturated,” he says. O’Malley and Munro also took advantage of Dubai’s unique indoor ski slope for some of their training. “While at only -1°C and Polar Circle marathon temperatures expected to be at about -15°, it was no substitute for the real thing, but it did still offer slightly better conditions to train in than the Dubai desert,” he laughs. O’Malley and Munro also had the added inspiration of their charity: The Christina Noble Foundation. For those of you who are unaware of her, Christina Noble or Mama Tina as she is affectionately known, is an Irish woman who has dedicated her life to helping street children in Vietnam by improving their living standards. This charity has been close to O’Malley’s heart since he was a young man and so this helped keep him going throughout. Stamina and endurance are key to marathons, Ironman contests and triathlons, even when you’re not competing to win, but just for personal glory. So what about when you take things up a notch and start competing to win? Dubai resident Deirdre Casey (30) from Cork was the 2011 World Amateur Triathlon Champion. She did not participate in the 2012 event but is currently in training to compete in both the European and World championships this year. “I’ve always been an active person,” she says. My main sport before I lived in Dubai was hockey.” In fact she was on the Senior Irish women’s hockey team and competed in the Olympic qualifiers in 2004. Sadly, life got in the way and she had to choose her career over continuing to


Ulick Burke (white top), Michael Burke (black top), Diarmuid O’Malley (blue top), Marie O Neill (black and red) and Deirdre Casey (white top).

play professionally. “The hockey standard in Dubai was pretty low so I decided to try my hand at something new and got into triathlons. It had been getting bigger and bigger in Ireland as a sport, but when I came out here, the weather was amazing and there was a big expat scene. So I started training, got the bug and improved quite quickly.” Aside from the winning the world championships in her category, Casey has also won a number of local races including the Abu Dhabi International 2011 female sprint event. “Dubai has such excellent facilities

and that has meant the level at which I can train is much higher than if I were back at home. Living here has undoubtedly contributed to my success.” Editor’s note: Both Ulick and Michael are set to take on the MDS marathon in April, to find out where they placed and what the event was like, remember to pick up the May issue of OutdoorUAE. Any updates of the duo’s progress will also be posted online at We wish them luck!

Eco-tripping! Saadiyat Cultural District’s Eco Future kayaking adventure and art workshop Words by: Glaiza Seguia Photos by: Ferdinand Godinez and Eco Future

The rain was beating down as we zipped along Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (formerly Emirates Road) on the way to Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi during a moody Saturday morning in February. I was glancing at my phone every once in a while to check if there was any advisory from the organisers, because clearly, it wasn’t the best conditions to go kayaking. Thankfully, once we reached the Manarat Al Saadiyat around 9:00 a.m., the sky cleared up and the Eco Future adventure is on. Eco Future is an interactive, family-friendly exhibition that offers glimpses of a future world and explores our changing planet. According to James Matthews, Education

Outreach Officer at Cultural Department, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, “Eco Future is based on Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision and is inspired by the future plans and projects. Visitors will learn about what we need to survive on our changing planet

and will be able to make choices about the future considering life in Abu Dhabi in 20 or even 40 years time, regarding transportation, accommodation, food production, water sources and recreation.” The exhibit features interactive games, films, artefacts




and immersive experience. “The result of the visitors’ decisions will be revealed in the Future City at the end of the exhibit. Just as the decisions made by people now impact the future of the capital, visitors will learn how their choices based on their priorities can have major effects on the world of tomorrow,” added Matthews. In partnership with Al Mahara Diving Centre, the exhibit also includes an educational kayaking trip followed by an art activity that will run every month until June of this year. The Eco Future team welcomed us at the spacious lobby of the Al Manarat Saadiyat, where a massive art installation of stacked up chairs titled “Chairs from Abu Dhabi” by Tadashi Kawamata was on display. After getting our badges, we were given re-sealable plastic bags they said we would need for our activity later. We boarded a coaster to the nearby mangroves and after 10 minutes of construction sites and sand, the beautiful sight of lapping water and greenery greeted us. Kathleen and her Al Mahara team handed us lifejackets (note: everyone should wear a lifejacket whether you can swim or not), paddles and water bottles, and proceeded to give a short briefing on how to paddle from the core of the body rather than putting too much stress on our arms, how to manoeuvre the boat, and what to do in case we capsized. There’s no getting around the fact that my fiancé and I cannot swim, but I’ve amateurishly kayaked before and the view was very inviting, so we excitedly jumped into the purple sit on top and paddled. We were a group of around 11 people composed of families and kids, with our guides Sanjay leading the way and Edward taking the rear. The goal was to kayak around the mangrove forest, explore the flora and fauna and collect some things for our workshop, but with clear instructions not to damage the mangrove roots or hurt any living creature there. It was “bumper kayaks” at first and then we were embarrassingly left behind by the group of boys half our age, who easily shot ahead of us, but once we found our pace, we just enjoyed the ride and took in the peaceful scenery. Our guides explained that the mangrove ecosystem helps prevent soil erosion, can absorb carbon dioxide which decreases the impact of global warming and are breeding grounds for marine life like barracudas and groupers. We later parked our kayaks on shore to collect our materials and we quickly filled our bags with multi-coloured shells, dead leaves, twigs, pebbles and a tattered handkerchief – we wondered out

Installation art at the Manarat Al Saadiyat




Children get a preview of TCA Abu Dhabi’s next exhibition Eco Future opening at Manarat Al Saadiyat

loud what kind of art project we can make out of these. Sanjay also found a rusty metal hook with barnacles and gave it to us. Paddling back was a little easier, and with our heavy bags, we went back to Manarat with a silly sense of accomplishment that “at least we didn’t fall out off the boat!” We met workshop leader Fatima, who said we’d be doing cyanotype, a photographic printing process that produces a blueprint. After washing our haul and thoroughly drying Our ‘artsy’ attempt them, Fatima gave us papers coated in chemical solution, and final Ecoscape, which is a ‘total-workinstructed us to put the items on them of-art’ event that stimulates all our senses, and take them outside under the sun. The offering art workshops, performances, music, sunlight will create a silhouette effect that poetry, cuisine, etc.,” he added. Although will result to beautiful prints. But the cloudy our arms were sore, we travelled back to weather didn’t let the sun to do its magic, so Dubai with a bit more knowledge on the when we washed our papers the print was ecological importance of mangroves, discovnot very distinct, so we took them home to ered an educational venue perfect for school continue the process. According to Fatima, and family excursions, and we also had a they don’t purposely tell people what to colnice full-body workout. lect as it’s more interesting to find out what The kayaking and art workshop are suitathey will bring back. This also goes hand-inble for kids (100 AED per person age six to hand with their aim to clean up the man15) and adults (130 AED per person). To sign groves area. Matthews said the activities and up, call 02 657 5800 or email manaratalworkshops offer an alternative and creative opportunity to explore the main concepts of the exhibit. “In April there will be the third

‫ ﺣﺎﻛﻢ رأس اﻟﺨﻴﻤﺔ‬،‫ﺗﺤﺖ رﻋﺎﻳﺔ ﺻﺎﺣﺐ اﻟﺴﻤﻮ اﻟﺸﻴﺦ ﺳﻌﻮد ﺑﻦ ﺻﻘﺮ اﻟﻘﺎﺳﻤﻲ‬ Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah

Geoffery Mutai

3rd Place 00:58:58

Geoffery Kipsang

Stanley Biwott

1st Place 00:58:54

2nd Place 00:58:56

First race in history to have 4 men finish in under 59 minutes!

Lucy Kabuu

Rita Jeptoo

1st Place 01:06:09

3rd Place 01:06:27

Priscah Jeptoo

2nd Place 01:06:11

2nd, 3rd and 5th fastest women’s half marathon times in history!

Congratulations To all finishers of the RAK Half Marathon 2013 and appreciation to our event sponsors: PRESENTED BY



We look forward to welcoming you next year Friday 14 February 2014 Registration for the 2014 event opens exclusively online on 1 May 2013





Monster trout in the wilderness

Words By: Rasmus Ovesen

THE MONGOLIAN HIGHLANDS appear before us under the sky’s deep-blue arch, like a roughhewn setting from an era long gone. Fall has clad the hillsides – with their thickets of sagebrush, vast grass plains, and sporadic blotches of larch trees – in flamingly golden colours, and while the river carries us downstream at a sedate pace, a silence saturates the air so deafening that even thoughts have difficulty finding any means of resonance. If it wasn’t for us being hundreds of kilometres away from anything remotely resembling civilisation this morning, we might as well have been drifting on an arche-



Photos By: Rasmus Ovesen, Klaus Boberg Pedersen and Mark Johnstad typical prairie river in Montana. But below us – in the cold and whirling water, lurks an ancient predator that would scare the living daylights out of even the most stoic and self-assured Montana trout fisherman. With its shifty eyes, its powerful and jagged jaws, its massive flanks, and not least its propensity for launching cold-blooded terror attacks on any horrified prey item within sight, this fish defies all comparisons with other trout. The taimen trout, which is the world’s largest living trout species, is – without a doubt – the uncrowned king of this remote wilderness and ever since I read my first article about this indomitable predator, I have dreamed about catching one on a fly rod, and preferably a one meter plus specimen. Now, almost 25 years later, my friend Klaus and I find ourselves right in the middle of this alluring childhood dream. We have been drifting down the river in a competently handled drift boat, which our guide from Mongolia River Outfitters has placed at perfect casting range every time, we’ve passed a promising holding spot. He has concentrated his efforts on the border zones between the shallows and the deeper pockets, along pronounced eddies, undercut banks, deeper pools, and especially back waters below steep cliffs – and the

results have been phenomenal. Countless times, our voluminous streamers have been attacked brutally and with lightning-quick suddenness. And during the week, we have had solid amounts of hot-tempered lenok, a good handful of Amur trout and Amur pike, and not least, loads of taimen that have smashed our streamers and surface flies to smithereens. Less than an hour before rounding the last bend of the river, and having to mentally prepare for the long and arduous journey back to Ulaan Baatar, I quietly sum up the trip to myself. I have caught an amazing 40 taimen in six days of fishing, where the service, the camp life, the social dynamics, and the scenery have granted me one ineradicable experience after the other. My childhood dream has come true. And the big picture isn’t reduced in the slightest, just because my biggest fish of the trip was three centimetres shy of one full meter. As a result, what happens next is almost vulgar. Below a towering cliff, in a backwater with steady water flows and great depths, I suddenly see a ghostly white flash behind my streamer, which is cutting spasmodically across the water. An almost electric shock propagates through the line as the fly disappears, and I respond by resolutely pulling back on the line to set the hook. I now feel the unexpected and rather disturbing weight of a massive fish that thrashes violently about, only to surge irresistibly downstream seconds later. During the next fifteen minutes, a real


dogfight takes place. With a galloping heart and a fearful mind, I attempt to gain on the fish and bring it closer to the shore, but it reacts with an almost disdainful indifference and contempt. And even though I lean back on the fish until the carbon fibres of my 10-weight rod start to squeak, I can’t seem to lift the fish from the gloomy depths of the river. On two occasions, it even seems like the fish has somehow wedged itself under boulders or rocks, and both times the guide has to place the boat cross current, so I can put maximum side pressure on the fish and force it out into the open current again. Gradually, I manage to bring the fish towards the surface, and here it suddenly engages in a series of irritated and doomsday-like pulls, tugs, and jerks. I haven’t exactly become less nervous as the fight has progressed, and my heart is about to burst, when the line suddenly slackens momentarily - two times. Luckily, the sudden slack is due to the fish shaking its massive head while moving closer to the boat. It is still on, and the fight now enters a new phase. I manage to bring the fish into the shallows, where Klaus has jumped into the water with the net. An ominous, dark shadow can now be seen hovering over the gravel downstream from the boat – a shadow of proportions that sends an abysmal shiver through my tense body. The fish is tired, but when it sees Klaus’s long, distorted silhouette against the sky, it summons its last reserves of energy and surges into deeper water again. Now, I am somehow more determined than nervous. I turn the fish around, Klaus sneaks up on it with the net and, in a dizzying moment, one of the river’s old giants glides over the net frame, the cobweb-like mesh embraces the fish, and I jump meter-high out of the boat, while a series of loud, jubilant screams echo hoarsely down the river valley. I proceed to lift a 125cm taimen out of the water for a few quick shots – a regular river monster with a dark glow, uncountable


amounts of black dots, and big, soulful eyes. It isn’t until this very moment, as I’m holding this beautiful and ancient creature that I fully understand what I have been dreaming about all these years. Seconds later, I submerge the fish into the icy-cold water and, with a couple of strong-willed slaps of the tail, the fish reclaims its place in the whirling depths of the river. I then draw a huge sigh of relief, and begin the difficult process of comprehending how lucky I have just been. It’s going to take me a while!

Would you like to go to Mongolia? Mongolia River Outfitters offers an incredible angling experience. They have been around since the late 1990s, but this Mongolian company and their international team keeps a low profile. Even the name of the river they help administer is withheld from the public. They generally limit the number of anglers on each stretch of the river to less than 25 per year. There are only a few rivers left in Mongolia – or even the world – with thriving taimen populations. The folks at MRO work intensely in partnership with local communities, government agencies, and international conservation organisations to protect their river. This is the world’s first taimen sanctuary and all fishing is strictly catch and release, single barbless hooks and fly-fishing only. Visit www.mongoliarivers. com and




Crossing the Wahiba Sands by Fat bike Andy Whitaker takes on a journey to remember Just over a year ago, after seeing what’s called a Fat Bike on the Internet, I decided to buy a second hand one to try on the sand with a hope that it would work in the deserts of the region. If it did, I had the goal to be the first person to cycle across the Wahiba Sands Desert in Oman. Soon it became a crazy reality. After spending a year riding the bike on sand and finding out what was and wasn’t possible, I decided to go for it. I planned the journey during a long three-day weekend at the end of January and from what I had calculated using Google Earth, it seemed that I could try to cross the Wahiba Sands in three days doing 60km a day. But I really wanted to do it with the least support as possible. I decided to do the trip carrying all my camping gear, food and water without sinking the bike into the sand. The only real support I needed was with water as I could never carry three days worth of it on the bike. The plan was to ride a few kilometres ahead of the two support cars and I’d take breaks at one of the 10km GPS locations I had marked for the whole route, and if required, I would top up with water. A week of planning saw the minimum equipment list drawn. After all, the less you take, the less weight you have to work against.

CAMPING AND CLOTHING Super lightweight one-man raid type tent Super light thermarest  Small inflatable pillow Super light one season sleeping bag 2 cycle shorts and 2 jerseys (I would wear one set and have only one set to change into) 1 shorts and t-shirt for after the ride 1 lightweight windcheater microfiber jacket BIKE STUFF  Mini cycle multi-tool Puncture repair patches and glue 1 spare inner tube 4 water bottles NAVIGATION  1 Garmin GPS 1 iPhone FOOD 20 soft cereal bars (Probar and Clif Bars) 4 bags of sugary sweets 2 tubes of electrolyte replacement tablets 1 bag of biltong 1 bag of semi-dried apple slices MISCELLANEOUS 1 GoPro camera 1 iPod



Words + Photos By:Andy Whitaker

Day One

We headed off to Oman and spent 2.5 hours in Oman immigration queuing for a visa along with hundreds of other people. Not a great start. The drive south eventually took until 2:30 a.m. I hardly slept and felt really nervous, so I was happy when morning came. With no appetite, I forced myself to eat half a can of baked beans. I started riding around 7:45 a.m. and at that point, I felt a little more relaxed that finally I was on the move. The first 20km was on a gravel-sand track. It went smoothly and allowed me to settle into a nice pace with heart and lungs working together. After 20km, the desert started and it was straight into the rutted sand used by 4WDs, so I had to move off the main route onto sand that wasn’t disturbed. The support cars were still parked up an hour behind and I was alone in the desert riding in a stunning sand valley heading south from Mintareb. The scenery was just mind-blowing and being on a bike exposed to the elements, I was experiencing the desert in the best way possible. The valley kept rising and I had to keep working hard to climb over each rise followed by a flatter section (it all still felt like uphill though). Four hours had gone by; I was feeling good and making great progress, but it was getting hotter. I’d done 40km by this point and maintained my goal of 10kph average. With good time made, I took a quick rest in the shade of the very first tree I had come across. After the heat of the day passed, I came to an area where I was climbing out of the deep sand valley and into more complex dunes where I started crossing the sandbars. This was harder than expected and I was forced to push the bike loaded with all the gear up a really soft dune and probably made no more than 100m progress in a 20-minute period. After getting to the top, I looked back

and saw how remote of a location I was in – not a single sign of humanity around me. Awesome! I met an old Omani Bedouin who drove over and insisted I take a bottle of water from him. He was shocked to see a bike in the desert and me alone. In my broken Arabic, I managed to explain my plan and he offered me a place to stay some 70km further into the desert if I were to pass it. Once again, amazing Omani hospitality! After I hit the 60km mark and a short rest, I decided to continue and make the first day a huge 70km. The beauty of the location made it so much more rewarding to just dig deep and push on. With the light getting low, I rode until the sun set and I made it to half a kilometre from the 70km mark. I was tired and barely able to walk, but it had been a great start. I’d eaten nothing more than two cereal bars and a bag of sweets all day, I had however drunk 7L of water. With no energy to do anything, I felt just like pulling out my thermarest and going to sleep right there on the sand, but common sense kicked in so I forced myself to put up the tent, and as the support vehicles arrived, I settled for a night around the camp fire.

Day Two

I was up around dawn and keen to head off after a very broken night’s sleep. I expected the support to catch up with me just after the 10km marker at 12.5km. This was the hardest section; having


to ride in a wide sand track and climb a considerable height at the same time. By the end of it, I was almost out of water – 3L gone! It was a nervous couple of hours as my support seemed to have missed my mark. But thankfully, we managed to reconnect. The desert terrain started to flatten out but with more sandbars to cross. After the earlier scare, it took me a little while to get back into the right mindset, then I was back on track, but some two hours behind my schedule. Finally, I crested a high point and I saw a line of Ghaff trees in the distance and headed there. This was a welcome change of terrain after seeing nothing but sand and grasses. I progressed well at this point following the route of what seemed to be a strong 4WD track. This was a little off my original route marked out on the GPS, but as the route was made using Google Earth and not on the ground this seemed the best option. At 2:00 p.m., it was getting pretty hot and I was starting to feel the strain of the ride along with my lack of food. I tried to force myself to eat then take a power nap then ride another 20km to my 120km mark, the distance which I aimed to make that day.

I managed a total of 50km in day two, and reached my target as the sun was setting. As I found a location to camp, I saw Bedouins in an old Land Cruiser pick-up. I greeted them and asked about the route ahead, only to be told that it was impossible as the dunes eventually became impassable. They advised to head west inland to pick up another track. This was a bit of a blow to my plan, but after the earlier situation, it seemed wise to take the local advice and I decided to sleep on it and make a decision in the morning.

Day Three

I was 2/3 of the way through and it dawned on me that I just had to dig as deep as ever in order to reach my 60km target, with the uncertainty of the route in question now. It seemed wisest to head west as I had been advised towards the inland road of the Wahiba Sands, taking into consideration the fuel and spare fuel levels both support cars had. The downside of this route was that rather than travelling in the direction of the long dune ridges, I was going to be crossing them at 90° all day! Combine this with what soon became the softest sand I had encountered, it was becoming a bit of a struggle. The scenery was less than inspiring and picking my way between the grasses to try to find the smoothest and least soft route was a constant effort. It was taking its toll on me as I couldn’t keep a smooth rhythm or heart rate and it was getting very, very hot with not a breath of wind. I was also consuming water at an astonishing rate. It got to a point where I really just had to focus on riding and try not to think about the heat or how tired I was becoming (almost like auto-pilot mode). The hours passed and finally I came to the edge of the sands, overlooking a gravel-like plain some 20-30m lower than my position, and there in front of me was a village in the distance. This first sight of real habitation spurred me on, making me pick up the pace. The GPS said I had 15km to go, so I enjoyed the first bit of freewheeling since I started down onto the flat pain in front of me. The village was actually 10km away and seemed to take forever to get to. Eventually, I rode into this remote windswept


place in an exhausted state with the first sign of cramps appearing in my legs. With only 5km to go I was feeling more exhausted than I’d ever been in my life. I aimed for a track in the distance as it would be slightly easier going than on the sand and soft gravel of the current route, but once on the track, it started to veer away from the road. I had to stop for a moment to face the horrible fact that I wasn’t as close to the finish as I had hoped. I was close to total exhaustion and the emotions I felt were not nice at all. To make things worse, I was riding on a bumpy and washboarded gravel track and into a headwind (the worst combination of situations and right at the final part of my ride). I felt close to tears with the pain and discomfort when a land cruiser pulled alongside me. The family inside were cheering and waving me on; they slowed down to my speed and we chatted for a few minutes. It lifted my mood, and momentarily took my mind off the suffering. Ahead in the distance, I could see vehicles on the road I was heading for, but they didn’t seem to be getting any closer. This was just insane. I wanted just to finish but everything inside me was telling me to quit. As I pushed on to the road where the support cars were waiting I was very emotional in the last 2km. I can’t remember the last 2km-25m for the life of me, and as I finally rode up to the cars my tyres hit tarmac and I was greeted with cheers from the support team (my wife Angelika, and close friends Adam and Aimee). As I came to a halt, I was unable to get off the bike and just rested, collapsed onto the handlebars with the overwhelming realisation that it was over. I was happy, ecstatic, sad, tearful all at the same time. “Never again,” I vowed as I got off the bike. This had truly been the hardest thing I’d ever done (covering over 180km through the desert) . And with that, I suddenly felt the hunger for food I hadn’t felt for the last three days. I needed to eat, and as soon as possible.

Andy Whitaker





PRODUCTS A round-up of quality products available right here in the UAE Women’s Specific Designs Madone 5 Series 15,950 AED Available at Trek UAE (next to Lamcy Plaza) and Probike (Al Barsha) The all-new Women’s Specific Designs Madone 5 Series is a true pro-level performance road bike packed with race-ready features like OCLV Carbon, super-aero shape and impeccable integration. Trek OCLV Carbon offers the best ride for the money, thanks to an optimal balance of weight, stiffness, and compliance. The KVF tube shape with integrated front and rear brakes makes Madone an aerodynamic game-changer. Ride Tuned seat mast adds vertical compliance to absorb road buzz, keeping you stable and comfortable even over Grand Tour distances.

Marmot Drakon 45 855 AED Available at Go Sport Mall of the Emirates and Adventure HQ Time Square Center The ascent-ready Drakon 45 carries the load into basecamp and is equipped to keep going up the route. Removable lid with zippered pocket and large front duffel-style zipper provide convenient gear access. Harness-compatible, removable waist belt has gear loop and biner sleeves for quick organisation with integrated vertical rope carry system that maximises packable space. • • • • •

Surly Neck Romancer Pug 9,250 AED Available at Adventure HQ in Times Square Center The Neck Romancer fat bike utilizes 82mm-wide single-wall Rolling Darryl rims to expand its tire print, thereby increasing its traction and float over all sorts of terrain. This includes soft sand, but also allows for traditional mountain bike activities. It comes in colour black. For the full spec, go to



Water-resistant YKK zippers Storm collar with top compression strap Hydration sleeve with hanging zippered pocket Duffle style zippered access to main compartment Integrated vertical rope carry system

The ISAW A2 HD Action Camera is a rugged and powerful action camera designed to capture all of your adventurous and extreme sports moments. The camera features a compact but very durable waterproof carbon body that can work even if immersed 50m underwater. Its 140cm wide-angle lens not only captures a broader view, but is made of scratch-resistant glass. The camera is capable of capturing Full HD 1080p videos and offers time-lapse feature so you can make high-speed playback videos of your entire trips for your friends to see. When recording underwater, its Aqua mode adjusts settings automatically to offset the overly blue light effect of water. The device also features burst shooting mode that can take up to seven pictures in one second. Other key features of the ISAW A2 HD Action Camera are user-friendly LCD menu, AV out for connecting directly to TV and 1200mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. The ISAW A2 provides a natural, low and great quality image, more vivid colours and superior colour reproduction performance. The ISAW A2 standard package delivers perfect images underwater without any blurring. If you would like to win one of these two cameras we are giving away, get down to the OutdoorUAE stand at the Dubai Boat Show EX-52 next to the F&B!

ISAW A2 HD Action Camera 1,300 AED Available at The Bluewaters Marine Shop on Sheikh Zayed Road The ISAW A2 is the latest, most affordable, wearable HD Action Camera. Boasting high quality 1920 x 1080 Full HD video that you can easily view and upload, the ISAW A2 comes complete with 50m waterproof housing, an ISAW Head strap, a comprehensive list of accessories and loads of mounting hardware. The durable shock resistant body and user friendly menu makes ISAW A2 the perfect choice for all extreme action sports. For more information Contact 055 389 9995 or visit





Feel Free Deck Pack Medium 495 AED Available at Adventure HQ in Times Square Center The Deck Pack M fits the mid-deck of the Tri-Yak and most sit-on-tops over 30” wide, extending storage space while keeping your stuff nice and dry. Of course, it makes a nice dry backpack even for the non-kayaker! Take your life aquatic and head to the trail on that yonder island! • • • •

Dimension of main compartment: 36x52x23cm Dimension of front pocket: 30x33x2.5cm With shoulder straps Rolled down closure

Columbia Drainmaker 325 AED Available at Ibn Battuta, The Dubai Mall, Mirdif City Centre and Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi Instead of changing waterlogged shoes after a day on the water, we changed everything. Meet Drainmaker. Born on the trail but adapted for water, it combines a fully drainable midsole with a rock-gripping, siped outsole and a quick-drying upper. The Drainmaker is a performance hybrid land and water shoe capable of performing in and out of the water with an easy sync closure system. This fully drainable water shoe with its midsole lined with Techlite lets you catch the fish and release the stream. With drainage ports in the heel and forefoot, siped lugs for increased traction on wet surfaces and an open cell mesh upper, the Drainmaker will stay light while keeping you safe and comfortable during extended waterside activities. The ultra-versatile hybrid shoe also features Omni-Freeze ZERO in the lining, which creates a refreshing cooling sensation when activated by water to keep feet cool and comfortable in hot conditions. Designed to move seamlessly from trail to water, it’s comfortable, lightweight, lively and responsive. There’s nothing quite like it – another result of trying stuff. Available in men’s and women’s.

Unisex Yamaha Floating Sunglasses 120 AED

Available at Al Yousuf Motors Showrooms Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah Great in design and performance. Enhance your adventure thrill with more visibility and style with the Yamaha Flexible floating sunglasses, which will not only protect you from UV sun rays, but also from reflections, contact of water and air. • • • • •

Contemporary styling Comfortable wrap-around design Secure head strap Ventilation slots 400 UV protection lenses





Tried And Tested pg. 42

Hyper-Track Guide (for men and women) 495 AED Available at The North Face Stores in The Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Centre and selected Sun and Sand Sports stores Lightweight, supportive and responsive, The North Face® Hyper-Track Guide is a running shoe to serve over long distances on road or trail. Featuring minimalist construction without sacrificing performance, the shoe incorporates advanced Cradle Guide™ technology in the midsole for dependable impact control and efficient stride transition. A breathable sandwich mesh in the upper and strategically positioned rubber pods in the outsole give excellent grip on slick terrain and resistance to abrasion. With a neutral Unleashed Performance™ design that ensures fast, agile stride movement The North Face® Hyper-Track Guide is a running shoe to suit ambitious athletes whether on road or trail. • No-sew, seamless, lightweight and minimal upper construction • Sizes 7-13/14, approx weight pair: 536g, 1/2 pair: 268g *based on Men’s 9 • Sizes 5-11, approx weight pair: 448g, 1/2 pair: 224g *based on Women’s 7

Mercury 14/18 Solo/Tandem hybrid Mercury Solo 4,490 AED Mercury Tandem 5,995 AED Available at Go Sport The Dubai Mall, City Center Doha, on request at Bawabat Mall Abu Dhabi (Mercury Solo). The Mercury Tandem is available at Go Sport The Dubai Mall and on request at City Center Doha and Bawabat Mall Abu Dhabi Following the success of Point 65’s modular recreational kayaks comes the expedition version. The Point 65 Mercury 14/18 is a high-performance, stable, decked, take-apart touring kayak with a large cockpit in which to explore and then take back home in the trunk of your car. Like the recreational versions, the Mercury features the innovative Snap-Tap solution (patent pending). The 415cm/13’7’’ Mercury Solo breaks apart into three manageable sections, each weighing less than 11kg/ 24.3lbs. The 100cm/39’’ nose section fits snugly into the mid-sections’ cockpit making for easy storage for example in the trunk of your car. With an additional mid-section, your Mercury Solo is transformed into a 545cm/17’10’’ high-performance, expedition tandem. Created by Magnus De Brito, award-winning design engineer, the Mercury is a fun, versatile, high-performance touring kayak. • • • • • • • • • • •


Affordable Strong and durable one-layer PE (polyethylene) Great tracking and performance Super comfy seat pad Watertight compartments fore and aft Integrated rudder Retractable symmetry skeg system Cup holders Take apart for easy storage Snap-Tap take apart system Solo or tandem combination


Photography: Andy Mann


Expedition: The Incan Odyssey

ZSI Trading LLC, Official Distributor of Marmot in the Middle East. Marmot available at GoSports, Mall of the Emirates, SnowPro at Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, AdventureHQ, Timesquare •

Marmot Outdoor Collection

Lowe Alpine AirZone Pro 35:45 765 AED Available at Adventure HQ in Times Square Center Designed to be versatile, the Lowe Alpine AirZone Pro 35:45 has a wealth of easily accessible pockets, entry points and outer fixings so you can organise your kit how you prefer, and get to it on the move.

The combination of the Torso Fit Centro adjustable back system and AdaptiveFit hip belt contribute to giving a perfect fit, meaning it’s more comfortable to carry for longer. Available colors: Bark/Sand, Denim Blue/Zinc • • • • • • • • •

Weight: 1570g Volume: 35 + 10L AirZone back system Torso Fit Centro adjustable back length AdaptiveFit hip belt Top loading with side panel access Side compression straps Hydration compatible Stretch mesh pockets, large zipped front pocket, stretch hip belt pockets, mobile phone pocket on harness • Walking pole/ice-axe attachments • Versatile front elastic stowage cradle • Raincover

How to fit backpack pg. 61

Maui Jim sunglasses Seawall 975 AED Available at Adventure HQ in Times Square Center Maui Jim’s proprietary PolarizedPlus2® lens technology features up to nine layers of the most advanced polarization on the market. It blocks 100% of UVA and UVB rays and eliminates 99.9% of harmful glare from any flat, smooth, or shiny surface making it possible to see below the surface of the water – invaluable for boaters and fishermen. Unique bi-gradient mirror adds protection from light and reduces eye fatigue. Colour enhancing properties result in significantly truer colors and more vivid views. Waterproof and oleophobic coating repels water and grease, making smudges and fingerprints easier to wipe away. Clearshell scratch-resistant treatment helps MauiPure, Maui Evolution and Polycarbonate lenses perform better for longer. • The best glasses for water sports share some essential functional features that allow fishing and marine enthusiasts to thoroughly enjoy their time on the water. • Snug fit to minimize gaps between your face and the sunglasses • Extra-wide temples to reduce side-glare • Full nylon or grilamid frames for lightweight durability • Rubber on temples and/or nose bridges for added stability and grip • Anti-corrosive hardware for long lasting performance

Advanced Off-road Adventure Routes: UAE and Oman guidebook 99 AED Available at Adventure HQ, Go Sport, selected off-roading or 4x4 specialist workshops, all major bookstores and at OutdoorUAE has launched this unique guidebook by driving expert Mike Nott to introduce and educate 4x4 drivers about different challenging routes in the region. It features 18 advanced routes for the seasoned off-road driver, a plethora of helpful information including satellite maps and waypoint tables. It also shares useful tips and things to remember before and upon embarking on an off-road trip such as recovery procedures, survival guides, equipment checklist and terrain type descriptions. The book also includes a free CD containing coordinates of each route in .GPX file format, which you can load on your computer or GPS tracking device for navigation convenience.

Barasti Sailing Club Al Jeer Marina Ras Al Khaimah

Barasti Sailing Club is exhibiting at the Dubai Boat Show 2013. Visit us at stand ESS 225

Camping Getaways Stunning & Sublime Location Great Fun Day Out for All Free Sandy Campsite Clear Water Swimming Area Hot Showers & Clean Washrooms Fully Licensed Clubhouse Cool Music & Great Atmosphere Fish n Chips and BBQ Food Try Out Sailing Sessions Sea Fishing and Dhow Trips Canoeing and Pedalos Free Wi-Fi and Bar Games Kidz Corner with Games and Videos Internet Café and Business Centre Marina Shop & Supplies Shisha and much more…

Contact Tim for bookings and more information

“Where the Mountains meet the Sea”


The North Face Hy per-Track Guide review

Firstly, who am I…My name is

Words By: Lee Harris

Lee and I’m a trail runner who runs the rough, rugged and challenging mountain and desert trails here in the UAE. I started running trail a few years ago and got completely hooked, and I now spend most of my time here running 100+ km of trail a week around the Hajar Mountain region and the deserts outside of Dubai.

nation of TNF’s Comfortable EVA Northotic™ footbed which rests atop the CRADLE™ GUIDE dual-density midsole, this is aimed to correct overpronation and enhance your natural stride. Abrasion-resistant rubber pods are strategically placed on the soles to provide additional traction on the trail.

So what is the Hyper-Track Guide?

• TPU-welded support overlays • C-Delta metatarsal fit system • Perforated EVA Northotic™ footbed • BOTTOM/ TPU and dual-injection, EVA CRADLE GUIDE™ midsole platform • 16mm/8mm heel/forefoot heights • Strategically positioned, high-abrasion rubber outsole pods

Basically, it’s one of The North Face’s newest road to trail shoe for mechanically sound runners, supporting their EVA CRADLE™ System, which is designed to promote a more biomechanically efficient stride on smooth trails or road. The North Face CRADLE™ Guide technology is engineered with a full-length, dual density EVA midsole that works with the foot to provide fluid guidance through the entire gait cycle. CRADLE™ Guide is tuned to specific activities, in this case trail running, and is designed to provide a combination of cushioning, stability and protection for any gait on any terrain. The Hyper-Track Guide design utilises a combi-

Feature details include :

Ok, first impressions out of the box: they did look like a very slick road running shoe, not the rugged trail shoe I expected; still a very aesthetically pleasing shoe to look at; fairly minimalist in design and lightweight coming in at approximately 268g depending on size. Well-constructed with a soft flexible seamless mesh upper with noticeable heel clip for support and to lock the heel in place, but still allow torsional flexibility. The sole seemed quite firm and tough, although still relatively flexible.

On the foot

Very comfortable straight out of the box; the soft mesh seamless upper was very light and breathable and molded nicely around the foot. The heel was supported well, although a bit loose fitting with the standard lace pattern. I had to adjust lacing using top




two eyelets. Plenty of room in the toe box area which is always a concern with me as I have quite wide feet.

Initial test

I’m an ex-boxer so I always put my shoes through some footwork drills to see how they react, and first impressions were good. Being a trail runner, I want a shoe that’s responsive to all foot positions, is stable and gives me plenty of control when changing direction fast. The mesh upper seemed to breath well and due to the seamless design I didn’t notice any areas where possible chaffing might occur.

On the road

First proper test run was a 10km road section and I found them not very responsive – although that may just have been me – at a slow steady pace. I actually found them a little firm and stiff. They do seemed to be quite a fast design shoe for the quicker more fluid pace, so once I warmed up and was able to pick up the pace they seemed to respond a bit better, again that may have just been me.

Although I am used to a low heel to toe drop and the more natural running form, I am also used to more cushioning. This comes in handy over the first few kilometers as I warm up, so this may have been why I felt them to be stiff, a little firm and unresponsive.

Off-road and on the trails

My normal trails consist of a rough rugged shattered rock and technical terrain with some smooth compact dirt tracks, so I look for a shoe that can handle both. For the smooth compact gravel dirt tracks, the Hyper-Track Guide do come into their own. They responded well as you are able to maintain a more fluid natural stride. The shoe is light and agile with plenty of support and control from the EVA CRADLE™ System, which biomechanically guides the foot through to toe-off to promote this, helping to correct any pronation problems on the uneven ground. It also allows you to change pace and direction as well as foot position without issue. The only downside is that the grip could be a little better for steeper climbs. Once I hit the more technical rocky terrain I wasn’t so happy. Although the shoe provides control and are very agile and flexible, in my opinion, there just isn’t enough protection around the midfoot upper. Due to the minimalist design, you’re very low to the ground which makes your foot vulnerable to rocks and debris, also there didn’t seem to be enough cushioning /protection in the mid to forefoot area of the sole. My feet felt like they had been worked over by a mean reflexologist after only a short bit of technical wadi rock action.

So my rating (1 to 10, where 10 is best): Construction: 8

A good all round well-built shoe with tough rugged soles. Good breathable and seamless flexible mesh upper for reducing chaffing areas. But in my opinion, may need more protection around the sides of the midfoot area from rocks and debris – possibly some extra welded rubber overlays!


Comfort & fit: 9

Overall fit was comfortable out of the box, secure around the heel and midfoot once lacing was adjusted. Opens up in the toe box allowing room. No-sew seamless upper conforms nicely to the shape of the foot.

Responsiveness & speed on the trails: 8

Fast, light and responsive. This shoe is designed to make you move forward with the 8mm heel to toe drop and is smooth, efficient and light. The EVA CRADLE™ technology effectively guides the foot through a smooth and efficient toe-off.

Agility: 8

Good trail feel on smooth compact dirt track or compact single track trails. They are low to the ground, agile and in my opinion again, just not comfortable or suitable on very rocky or rugged terrain.

On the road (long distances at a slower pace): 5

A fast design shoe, which requires a nice fluid fairly slick pace for it to respond, but gives little comfort from the pavement at a slow steady pace ideally. I’d say ideal for short road sections either to the trails or in between trails.

Overall assessment:

Good, tough, well-constructed trail shoe, but designed for the more mechanically sound runner. It has a good soft flexible and breathable mesh upper which molds well to the foot and having no seams will reduce chaffing areas. In my opinion, the Hyper-Track Guide is good for smooth compact trails and dirt tracks, as well as for short fast road intervals. The minimalist design with the 8mm heel to toe drop will require a good work up to long runs for some runners that are not used to the more minimal shoe, but there is the 16mm option as well.




Words + Photos: John Basson

“I think I am addicted to my quad and bike riding on weekends.” This was the reason/excuse I used for almost one year now in order to not go to Abu Dhabi and enjoy a day on the beach with Louwtjie (my brotherin-law) and our families. However, my wife started putting on the pressure and finally, I had to give in. Jet Skiing with Louwtjie and the families was made compulsory before I was allowed to ride any land-bound vehicle again! When Loutwjie decided to buy a Jet Ski, he used the “go big or go home” philosophy and settled for nothing less than an 1800cc turbo-charged monster. I must say, secretly I was looking forward to riding it, but had to suppress my excitement. (I will get to its performance in just a while.) It was a perfect winter’s morning with awesome UAE temperatures and the plan was to meet at the launch site. Easier said than done if your GPS does not know that there are houses built where its software thinks there should be a road. After some



desert and pavement riding, we managed to find Louwtjie and Neline. The kids almost immediately took to the water while we unpacked and “set up camp” for the morning. (Remember that Jet Skis are controlled, don’t just launch from any spot you like.) When we finished off-loading the pick-up, I assisted Jihan with his lifejacket. He had been super keen and even called his uncle the night before to ensure that the Jet Ski was full of fuel and that he was not to oversleep! I think the first thing that got my attention was how quiet the Jet Ski was. Trying to compare it to a quad was probably not a fair comparison, after all this was a 1800cc (exactly four times more than my “racing” quads) and I expected more. When Louwtjie and Jihan returned it was my turn. I had been watching them as they were riding and many years ago I had a go

on a 750cc version (a monster in its own time). Let me just say that pulling away by snapping back the accelerator was not a bright idea and I could hear Louwtjie laugh as I was getting back on the Jet Ski! I was expecting performance, but it felt like the Jet Ski was snapped from under me by a cable that was attached to a rocket. The next pull away was again at full throttle as I had to restore some dignity, but this time I was holding on and knew what to expect. The Jet Ski is amazing and the acceleration definitely more than on any of my quads or bikes! By the time I returned, John-John (my oldest) was already in the water and waiting for the beast to return. I let him sit in front and pilot the Jet Ski after explaining some of the do’s and don’ts. He took to it almost immediately and after 10 minutes, with no other Jet Skis or people in the water, I let him have a go by himself. He has been riding quads since he was two and knows what happens if he crossed the guidelines/limitations I set for him. Well John-John was a natural and after 20 minutes I had to stop him as I am sure he would have been on the thing till it ran out of fuel. The advantage of the bigger Jet Skis is that they are more versatile. Some might say they are too big, but this Jet Ski comfortably took three adults while pulling two kids on a tube. This allows for more family

fun and interaction with the kids whilst still having very high performance. It was a great day and watching the cousins play to exhaustion was also rewarding. The day turned out to be great fun for all, but we had to cut it short as the wind started blowing around noon, and after running several hundred meters trying to catch one of our cartwheeling umbrellas we decided to rather pack up and go home It was another great day outdoors in the UAE and soon we will repeat the outing. Get out there! Soon it will be too hot! Ride safe

John Basson

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act inrg nc ecingbala Th your tackle for bette performance Balan You will find it easier to cast a well-balanced rod and reel.

Our fishing pro who shares his experiences and expertise with OutdoorUAE through his regular column.

Stuck in the mud for the fifth time, I started to question if this trip was worth it. The promise of catching my first snakehead on a lure was a prospect that sounded good at that time. The vastness of the swamp we were fishing in dwarfed both me and the old man I was with that day. What I found later on was the fish were concentrated more on the edges of the weeds and very few were in the middle where the water was a bit deeper and had no snags. The impulse I had as a kid was to concentrate my casts in the open areas. Much to my dismay, I caught nothing but a bad case of sunburn. I felt I was armed to the teeth with my arsenal of lures and the gadgets I had on me: a fishing vest loaded with several types of lures, hooks and every doodad I could get hold of. I thought I came prepared and had all the answers to any challenge this day might throw at us. Needless to say, my inexperience got the better of me and it shone bright like the sun that burnt my skin. My companion, sparsely kitted out, caught more fish than I did. His casts were precise, almost surgical. Each flick of the rod sent his lure sailing through the air with a graceful arc and landed just at the opening between snags, a few twitches of the rod tip and the water erupted as a snakehead viciously attacked his lure from underneath. His casting was fluid, graceful and precise, much like a well-trained ballerina executing a perfect pirouette. Freshwater fishing poses a lot of



challenge, while in saltwater you have the space all around you, in most freshwater spots you only have pockets of clearings you need to hit consistently to be able to get a bite. Snags are commonplace and so are overhanging branches, weed beds and a zillion other things to help you lose a fish, snag or tangle your line, not get a bite and the ubiquitous snapping of the rod tip. The fishing is straight forward as this formula: cast as close as humanly possible into the most snag infested spot you see and you catch fish, something almost impossible to do if your tackle isn’t balanced. Balancing your tackle is simple and helps keep your learning curve shorter. It will, often times, give you better feel (which makes you less fatigued enabling you to fish longer) and greatly increases the performance of your gear on both distance and accuracy, potentially.

The low down Balancing your tackle means you have to stay within the boundaries of the recommended line rating of your rod, reel, fishing line and casting weight.The manufacturers help you decide on what ratings you could use by clearly labeling their rods and reels with a range of line tests (and for rods, a casting weight range). Some rods such as those rated for tournaments or the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) class rods are rated and optimised for a single line class.

you are always spot on. IGFA lines and lines labeled “Tournament Lines” break on or before the rated line strength. This means that if the label states a line strength of 10kg, it will break on or before 10kg and never over it. If it is labeled as a test line or indicates “superior strength”, “extra tough” or the like, the line will most likely over-test and will break after the rated strength. In some instances, the line will break at almost double the line strength. If you are after records, this is an important detail to remember. Braid consistently over-tests; it is however, my choice of fishing line.

Rods This indicates the lightest

and heaviest line rating this rod is designed for. I usually use the line test in the middle of the range, the

The manufacturer states that this rod has a line range of 12lbs (6kg) to 30lbs (15kg).

particular rod for me, is used for a 20lbs (10kg) line. On the better rods, manufacturers not only state the line recommended, but also the weight of the lures it’s deigned to cast.

Test Lines vs Class Lines and Braids The main difference between the two is important on how you want to go about your fishing. For some, having a line that would break consistently at the breaking strain on the label is beneficial. This is important if you go all technical on your drag settings so

You can find the ratings on your rod near the handle.



Reels As with the rod, the manufacturer

would also state a line rating for the reel as well as the approximate capacity relative to the line used. This measurement is based on

In most conventional reels, the ratings are either on the side or like in this case, on the crossbar. the average monofilament diameter. I pair this rod with a reel that indicates a similar range, or should I choose a lighter line, I On spinning reels, the ratings are on the spool.

Manufacturers of lures, likewise indicate the weight of the lure in their packs, all you have to do then is to pick the one that suits your rod, reel and line!

would know that this reel would also be able to handle the job. Balancing is particularly important when using light line since mistakes are magnified and the chances on losing fish are greater. Now that you have the rod and reel paired, it is just now a matter of picking the line you will be using for the rod and reel, either you go with something in the middle of the range, which is what I do, or you can pick the top or bottom of the range of the rating.

Attach your choice of leader then pick your lure Balancing your tackle is simple and is one of

the many things a lot of people take for granted. It takes skill and the proper gear to help you along the way. It will make your experience more pleasant and will help you in casting greater distances, casting accurately and well-balanced tackle doesn’t feel awkward in your hands, it will lessen fatigue and most definitely make your fishing time longer. Till next tide change,



e r u t n e v i Ch ck Ad ido hits Hokka


writer, runner, blogger & adidas athlete PS. My email address is tori@fitchicksandfastwomen. com for thoughts, ideas, and suggestions… or just to say hello!

Sacred Mountain - Mt Yotei

This month adventure chick writes from a ski trip with her family in sunny Sapporo, well Niseko to be exact. Often referred to as Asia’s “Whistler,” Niseko lies in Japan’s remote and rugged northern island of Hokkaido. The scenery is alpine with a touch of exotic – think craggy peaks, primeval pine forest, cherry trees and bamboo. Japan is the birthplace of geisha, samurai, tea ceremonies, sumo and thankfully for skiers, the onsen culture. “Onsen,” I hear you cry? Onsen are Japanese bathing houses, hot tubs that heal the body and relax the mind. They come with an established code of etiquette, the requirement to be completely naked for example, and With my dad and little sis are a wonderful treat for tired and cold limbs following a day on the piste. Skiing in Japan is famous for its bottomless talc-like powder, zero about thereafter is that I clearly never lift lines, unbelievable food, amazing push myself when it comes to skiing. culture and the birthplace of night I am a self-confessed, overly cautious skiing. Yes! The pistes are floodlit so skier these days, sashaying at speeds when night falls, the lights come on, not much faster than my mum in fact, casting shadows on the mountains but surely, doing a sport such as this and making the runs resemble some when you have endless hours to just 3D fantasyland. play around in the snow and enjoy Another distinct characteristic of that super soft landing, it’s exactly skiing here is the cold, cold climes. the sort of setting that you should Absent are the long lunches in the push yourself that little bit more, find sunshine enjoyed on a deck chair in confidence and conquer fears? the Alps or the al fresco BBQs and I wondered why in other areas of beers of North America. Here, sunny my life, I’m so willing to raise the days are a rarity. It just snows and bar, but clearly not this. And then it snows and snows. The ungroomed dawned on me. Throw in a fat, hairy pistes are nothing but fluff and visibilgoal and I’d certainly coil out of my ity often nil. Still, that makes for a soft safety blanket. Note to self for my landing right? Which brings me to next trip! Perhaps it is no co-incidence my first point of this month’s column. that the adage, fall down seven times, That is, the fact that I had the first big stand up eight, stems from an old wipe out this week that I’ve had in Japanese proverb? years. Literally years. And all I thought My second point is that skiing has



Chinese New Year show to be the most ideal sport to enjoy in groups of all different ages and stages. This past week, we have neither the youngest nor the oldest in my family here, but still the greatest age gap, lying between my dad and my little nephew is sixty years. Yet we’ve all been enjoying skiing together and our vastly varying abilities just haven’t been an issue. You see, skiing is unique in that success relies much on technique rather than how strong or fit you are. It is a predominantly non-competitive sport, focused on the individual rather than a team, which means that participants are free to progress at their own pace. It doesn’t even matter if you aren’t interested or show little aptitude for conventional sports. It’s simply a great activity for young and old, fast and slow, able and disabled. As for skiing as a sport and not just a play in the white stuff, there are plenty of worldclass ultra runners who enjoy long periods on the piste every year so surely, there must be benefits. Indeed, it is a complete body workout, exerting every major muscle group from your head to your toes and toning your entire torso. It improves balance and coordination and is an excellent way to stretch and strengthen leg muscles. It also works your quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes and is an excellent strengthener for your heart, improves your circulatory system and helps regulate good cholesterol levels in your body. Because it requires a hearty helping of balance, strength and endurance, it’s definitely a great cross-training option that supports lots of other al fresco sports we do – the running, the climbing, the cycling, the hiking and so on. And I guess the best part is that you can spend hours on the slopes exploring the trails and enjoying the endorphins but forget you’re actually packing in some great exercise. The creamy hot chocolates mid-morning, the G&Ts

enjoyed in the hot tub, the après cocktails, the gourmet feasts for dinner – none need cause the slightest guilt-trip! Still, I have been enjoying some glorious runs on snow-covered trails to wipe the cob webs away by morning and have no doubt, they will pay dividends next month when I run in Annapurna, Nepal.

Love Tori x


Exclus ive Interview

Robby Na ish

Occupation: Professional windsurfer,Naish kiteboarder, SUP’er and president of International Nationality: American Age: 49 This is the man who gave windsurfing a face. The legendary board rider has 24 world championships in windsurfing under his belt, has received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” and “Kiteboarder of the Year” award at the NEA International Sports Awards in Munich in 2000 and currently runs his business with the same fervour he rides the waves.

up and catch waves. I was amused, but did not really think of the potential commercially. Slowly a few more guys began to get into it, and here on the North Shore of Maui the “downwinder” began. With the encouragement of Harold Iggy and MichiSchweiger, we began to develop more boards with the idea that this sport might come into fashion. The SUP business is our newest division, but is already our largest segment. We believed in the potential of this sport very early on, and have been promoting and selling stand up boards longer than just about anyone.

How did you get into water sports? It was actually never a “decision” that I had to make, it just kind of happened over time. Growing up in Kailua and being at the beach all the time made it fairly inevitable. My father Rick was a surfer and Hobie sailor. My brother Randy and I got into Hobie sailing when we were really young, and when windsurfing came along for me in 1974, I never looked back. Hawaii is a fantastic place to grow up in general, but even better when you make the ocean a big part of your life. What’s your daily training like? When I’m at home in Maui or near the water, I try to go on the water as often as possible – that’s the best training you can get! When I am travelling, I do pushups, sit-ups, various arm curls with a chair, I jog or skateboard. Up to now, I fortunately always seem to get back to the water fast enough that it has never been much of an issue. What do you think is the best part about what you do? The freedom and that I am getting paid to do what I love. The sports have taught me certain sense of flexibility in dealing with things and to adapt quickly to challenges and changes – reading the wind and waves so to speak.

What are your other passions besides water sports? I have a passion for Porsche, but own several other cars as well. I have owned a yellow Evans Series One GTP racecar that is street legal for over twenty years now. I have my ’63 Cadillac hearse hot rod, but since my youngest daughter Christina was born it does not get out much. I have owned my blue 1977 Porsche 911 slantnose for almost 25 years, and it has just been “renovated” with a new engine. I also have a Panamera S and a Cayenne S that are amazing. How did Naish International get involved in the SUP market? It started out with a few guys taking paddles out on their 12ft plus boards. Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton turned me on to surfing a big longboard about nine years ago, and I made a couple of twelve footers. In the beginning, SUP was more of a novelty than anything. At Hookipa on a windy day it did not make much sense, but Laird would get out there and muscle his way upwind to the line-



What makes Naish stand out among other gear in the market? In all three sports, we have been there since the beginning. Naish is a company that truly lives and breathes board riding! We do our best to support our local community through events and fundraisers, we sponsor professional and amateur competitions around the globe, and our international team riders include world champions and opinion leaders in all three sports. When you ride a Naish, you are part of thousands of people with a passion for board riding that goes beyond “just doing it.” When you ride a Naish, you are not only riding the best, you are riding with the best. What’s your advice for people aspiring to get into SUP, especially here in the Middle East? The great thing about SUP is that everybody can do it! It’s an awesome form of boardriding and is the most accessible. There is the wave riding side, where just about any little wave can be made enjoyable to ride. There is the performance wave riding side, where guys are charging some of the biggest and best waves in the world. Then there is the racing and touring aspect; just paddling around a lake in flat water with some friends is really a lot of fun. So my advice is get on a board and have fun! What do you think about the UAE being included in the Stand Up World Tour? It is just an exhibition and not a points event for the tour, but I imagine that it’s going to be really good fun. The rides will be short, but at least we know that there is guaranteed to be waves. I wish I was going!

Will i am Par doe Why take the plane when you can hitchhike around the world, right? As Will sees it, hitchhiking is not only the cheapest way to travel, but also one of the most liberating journeys one can make. He has spent most of the last year hitchhiking from UK to UAE and from Canada to Mexico literally living out of a backpack and relying on the kindness of strangers. His on-the-road stories teeter from the funny to the absurd like living with the Amish, train-hopping with hobos and celebrating the end of the world with hippies in Mexico. How long have you been in the UAE? I’ve been here for 14 years. My family first came out in 1984, but moved back to the UK during the Gulf War. Thankfully, we returned in 1999. What inspired you to take on this adventure? I started to think about hitchhiking after reading “Into The Wild.” It’s a story about Chris McCandless, who rejects society and goes hitchhiking around North America. I don’t reject society, I just think that people should follow their dreams. Society tells us to be realistic, but dreams are only dreams until we make them reality. In 2010, after working the summer season in Ontario, I decided to take the Greyhound bus to the Rockies. That was three and a half days just sitting on a bus. The following year I set my sights on Vancouver, but there was no way I was getting on another Greyhound! I also wanted to see what Canada was like for the everyday Joe. So, I stuck out my thumb and five days later I had my toes in the Pacific, having covered over 4,500km.The round-the-world trip evolved after hitchhiking back to Dubai from the UK. I realised how incredible this form of travelling was, and the world was a tempting challenge. It’s something you don’t think you’d ever do, so hey, let’s do it! How did you prepare for this? I spent many long nights in the library looking at maps and reading up on various countries, when really I should have been working. As for techniques, make eye contact with the driver and smile! Once they’ve been kind enough to stop for you, ask them about themselves. You pay for your ride in conversation. The magic of it is that a stranger picks you up, and a friend drops you off. What was in your bag during these travels? You carry your life on your back, so allow some luxuries, but don’t let life weigh you down! My main luxury is a small laptop. For food, I stock up when I find a supermarket. As for washing clothes, it will come along when you need. That’s how the road works – very mysterious! What are your most memorable experiences on the road? [Laughs] Where to start? I think the weirdest experience was living with 2,000 hippies at a Rainbow Gathering in the Mexican jungle. They had congregated to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar at the Mayan ruins. Nearly everyone sported long, dreadlocked hair, beaded bracelets and flowing clothing. During


Occupation: Water sports instr

Nationality: British Age: 21

PhotosBy: William Pardoe A crazy bunch of train-h oppers I joined up wit h in New Mexico. What a wild adventure that wa s!

the day, they would bathe in the streams and waterfalls. At night, they would dance around the fire with drums. We gathered at the temples – awe-inspiring structures pulled straight out of legends. The Mayans beat their drums, chanting and singing, and we joined in raising our hands to the heavens, dancing, kneeling in the mud, feeling the earth and the rain. People in general would be sceptical about hitchhikers, was it hard out there? I see hitchhiking as a filter – most people drive past, but some of the best people will stop and pick you up. The situations it leads you to are incredible – often I look around myself and think “Wow. I am so lucky to be Cruising through Texas here with these people.” Of course, with Kara, an awesome person and a sky you have to be sensible and listen dive instructor too! to your instincts. There is a small risk with everything in life, but it would be silly for me to forgo these incredible experiences because of a what-if. What are your other passions besides travelling? Anything on, in or under the water, especially whitewater kayaking and scuba diving. I’ve recently gained my skydiving license, so I can’t wait to get more involved in that sport too. Are you planning to do a Middle East hitchhike expedition? Yes! The world isn’t as big as I’d thought, so I’m considering going around again, via the places I’ve missed: North Africa, South America, Hawaii and the Far East. I’ll be hitching through Oman in March to get a feel of it and to improve my Arabic.

Hitchhiking is pretty eas

y in Germany!. What’s your advice for people who want to do a similar kind of adventure? Just do it! Get out there and have the adventure of a lifetime. Remember: everything works out in the end; you will always get picked up, eventually; and smile. www. has a lot of valuable information. Check out my adventures at




Oman escape s

Words + Photos: Darryl MacDonald

When my wife and I first moved from Canada and started exploring Oman, we instantly fell in love with the country and its people. When we spoke to our friends and family back home, we were overly enthusiastic about how wonderful it was and how everyone should come and visit. Since it is a 25-hour flight from Canada to Oman and not a popular vacation destination for Canadians, we thought we might be lucky if we had anybody come to visit. As it turns out, my wife and I are in the wrong business. We should be promoting parties or concerts or some such thing because what started as a trickle of visitors has turned into a flood. In less than three years, we have had eight different sets of Canadian visitors. During February and March of this year alone, my wife and I have four, yes, that’s four different sets of visitors coming from Canada. My wife has resorted to putting hotel soaps and shampoos in the guest bathroom and bath robes in the guest bedroom. At some point we may need to put a sign over the door and start charging for room and board! You might ask, “Where am I going with this?” Well, having such a wide variety and large quantity of guests, a host requires an array of activities to keep them entertained. My wife has become an expert tour planner and I have become an expert at executing those plans. She has created a broad range of itineraries to suit the full range of friends and family, from couch potato to extreme adventurer. Among all of those itineraries, there are a few common trips that work for the full range of visitors and that we are happy to repeat over and over again. Wadi Bani Khalid is such a place. My wife has en-

thusiastically declared this her favourite wadi in the entire sultanate and it consistently receives rave reviews from our visitors. The wadi, located just over 200km south of Muscat, is a little long for a day-trip but being close to the Wahiba Sands, it can be easily combined with an overnight desert adventure. There are several ways to explore the canyon. For those that want the full adventure, the best way is to drop a vehicle off in the town of Sayq, then proceed 40 minutes north to the town of Bidah. Hiking through the wadi from Bidah to Sayq takes approximately five hours, depending on your fitness level. The wadi slopes gently

downwards as you pass waterfall after waterfall after waterfall (seriously, I’ve never seen so many waterfalls) scrambling down rocks and swimming through massive pools. It’s certainly one of the most breathtaking wadis in Oman as you swim, hike and scramble through the canyon. One waterfall, near the beginning of the hike, reaches 15m with a massive emerald green pool below. You could happily spend the day there swimming and lounging near the edge of the pool. Beyond this point, it is unlikely that you will encounter other tourists or locals until you near the next town. The hike is not very technical, but is physically strenuous and involves sections where swimming is the only option if you wish to continue. Closer to Sayq, the wadi widens creating some pools large enough to be labeled as small ponds. On the right hand side is the falaj system which can be followed like a path and continues all the way to the village. Here the hike takes on a completely different feel as you pass through the shade of a meticulously manicured orchard filled with date palms, banana trees and mangos all terraced along the falaj system passing over the emerald green pools of the wadi below. So depending on the time frame and what type of guest we are catering to, we may choose to do the entire wadi (complete with vehicles to shuttle), although most of the time we park at either Bidah or Sayq and hike in for a few hours then return back the way we came. This way you can take your time to stop and enjoy some of the larger pools, which are a nice reprieve from the heat. If you want an easier day, with no hiking, there are a few massive pools of water near Miqil just before Bidah. These are complete with paved walking paths, a restaurant and shaded seating areas but can be busy on the weekends. Also in Miqil there is a small cave that can be explored with a waterproof torch if you’re willing to get dirty. Some of the passages are a pretty tight squeeze, certainly not for the claustrophobic among you. As usual, if you decide to undertake this weekend adventure, be sure to play it safe. Bring with you all necessary supplies such as sunscreen, extra water, waterproof torch and snacks. More information on this area can be found in the Oman off-road books so you can plan your trip accordingly. As we like to say in Canada, get out there, have fun and “keep your stick on the ice.”

Darryl MacDonald 52





Where The Mountains Meet The Sea… Barasti Sailing Club at Al Jeer Marina, Ras Al Khaimah is the latest place to check on the UAE’s outdoor circuit. At the most northerly point in the emirates, Al Jeer Marina offers the perfect launch point for sailors heading to the Musandam Peninsular. Port sea entrance: N26° 02 56 E56° 04 58 and by road it is ideally situated just before the Al Dara border crossing with Oman, thus making an ideal stopover for that visa run or weekend camping getaway. The marina is an accredited Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training centre and hosts RYA dinghy instructor courses (the first to be held in the UAE) and powerboat courses. These are run by the Coastal Safety School, who have taken up residency at Al Jeer. The crystal clear waters make for excellent swimming, snorkeling, diving, sport fishing and wildlife viewing. A wide variety of fish can be seen and turtles are often swimming in the marina. Kayaks, pedalos and fishing kits can all be hired at very reasonable prices. We interviewed regular visitor Byron Kraemer: “If you are looking to do some camping and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Al Jeer is the perfect place to go. The staff are friendly and the place is kept really clean. We also enjoy the fact that it has toilets, showers and a bar, which is great for the ladies and men respectively! It’s really relaxed that you can BBQ your own catch over a fire in the sand and then walk over to the bar and have a drink and eat with some music, pool, table football or even darts. The setting is beautiful with the mountains just behind it. Last but not least the fishing is awesome! I have had probably the

The RYA dinghy instructors course is now at Al Jeer Marina

Boats and Mountains looking north

best experience kayak fishing in the UAE” Other attractions planned for this exciting new location include a scuba dive company, sea fishing trips, dhow tours, yacht charters, a party boat and a visa service to provide cruising boat permits for Musandam. The fully-licensed clubhouse features a relaxing veranda, constructed from old ships wood. A simple and tasty menu offers BBQ food and Fish n Chips. There are free bar games of pool, table football, darts or board games. TV Sports, free high-speed Wi-Fi, a business centre and a kids corner with games and videos make this a great family-friendly location. Overnight stays are free if pitching your own tent, or if you choose to sleep in the “Glastonbury Suite” of tented accommodation for only 50 AED per person.

Gateway to the Musandam

The marina has powered and watered berths. A well-stocked marina shop has all the necessary boat supplies of ice and alike, a full laundry service, refueling and boat cleaning are also available. Aside from the obvious attraction of Musandam and the Arabian Fjords, only 15 nautical miles to the north, Al Jeer makes an excellent adventure training base, as there are many attractive spots nearby. The local surfers’ beach is only five minutes walk, the famous Stairway to Heaven climb is 10 minutes drive away and a pearl diving farm, which is RAK tourism’s latest addition, is also close by. Locally, there are numerous off-road wadi and desert driving routes. For those culturally minded, there is a Heritage Village and museum in the next town. The Queen of Sheba’s palace ruins and a sea turtle mangroves are all within easy reach. Our introductory berthing rates are Day: Monthly: Annually:

100 AED 13 AED per foot 130 AED per foot

Catamarans charged x 1.5 of rates

Byron’s catch of the day from his kayak fishing trip in Al Jeer Marina

Port Manager Tim Bomberg says: “Unlike other marinas in the region, what we offer are tranquil and natural surroundings, where you can truly get away from it all.” For all enquiries, contact Tim Bomberg on 050 487 3185 or Website: or visit Al Jeer Marina at stand ESS 225 at the Dubai International Boat Show.




UAE Local Dive Sites



INCHCAPE 1 The first of the three Inchcape wrecks to be sunk (12th December 2001), this wreck is situated just off the Aqah coastline approximately 1.6km from Le Meridian (Al Boom Divers) and 2.2km from the Miramar Hotel (Divers Down).


Located a short boat trip from Al Aqah, Inchcape 1 is situated in approximately 30m of water at N25° 30.765 E56° 22.914 with access by boat only. This dive site is also for advanced divers only, and given that my last dive here in January 2013 was in a fast current from surface to bottom with less than 2m visibility at the mooring and zero visibility at 28m, this dive is not for everyone. The depth and use of EAN30/32 will allow a decent bottom time, and most boats do hang a spare cylinder with regulator attached as a safety measure, although how anyone would be able to find a hanging tank in 2m visibility is beyond me. My advice is to have additional rope attached to the cylinder and tie it off at the 55gal drum, which is at 5m, for easier access. Like Inchcape 2, after “Hurricane Gono” in June 2007, the boat moved slightly and the wheelhouse disappeared. Some of it can be found a few metres to the stern of the wreck on the northern side. The wreck lists slightly to the starboard side. It is possible to swim through this wreck by entering through the aft engine room hatches and exiting via the stairs forward, however given the depth and the short NDL on air and even on Nitrox, please do not attempt this unless you have been suitably trained in diving in overhead environments. Penetration dives using of standard A-clamp first stages are not recommended and a side slung stage or pony bottle is highly



Words + Photos: Gordon T. Smith

Access: Boat Experience Level: Advanced Max Depth: 30m Dive Profile: Square profile dive Hazards: Occasionally strong currents from surface to bottom, as well as hazardous marine life e.g. scorpionfish, electric rays Other Notes: Do not do a penetration dive unless you and your buddy are trained to do so. A pony bottle is a useful addition to carry provided you know how to use one. A torch is very useful. Best dived using EAN30/32.

recommended. There is plenty to see on the outside, however, a massive shoal of resident snapper are always around, with frequent attacks by groups of jack or trevally looking for lunch. Descent onto the wreck is via a mooring line with a 55gal drum on a chain at 5m to the top of the wreck at 28m. As already mentioned, the visibility in the upper layer has been very poor, and if you cannot make it out by the time you reach 28m and there is a current, my advice is to abandon the dive. Inchcape 1 is very much similar to Inchcape 2 and is around 21m and 5m wide and depth 3m. The bow (to the south) is covered with Dendronephthya soft coral, indicative of fast currents. It does not take long to swim around it, but take it slowly and plan according to the conditions at the time of the dive if a strong current is running. Given the depth and that this is a square profile dive; the maximum

time on air is going to be limited to around 20 minutes, so watch your time and your air supply. If you dive on Nitrox you will enjoy a maximum of a 30-minute dive with EAN32.

Marine life

As mentioned, the bow (facing south) is covered with pink and purple Dendronephthya soft corals and shoaling yellow snapper can cover the whole wreck at times. There are plenty of small groups of various fish species living in their own territories on the wreck itself, mainly anthias and cardinalfish. However, do not ignore the sandy area surrounding the wreck as this is where you will most likely see rays and other bottom dwellers. There are also a couple of resident honeycomb moray eels (Gymnothorax tessellata), plenty of scorpionfish, a few lionfish and an occasional electric ray, be aware. Start your dive by assessing the current on the bottom and your ability to deal with it. The mooring chain becomes a Y at midships; time is limited and take care with your buoyancy. If you need to hold on to something because of the current, check first, and look carefully. A pair of gloves is recommended. This is also a good dive to practice using a reef hook. If you are lucky to have reasonable visibility, no current and using EAN30/32, then explore off the stern to some scattered wreckage and have a good look around for smaller creatures such as nudibranchs, it is surprising what you might see on the sand commuting between the man made areas. Once you have reached 80-100 bar pressure, or within five minutes of your NDL, you should be back at the mooring line ready to ascend, and remember your safety stop at 5m. Should you for some reason fail to find the mooring line, deploy your SMB and ascend using it, as there may be other boat traffic on the surface.

Gordon T. Smith





From novices to ninjas 72km and 12hrs of pain, for me at least.

Jim McIntosh is an advocate of fitness and getting kids involved in outdoor activities rather than just being glued to their gadgets, as seen in his Get Them Off that Game Controller Words + Photos: Jim McIntosh article series. This time though, Jim joined the Wadi Bih Run to ses. help out another kid in a different royalty free for commercial purpo d by and it’s 100% This vector Illustration was create homepage of this vector freebie to and rArtBo Vecto to way. Eleven-year-old Ciara Allen two backlinks You can share it on your site with silhouettes and Illustrations link). In my work I’m using free vector title as a text for (use postmultiple has endured major brain of free vector illustrations). rces resou l (usefu om lady.c about your karma). from and vector stock sites as your own (take care it without backlinks and sell it on to share not allowedby operations caused tumours You are and through this run, Jim wants to show support for Ciara and her family during this challenging time, and mentions, “I just want to let them know we are thinking of them.”

ee for commercial purposes. mepage of this vector freebie lustrations rations). . own (take care about your karma)

Kit weigh in 16kg/35lb

The 2013 Wadi Bih Run, as always was well organised, it had a great turn out and provided for all standards of runners from team to solo. This year’s run had many challenges for the running community, not least the new border controls meaning some people had Midnight start

to queue for a couple of hours before getting into Dibba. However, once across the wire, the race organisation was flawless and as always, had a very relaxed atmosphere for all who camped on Dibba beach the night before the race. For me, this was the third time taking part in the Wadi Bih race as a solo runner, but also choosing to run as an un-supported lunatic! This meant that instead of being in a relay team of five with a support vehicle or even as a solo runner with a support vehicle or predropped off supplies along the route, I was on my own carrying all that I would require for the race. My race kicked off at midnight, 4.5hrs before the other solo runners as I would be starting with a 16kg/35lb Bergan (rucksack) and so would need a little head start. The majority of my weight was made up with 9 x 1.5L water bottles, and as you can never judge just how much water you will need until you reach the half way point, it is better to have too much than too little. The first year I ran, I was using it as preparation for the Marathon Des Sables in Morocco and ran out of water 5km from the finish as it was very hot. The



Kit Carried

rest of the weight was made up of some food and a few pieces of safety kit, blister kit and a camera. Running along the roads in the early morning through Dibba was lovely and quiet, but when I got into Wadi Khab Shamsi there was absolute silence, complete darkness and when all you can see is a small round circle of light from your head torch in front of you, you can feel pretty isolated. The first 20km was pretty gentle uphill and I felt really good shuffling the whole way and stopping only briefly to re-fill my CamleBak and tend to my first “Hot Spot.” I completed the first 20km in exactly 3hrs with a height gain of around 400m, but the next 16km with over 600m of height gain took 3hrs 15mins and hurt! At around 30km there are the “switchbacks,” which are very steep and over 2kms long and I put the brakes on, even the Lycra wearing racing snakes did. Then it’s a little downhill before you head up to the high point of the route at approximately 1,028m. At the high point, you pass the second highest point on the Musandam peninsula, Jebal Kiwi 1,785m which has fantastic 360° views. About a kilometre past

Items Coming down and 20km point

the high point is the turnaround point marked by a couple of guys from Absolute Adventure manning the check point. After about 30mins re-packing empty and full water bottles, getting some food down my neck and a couple of pain killers for the downhill pain that was about to come my way, I set off. Just as the sun was rising and I started down the switchbacks the first solo runner was coming up, Jeremy Curan, who went on to win in a cracking time of 5hrs 36mins (in Lycra!). Now that I was back down in the wadi, I could get back into a steady shuffle and let the pain killers do their work on my knees before the sun started warming up and baked my follicle challenged cranium.

It was at the bottom of the switchbacks that the relay team runners start racing past me and looking very fresh as where I was blowing snot, spit and sucking in air from China. Continuing down the wadi was great, passing all the relay teams coming up and cheering me on, but as I approached the main entrance to Wadi Khab Shamsi, I was on my own again. As the wadi opens up there is no escape from the sun for the last 14km and I find it very difficult to run anymore. I find that I’m shuffling more often than running then finally fast walking. The last 5km were particularly hard and I had to dig deep to get under my target time of 12hrs. I finally crossed the finish line at the Golden Tulip


Bergan Water Camelbak Electrolytes Gu Sweets and power bars Map case and route card Hat Blister kit and dressing Survival bag Knife Whistle Head torch Light stick Gps Spare batteries Camera and tripod Waterproof bag for phone

hotel 11hrs 58minutes after I set out which was 22mins faster than the last year. Normally, I would run to raise money for my former regiment, The Parachute Regiment, to help raise funds for soldiers who have been injured in combat, but this year, I was motivated to finish the race for my friend’s daughter Ciara Allen, who has undergone a much tougher journey since birth than I ever would in twelve hours running up and down a mountain. Would I do it again? The wife has said no, I wouldn’t!



THE 2013


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Tips & Tricks

How to get the best surf in Dubai

t 1 and surrounding beaches Parthe best times Tips and guide to being in the best surf at

Photos By: Abdel Elecho

Searching for surf in Ajman

Words By: Carl de Villiers

See those guys who always seem to get the best waves and the best surf sessions in Dubai? How do they do it? How do they always seem to be at the right place at the right time? It’s reasonably easy if you know where to look and what conditions work best in what places. Let’s start with where and when to surf. And yes Dubai has lots of surf! The Gulf is an inland sea with no open ocean, but is an anomaly as it has big wind and winter storms that start at the top of the Gulf and move their way down from Qatar to Dubai generating large wind swells. These are the “shamals” that we see locally and when they blow onshore (from the sea to the land) they generate surfable waves due to the fact that the Gulf is a long stretched shape facing northwest. Strong NW winds generate these waves and they create the stormy surf conditions the local surfers like so much. The storms generally last for a day or two before the wind changes to offshore and the waves clean up, but die down quickly. This can happen an average of every 10 days between November and June so there is enough surf to give the average UAE resident the stoke they need to keep going through the humdrum of Dubai life.

Sunset Beach with low crowds. It’s almost an entirely sand bottom wave that will offer up a variety of rideable peaks with the main surf area in the centre. Waves are best on a low to mid tide and the waves can get as big as 6ft (surfers feet). Another surf spot is the beach at JBR sometimes referred to as Sherries as it’s located in between the Sheraton and Hilton hotels. This is a more serious beach break, sand bottom wave that tends to be

Surf spots. Dubai has one major surf

spot called Sunset Beach. This is not on any map as it’s a slang name for the beach on the right-hand side of the Burj Al Arab. This is the main surfing spot and holds the most consistent waves with the best shape. It’s also the busiest and can be very crowded when the surf is on as it’s great for beginners and intermediates. That said, if you work your session around the best times and conditions, you can score some great sessions



Team Rider Josh on a good one in Kalba

more dumpy and hollow and is generally not suited for beginners, but can offer up some good barrels and short intense rides on a good day. It works on both high and low tides and is usually a little bigger than Sunset and a lot less crowded. Also great is being able to have a nice breakfast after a good morning session at one of the restaurants at the boardwalk. Al Mamzar Beach Park and Ajman beaches also offer up some surf and virtually no

The early bird catches the best waves crowds. The park is a really great venue with great facilities and a nice setup. The waves are almost all beach breaks on sandy bottoms and the fact that they are far away from central Dubai means that you will mostly be surfing on your own or with the occasional local. A trip here when the swell is on can be very rewarding and some epic session can be had if you take the time to seek out some waves. The east coast of the UAE such as Fujairah and Kalba offer up some great surf a few times a year when a tropical storm off the coast throws up some wind swell. This only occurs a few times, but when the surf is on, it gets quite good and you can find virtually uncrowded surf the whole way along the coast. The beaches of Kalba have some great beach breaks (near the Du Building) and Tim’s Reef is a popular point break near the Sandy Beach motel. Well worth the scenic drive along the new highway when the surf is on.

When is the best time to surf?

We generally like the crack of dawn for those super early “dawn patrols” to get a few good waves before the crowd comes down and this is usually when the best waves can be caught especially if tide and swell conditions are at their best. Also when the wind turns offshore and cleans the waves up, the swell dies quickly, so as they say, “the early bird catches the worm.” The next best time for weekdays is after 9:00 a.m. when most of the guys head to work (although when the surf is on, there seems to be a lot of “food poisoning” that keeps people out of the office!). Weekends (especially Fridays) can be manic as every available surfer come down to the beaches to score a few waves. Early weekend surfs are essential! Another great time to get waves is just after lunch when a lot of people are surfed out, back at work or home and the grommets (young surfers) are still at school.

How to check the surf. Besides direct

picture reports and info on the Surf Shop Arabia Facebook group, there are also a number of Internet resources such as NCMS, Swell Map and Windguru. We use a combination of all of these to

see when the best combination of conditions and tides will occur. This is an excellent

free and accurate swell resource for Dubai which we set up with a weather monitoring company in New Zealand. If you access the site, you will see a weekly graph and daily swell sizes (measured in metres) for Sunset Beach, JBR and Tim’s Reef (the east coast). This report also has sunrise times (great for dawn patrols) and tides. You can tell when there is surf if the report shows the swell (in metres) bigger than 0.5m This is the weekly Marine

Report that is offered up by the government. It has an accurate sea report that shows swell size with the old school coloured bars indicating wave size and arrows that point in the direction of the swell. If you use this, make sure the arrows point to Dubai or you may find yourself chasing a swell hitting in the wrong direction! This is a wind report that shows weather and other info, but is a great tool for checking the wind speed and direction. A strong NW wind over 20 knots will indicate swell in Dubai and this can be crosschecked with the other two reports. With all of this information, you are surely going to be able to score some great surf in Dubai. In part two next month, we will write up some great spots to SUP. Lastly, we would like to say that when you surf in the UAE, have fun, enjoy yourself but surf safe by ensuring you adhere to the rules of surfing, respect others in the water (including bathers) and wear a leash at all times. See you in the water. Started in April 2009, Surf Shop Arabia is an Emirati-owned company run by South African owner Carl de Villiers, which provides surf and watersports equipment and services to the UAE and Middle East. For more information, visit or


Tips & Tricks

Partner stretches


Standing on a boat in the water is great for all the tiny muscle groups in your body. As you try to balance, all your stabilising muscles start to fire and this causes these core muscles to strengthen. This month, we look at core partner work that can help you to balance in the roughest seas and to focus your mind for those long hours of fishing ahead.

Double plank Face your partner. Engage your abdominal muscles and with equal force, lean towards each other.

Double chair lean Release the top

Tree pose prep From standing, root

Double chair pose Cross your arms and hold your partner’s wrists. Lean away from each other and feel like you’re sitting back into a chair (hips should not go below 90 degrees). A great thigh strengthener as well as a counter balance.

Abdominal work (double legs)

Full tree If you can maintain balance, turn

Pigeon From all fours, draw your right

Abdominal work (one leg) Place

Partner push-ups- Maintain this

knee to your nose and then place it down between your hands, making sure that the foot is slightly out o the left. Extend your back leg out behind you, tucking toes under. Bring your hands to the floor and lengthen your spine. You should feel a deep stretch in your right glutes.



hand and as you sit down lean equally away from each other as you twist.

Lay on your back, place your palms on your knees. Press with equal force your palms to knees and knees to palms. Hold for 10 breaths. This will get the abdominals firing. For a more advanced version, lift your head and shoulders off the mat.

your right foot on the ground. Take your right hand to the inside of your left knee and press hand to knee, knee to hand. Hold for 10 breaths and repeat on other side. For advanced version, lift your head and shoulders off the mat.

your feet into the earth. Begin to lift your right leg into your chest and hold the knee with both hands. Find one point to look at, fix your gaze and balance here.

the lifted leg out to the side and place the foot either on the ankle or on the inner thigh. Fix your gaze and try to maintain balance for five to 10 breaths. If you fall out, get back up and try again.

plank position and start to simultaneously bend and straighten your elbows.

Sandy Joy

How to fit a Backpack - Technical Information Carrying comfort starts with a correctly fitted pack and the first thing to establish is your torso or back length. It must be noted that torso length does not necessarily relate to height. It is quite possible for a tall person to have a short torso but longer legs. Conversely, a shorter person may have a long torso and shorter legs. You can resort to a simple tape measure by following the steps below. A friend will be required to take the measurements.


Identify your iliac crest (pink line) and measure the distance from this to the ground (See measurement “A”).


Take a mid-point between your neck and the point of your shoulder (this is where the shoulder strap will sit) and measure the distance from here to the ground (See measurement “B”).


Subtract measurement B from A, this will give you the length of back system you need.


Measuring your back length:



Note: Bodies vary hugely, the above measurement gives you a start point. It is perfectly acceptable to adjust the back length either side of this measurement if you find it more comfortable. The development of your shoulder muscles, waistline and the curvature of your back, are all factors that alter this standard measurement.


Fine tuning the pack 1. Put the pack on and fasten the hipbelt firmly around your body, making sure it encompasses the iliac crests.

when you will want more load on the hipbelt and on the shoulder straps - adjust them to suit. diagram B

2. You should feel the support of the lumbar pad in the small of your back (we use resilient, memory foams to counter the effect of a weighted pack on your lumbar region). diagram A

4. There are two further adjustments you can make:

3. Having fitted the hipbelt you can now tighten the shoulder straps until they are comfortable. During your excursion there will be times

Lumbar Pad

a) Tighten the side tension straps on the hipbelt to stabilise the load. Adjust them until you find an optimal position for you and the terrain. diagram C b) The top tensioners link the shoulder straps to the top of the

Shoulder harness adjustment

pack. Sometimes they are called load lifters, a term we do not use because they don’t actually lift the load. When tightened, their main function is to stabilisethe top part of the pack. If you want to take the pressure off the tops of your shoulders then position the strap so it pulls from the apex of your shoulder. The optimum angle for these straps is 45°, but they will stabilise the loadeven when horizontal or at a more obtuse angle.

Hipbelt side tension strap

The optimum angle of the straps is 45°

Pressure applied equally to shoulder harness and lumbar


Tips & Tricks

, n a D the Desert Gardener



(from the Malvaceae family)

Hibiscus is one of my favourite plants because its flowers come in so many different colours and when I see it in a garden, I always think it gives a tropical flavour.

Hibiscus originally comes from warm temperate, subtropical and tropical parts of the world, which makes it so versatile to where you can grow it. There are several hundred types and many different colours. The Hibiscus flower is large, trumpet shaped with five or more petals and colours range from white, red, pink, orange, purple, yellow, peach, etc. Hibiscus grows very well in the UAE and can be seen in many gardens here. It loves full sun and a well-drained soil. It can be planted singly or as a hedge, it can be pruned to make a single stemmed small shrub and it adapts well to growing in a pot or planter. Hibiscus can flower all year with the aid of fertilizer, but does enjoy a good pruning if it gets too woody but otherwise it is a strong plant with lovely green leaves and considered low maintenance. Tea is made from the Hibiscus flowers and drunk different ways in many countries, but here in the Middle East it is called Karkade (teabags are available here in supermarkets so we don’t recommend that you make it yourself). The tea is known as a natural diurectic, contains Vitamin C, minerals and lowers blood pressure. Hibiscus is the national flower of South Korea, Malaysia and the Republic of Haiti.


In Tahiti, a single Hibiscus flower is tucked behind a woman’s ear to show availability of marriage. Hibiscus is another must to have in your garden.

Final Thoughts

REWARD (Sad but true!)

Coming from a country that has one of the highest crime rates in the world (South Africa), I never thought I would ever have to worry or even write about crime again. However, if statistics become unfavourable, you would be foolish to ignore the reality thereof. I have been in the UAE close to five years and the reality of crime is becoming more and more evident. In the immediate group of riders that I regularly ride with, we have had the following: Four years ago Tiennie’s 700 Raptor was stolen from his villa in Dubai. It was not locked, but the premises had an almost 10ft perimeter wall and his gate was locked. The quad was “carried” over the wall. The culprits (youths) were caught about a week later, but the quad had nearly 20,000 AED damage to it! (The court ordered the culprits to pay, but that was the only punishment.) Three years ago I was in the KTM showroom to buy spares. There was a poster on the wall: “REWARD 5,000 AED” and a picture of two KTMs on trailers that had been stolen from the owner’s apartment block. When I commented, the sales person said that there were “many” cases and they regularly get



called to be on the lookout for a stolen bike that might be brought in for service! April last year, Dino’s 700 Raptor was also stolen. Fully locked and “secured” he thought. The quad has not been found, remember that you don’t get insurance for quads in the UAE and the loss will be all yours! (Dubai). Last December, two more of my riding buddies became victims to this crime! Shawn’s KTM 525 was stolen (17th December) in daylight and thanks to the prompt reaction from the complex security personnel, they found the quad about half a mile down the road and apprehended the two 14-year-olds! The same two boys had already stolen a motorbike earlier the day! (Dubai). Mouritz, on 26th December 2012, also had his Raptor, that was locked with a chain to his motorbike (not sure how thick the chain was)

and it was stolen mid morning from the complex, in broad daylight! (Dubai) I called him and spoke to him regarding the incident and he replied that since his previous quad was stolen he had fitted a “secret” ignition switch (I did not even know this was the second one stolen from him!). This saved his quad as it was recovered about a mile from the complex, but they totally destroyed the wiring trying to get it started. The thieves were caught: again, youths and apparently from a very wealthy family! If these are the quads stolen just amongst the small group I ride with, then you must be a fool to think it cannot, or will not happen to you. When you lock your quad or bike, spend a bit extra and buy the biggest meanest lock, chain and cable you can find. ACE hardware has some very serious rated locks and chains. Don’t buy the cheap stuff and don’t buy the small stuff. Just looking at the chain and lock, the thieves will already be deterred! These locks and chains are very expensive (the heavy duty ones), but only a fraction the price of replacing your bike or quad!! On this sad note, Ride Safe and Lock-up

John Basson



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Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +96824543002, Mountain High Middle East, Dubai, +97143480214, Oman World Tourism, Oman, +96899431333,


Equipment Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +97148829361, Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +97143466558, Jack Wolfskin Mirdif City Centre Dubai, +97142840228; Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi +97124437802 Services Absolute Adventure, Dubai,



March 2013 - WWW.OUTDOORUAE.COM Ride Bike Shop, Dubai Mall, Festival City, Oasis Centre, Mirdif City Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143750231, Revolution Cycles, Shop G05, Apex Atrium, Motor City, Dubai, +97143697441, Sportz Unlimited, Sheikh Zayed Road & Jebel Ali, Dubai, + 97143388644 Tamreen Sports LLC, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126222525, www.tamreensports. com The Cycle Hub, Motor City, Dubai, +971505528872, Trikke uPT, Dubai, +971 4 508 1202, +971 55 609 6757,, info@ Trek Bicycle Store, 1a Sultan Business Centre, Oud Metha, Dubai, +97143350399, Fun Ride Sports, Rm no. 4, Mezzanine flr, C-13 bldg. Khalifa A City, Abu Dhabi, +97125566113, Peak Performance, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Dubai, +97143413056/+97143308023 Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143394453, Operator Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, +971506259165, www., Clubs Abu Dhabi Tri Club, www.abudhabitriclub. com Cycle Safe Dubai, Dubai Autodrome Dubai Roadsters, www.dubairoadsters. com


Walltopia’s ME Sales Showroom will be opening in late April ‘13. Climbers’ training memberships for Out of Working Hours bouldering, now available. Discounted ‘Early Adopter’ membership closes on 28 February ‘13. or

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, +97142894858, Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000,www. Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai, Gulf Marine Sports, Abu Dhabi, +97126710017, Premiers for Equipment, Abu Dhabi, Sh. Zayed 1st. Road, +97126665226, Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +9714 3444468 Scuba 2000, Al Bidiya Beach, Fujairah, +97192388477, Scuba Dubai, Al Barsha, Al Khail Road, Dubai, +97143414940, info@scubadubai. com Diving Centres 7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan, +97192387400,

Al Boom Diving (equipment), Dubai, Al Wasl Rd, + 97143422993, Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam, +97172682333, Al Mahara Dive Center, Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971501118125, Al Marsa Musandam, Dibba Harbour, Musandam, Oman, +968 26 836550, www.almarsamusandam. com Arabian Diver, Hilton Marine, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172226628, +971502428128 Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971506146931, Deep Blue Sea Diving, Dubai, International City, +97144308246, Divers Down, Fujairah, Rotana Al Aqah Hotel Resort & Spa, +97192370299, Emirates Divers Centre, Abu Dhabi, near Meena Fish Market, +97126432444, www. Euro-Divers Oman, Muscat, Oman, +96895035815, Extra Divers Ziggy Bay, Oman, Musandam, +96826735555, Free Diving UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Freestyle Divers, Dubai, Al Wasl & Dibba, Royal Beach Hotel, +97143944275, Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa - Al Aqah Beach, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, +97192449888, Global Scuba Dive Center, Civil Aviation Club, Oman, +96899317518, Khasab Divers, Oman, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +97192449000, Moonlight Dive Center, Madinat Qaboos, Oman, +968 99317700, Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +97150 3289642, Neptune Diving, +97150 4347902, Nomad Ocean Adventures,, +971508853238, Dibba, Oman Oman Dive Center, Muscat, Oman, +96824284240, Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +97144068828 Scuba Oman, Oman, +96899558488,

To list your company for free or to advertise, please contact us: 04 4472030


Dubai: Ibn Battuta Mirdif City Centre The Dubai Mall Abu Dhabi: Al Wahda Mall Also available at select Sun & Sand Sports stores across the GCC.

Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +97150 784 0830, Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005, The Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +97144068828 Clubs Atlantis Underwater Photography Club, Dubai, +97144263000 Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai, Emirates Diving Association, Diving Village, Al Shindagha, Dubai, +97143939390, Filipino SCUBA Divers Club (FSDC), Dubai, UAE, +971 56 6952421, Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +971507840830,

Fishing & Kayaking

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, +97142894858, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, Al Hamur Marine and Sports Equipment, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +9714 3444468 Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, Abu Dhabi, +971506146931, Blue Waters Marine, Shop 11, The Curve Bldg., Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, +97143808616/+971553899995,, www. Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +97143466558, Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, +97148829361, Leisure Marine Beach Hut, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191, Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971502898713, Operators Al Boom Diving, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, +97143422993 Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club, Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172434540, Al Mahara Dive Center, Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971501118125, Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +97126429995, Al Wasl Charter & Fishing (Al Wasl Passenger Yachts and Boats Rental LLC), Airport Road, Al Owais Building, Dubai, +97142394761, Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, +971506146931, Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, Barracuda Diving Centre, Fujairah International Marine Club, +9719222558 Belevari Marine, Abu Dhabi,+97126594144 Captain Tony’s, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, +97126507175, www. Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +97153244550, Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971558961276, +971503960202, Hiltonia Beach Club, Hilton Abu Dhabi Hotel, Abu Dhabi, +97126811900 Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Dibba Road, Fujairah, +97192449000, Nautica 1992, Dubai, +971504262415, Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126503600, Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971502898713, Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, Summertime Marine Sports, Dubai, +97142573084, Soolyman Sports Fishing, Dubai, Umm Suqeim, +971508866227, Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina, +97144327233, Clubs Abu Dhabi Camping, Fishing & Kayaking Club, Dubai Surfski & Kayak Club, Kitesurfers’ Beach, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai, +971554986280,

General Sports Equipment Distributors

800 Sport, Al Quoz, Dubai +971 4 346 7751 Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, Flip Flop Arabia, flipme@flipfloparabia. com, Global Climbing Trading LLC, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai +97148829361, Goal Zero, +971509128353, Jack Wolfskin Mirdif City Centre Dubai, +97142840228; Al Wahda Mall Abu Dhabi +97144437802 Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735, www. Sakeen General Trading, +97147094224, Tresspass, The Dubai Mall 2nd floor above ice rink, +971 4 339 8801

LLC, Dubai, +97142895069, Mirzan Equestrian Equipment, Dubai, +971 4 4472808, Equestrian Clubs/Centres Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, +97124455500, www.adec-web. com Al Ahli Riding School, Al Amman Street, Dubai-Sharjah Rd., +97142988408, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan. com Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971 44274055, Dubai Polo Academy, Dubai, +971508879847, www.dubaipoloacademy. com Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, Arabian Ranches, +97143618111, Desert Equestrian Club, Mirdif, Dubai, +971503099770, +971501978888 Desert Palm Riding School, Near Al Awir Road (going to Hatta-Oman), Dubai, +97143238010, www.desertpalm.peraquum. com Emirates Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971505587656, Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi, +97125629050, Golden Stables Equestrian Club, Al Khawaneej, Dubai, (Nouri) +971555528182, HoofbeatZ, located just inside the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, +971501810401, Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mushrif Park, Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai, +97142571256, Qudraland Community, info@qudraland. com, Rahal Ranch, Al Wathba Racing Area, Abu Dhabi, +971566127914, Riding for the Disabled, Dubai, lessons@,, Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club, Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road, +97165311188, Racecourses Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, +97124455500, www.adec-web. com Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Exit 399, Abu Dhabi/ Dubai Highway, Abu Dhabi, +97125629050, Jebel Ali Racecourse, off the main Abu Dhabi - Dubai Highway (Sheikh Zayed road) beside the Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, +97143474914 Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai,

Dubai - Tel: 04 3390621 | Dubai Auto sport 04 3388822 Abu Dhabi - Tel: 02 5588890 | Abu Dhabi - Buteen - 02 6660591 Sharjah - Tel: 06 5388066 | Ajman -Tel: 06 7410004 Al Ain - Tel: 03 7211444 | Fujairah - Tel: 09 2221188 Ras Al Khaimah - Tel: 07 2351592 +97143270000, Sharjah Racecourse, Al Dhaid Road, Sharjah, +97165311155, Equine Hospitals/Clinics Dubai Equine Hospital, behind World Trade Center, Zabeel 2, Dubai, +97143178888, Gulf Vetcare, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, +971508617590, Sharjah Equine Hospital, Bridge no. 6, Al Dhaid Road, next to Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Center, Sharjah, +97165311881, Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, next to Dubai Equestrian Hospital, Zabeel 2, Dubai, +97143375165,

Jet Ski

Dealers Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, www.masaoodmarine. com Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143419341, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, Rentals Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +971 5 3244 550, The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, +9717206000, Xventures, Dubai, +971555404500,


Horse Riding

Equipment Al Asifa Horse Equestrian & Requisites Trading, Al Khawaneej 1, Dubai, +971554733110, Black Horse LLC, Abu Dhabi, +97126422237, Cavalos Equine Care and Supplies, 16th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, +9172 2222433, Emirta Horse Requirement Centre, Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai, +9714 3437475, Horse & Carriage Equestrian Equipment


04 325 3312

Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club Opposite Arabian Ranches P.O.Box 7477, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 361 8111 Fax: +971 4 361 7111 Email:

To list your company for free or to advertise, please contact us: 04 4472030















+97143413550, Sebsports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1 Dubai, +9714 3393399, Clubs Dubai Motocross Club (DMX), Jebel Ali, Dubai, +971506950764 (Tom Wynn)

ALMOST 4x4 Off-Road Club, +971507665522, ME 4X4, JEEP Wrangler JK Fun Club, suffian., Dubai Offroaders, www.dubaioffroaders. com



Al Ain Raceway International Kart Circuit, Al Ain, +97137686662, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan. com Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, +97143678700 Emirates Motorplex, Umm Al Quwain, +97167681717 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi,









K Motocross & ATV’s

Dealers Al Badayer Rental (Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, +971507842020, Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, KTM, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 42, +9714323151, Golden Desert Motorcycles Rental (Rental), Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai, +971551532550, Polaris UAE (atv’s), Ras Al Khor, Nad al Hamar Road, Al Ghandi Complex, Dubai, +97142896100, M4, Sector 13, 10th Street, Mussafah Industrial, Abu Dhabi, +97125555144, Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road, 04-3419341, Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz, Dubai, +97143470270, Sebsports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1 Dubai, +97143393399, Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai, +97148321050, www. Equipment Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +97142959429, 2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai, +97144548388, Sandstorm Motorcycles (Rental), Al Quoz, Dubai, +97143470270, Sebsports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, +97143393399, Wild X, Dubai, Um Al Ramoul Industrial Area, +97142852200, www.


Distributors and Dealers Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143476712, Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange4, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97142822144, Polaris UAE, Al Ghandi Complex, Nad al Hamar Road, Ras Al Khor, +97142896100, Tristar Motorcycles, +97143330659, Workshops and Services 2xWheeler Adventures, Dubai, +97144548388 Dune Bike, Dubai, Al Khail Road, +97143272088, Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143476712, Gecko Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz,



Dealers 4x4 Motors LLC, Shk. Zayed Rd, Dubai, +97143384866, Bling My Truck, +971503634839/+971505548255, info@, Liberty Automobiles, Dubai, 8005423789, Repairs and Services Off Road Zone, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143392449, Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +97143382744, Saluki Motorsport, Dubai, +97143476939 Equipment Advanced Expedition Vehicles, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143307152, Bling My Truck, +971503634839/+971505548255, info@, Icon Auto Garage, Dubai, +97143382744, Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai, +97148321050, Yellow Hat, Nad Al Hamar, and Times Square Center, Dubai, +97142898060, Tour Operators Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +97142959429, Arabian Adventures, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143034888, www.arabian-adventures. com Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +97142628889, Clubs Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club,

Clubs ABRasAC, Dubai, Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Abu Dhabi, www. Mirdif Milers, Dubai, Abu Dhabi Striders,, Dubai Creek Striders

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, +97142894858, Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, Leisure Marine Beach Street, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191 Picnico 04 3941653 Jumeirah Beach Road Opposite Sunset Mall, Dubai Pearl Water Crafts, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, +971553749398, Surf Dubai, Dubai, Umm Suqeim, +971505043020, Surf Shop Arabia, Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +97143791998, UAE Kite Surfing, +971505626383, www. Distributors Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735, Kitepeople Kite & Surf Store, International City, Dubai, +971504559098, Operators Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan. com Dubai Kite Surf School, Dubai, Umm Suqeim Beach, +971 504965107, Duco Maritime, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi, +971508703427, Dukite, Kitesurf Beach, Umm Suqeim, Dubai,+971507586992, Kite Fly, Dubai, +971502547440, Kitepro Abu Dhabi, Yas Island and Al Dabbayyah, Abu Dhabi, +971505441494,, Abu Dhabi, +971508133134, Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415, Shamal Kite Surfing, Umm Suqueim Beach – Dubai, +971507689226,, www. Sky & Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005, Surf School UAE, Umm Suqeim Beach and Building 1, Al Manara Road (East), Interchange 3, Dubai, +971556010997, Watercooled, Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa, Dubai, +97148876771, Clubs Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle,,

ZSI TRADING LLC Exclusive distributor for Marmot Available at Adventure HQ (Time Square Centre), GoSports (Mall of the Emirates) and SnowPro, SKIDubai (Mall of the Emirates) Aquaventure Atlantis, Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, +97144260000, Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Quwain, Emirates Road, +97167681888, Wadi Adventure, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, +97137818422, Wild Wadi Water Park, Dubai, +97143484444,

Other leisure activities

Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, + 97125588990, Al Tamimi Stables, Sharjah, +9716743 1122, +97144370505, www.tamimistables. com Blokart Sailing, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, +971556101841, Dolphin Bay Atlantis Dubai, +97144260000, Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai, Creek Park Gate No. 1, +97143369773, iFly Dubai, Dubai, Mirdif City Centre, +97142316292, Sadiyaat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, +97125578000, Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah, +97143999005, SkiDubai, Dubai, Mall of The Emirates, +97144094000, Spacewalk Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, +97124463653,

Health, Safety & Training

Safety Lessons Marine Concept Yacht Charter & Sea School, Rania Business Centre, Dubai, +971559603030, Safety & Leisure Training Middle East, Dusseldorf Business Point, Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +97144502418, Sport and Health Centres The Physio Center, Suite 405, Building 49, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, +97144370570, Orthosports, 5B Street, Jumeira Beach road, Dubai, +971 4 355060, www.orthosp. com


Water Parks

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A new level of flexibility

The new modular Mercury from Point 65 Kayaks Sweden is a rigid high-performance light touring kayak that you can carry with a smile on your face and transport in the trunk of your car. Go Solo, Go Tandem, Go Triple! The Mercury snaps apart and re-assembles in seconds. Snap in the mid-section and your Solo transforms into a performance Tandem kayak. Add another mid-section and it’s a Triple! The Mercury also features a completely new rudder system including a deployable skeg, all of which is integrated into the hull design, making it extremely easy and quick to maneuver.

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Abu Dhabi: (near Mafraq Hospital)


The Dubai Mall, Level 2 Fashion Catwalk Tel: +971 4 325 3595 Email:

Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Level 1 Next to the Cinemas Tel: +971 2 586 8240 email:

City Centre Doha 2nd Floor Tel: +974 4463 1644 email:

OutdoorUAE March 2013  
OutdoorUAE March 2013  

OutdoorUAE February 2013