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Al Gaffal Modern Sailing Yacht Challenge: AEOLOS P30 first ship home.

Updated: Jul 24, 2022

In 2014, Hans had the opportunity to take part in the legendary Al Gaffal Race on a 60' dhow , which was the first visit in the UAE for Hans. (feel free to read the full story here >>). This year, the organisers of the Al Gaffal Race: Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) invited the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) to take part in a historic and unique sailing challenge. For the first time, modern sailing yachts were invited to sail a race the next day, largely following the route of traditional dhows.

So Hans asked Dmitry to join this regatta for a first two-handed test and to be part of this first AL GAFFAL race for modern sail boats in the 32 years of race history.

Dmitry and Hans on the way to Moon Island.

That was a choppy beat to Moon Island.

Handicap: The diver did not cleaned the hull properly.

Anchoring in the bay of Moon Island, a man-made island 30 miles off Dubai in the Persian Gulf.

Rising the anchor.

The race started on Sunday morning in light air, later the wind picked up to 16 knots.

A little bit more wind after one hour grilled in the burning sun.

The AP30 works perfectly in two-handed mode. The second boat, a J11s, far behind.

Finish at 14:22 and 42 degrees of heat near to the Burj Al Arab.

The AEOLOS P30 won line honours – despite the poor condition of the underwater hull.

Hans Genthe about this double hand experience: "I like sleeping in the tubular bunks, not only during the race but also in the harbour. Sailing an ultra-light boat like this is like riding a wild horse. It moves up and down quickly, I'm glad that the offshore toilet and bunks are perfectly placed at the turning punt. The AP30 is not a touring boat, it's purely a racing boat, but it offers maximum opportunities to rest and re-energise while sailing."

The Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) about the race:

A highlight of Dubai's event calendar, the Al Gaffal Dhow Race is a long-distance Traditional Dhow sailing competition that takes place in the spring in Dubai. The Dhows follow a historical route, starting at Sir Bu Nair Island, to a mandatory checkpoint at Moon Island, before turning southeast to the finish line at the Burj Al Arab hotel. This happens to be the same route taken by pearl divers returning from long trips at sea. The term Al Gaffal translates from Arabic as 'the return'.

The Dhows are very quick in light winds so to give a fair chance the modern sailing yachts have been invited to start at Moon Island whilst the Dhows start at Sir Bu Nair Island. The Dhows will pass by a gate at moon then on to finish near the Burj Al Arab. The modern yachts will sail from Moon Island to the same finish line location near to the Burj Al Arab. As the two types of craft have very different navigational capabilities and the Race organisers wish to take the precaution to keep the traditional and modern sailing events separate.

If conditions at Moon Island are better than Sir Bu Nair Island the OA will start the modern sailing yacht challenge from Moon Island at the earliest opportunity as it is intended, this event be completed by Saturday afternoon.

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