Dubai-based Egyptian triathlete Omar Nour has completed an epic 48-hour indoor row in preparation for his Atlantic Row challenge later this year.
Nour, who will embark on a 5,000 kilometre row across the Atlantic Ocean with adventurer Omar Samra in December, revved up his fitness preparations with a testing workout at Warehouse Gym in Al Quoz.
The 38-year-old began the rowing machine endurance effort last Thursday (at 14:00 on July 27) and finished up on Saturday afternoon (July 29) – completing around 315km, a distance that equates to roughly 6.3 per cent of the overall total he and his partner will have to conquer doing the real thing.
Chalk markings were made on the gym floor surrounding Nour and his rowing machine to mimic the size of the vessel Team 02 will use in the challenge – which is approximately 7.5m long x 1.8m wide, and built of wood, fibre glass, carbon fibre and Kevlar.
Indeed, he wasn’t allowed to go beyond these parameters during the row and up until two months ago, had not rowed for longer than 10 minutes.
“This has helped me immensely in my preparation. I knew I was doing this for 48 hours and not 40 days – the anticipated time the challenge could take –and I underestimated the pacing at the start,” the world’s fastest Arabic-speaking triathlete, who has put on 15kg of muscle through his intense training regime, told Sport360.
“It taught me it’s not just about the rowing, but about the recovery and how quickly you get your chores done on the boat, as well as trying to get as much sleep as possible, hydrate and eat the right things.”
On Sunday, Nour travels to Egypt to meet up with Samra and they plan to train together on the River Nile.
It’s there where they will work alongside each other for the first time on the water before the Egyptian duo head to the UK for further testing and course work.
He added: “It doesn’t matter how hard you can row, you can’t fight the elements and nature – so you have to understand it and use it to your advantage, so that’s the next step for us and to continue the hard work we’re doing physically.”
Team Abu Dhabi begins its challenge for honours in the UIM F2 World Championship at the Lithuanian Grand Prix on Kaunas Reservoir this weekend.
Rashed Al-Qemzi and Mohammed Al-Mehairbi will race two DAC boats against some of Europe’s most talented drivers in the first round of this year’s racing series.
It’s been over a month since the team operating out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) was in action at the 24 Hours of Rouen endurance race in northern France, narrowly missing out on a podium finish.
But Al-Qemzi and Al-Mehairbi are confident that they can build upon the experience they gained in a maiden season of Formula Two racing in 2016.
“Rouen this year failed to deliver the result we had anticipated, but one of our boats recovered well after earlier delays to finish fourth in its class and I am confident that we can surprise this year in F2,” said Salem Al-Remeithi, general manager of ADIMSC. “The field for these races is very strong and it’s great experience for our drivers to be racing at new venues against some of the best in the business.”
In 2016, Al-Qemzi took part in five of the seven rounds of the series and finished ninth in the points’ standings, his best result being a fine second place at Macon in France.
Sweden’s Pierre Lundin dominated last year’s championship, eventually claimed four victories and won the title by 40 points from fellow countryman Erik Edin.
Swimming is a wonderful way to exercise and have fun in the hot summer months, so there’s no reason not to learn or improve your skills.
But it’s not just children who can learn at Absolute Swimming Academy, which has over 1,200 kids in its Learn to Swim programme. The Academy is also calling on adults who aren’t comfortable in the water to learn the vital skill.
Emma Hutchinson, director of Learn to Swim at Absolute Swimming Academy, believes there’s more to swimming than just enjoying pools or beaches.
“Out of all the people who spend their time like this, I believe a large number of them are adults who cannot swim,” said Hutchinson.
“The reasons for not knowing how to swim varies from bad experiences to not having the luxury to access pools regularly.
“Something we all need to know is that it is possible and it is never too late to learn.
“Parents often want their children to flourish in activities they were never able to do, but sometimes let their fears take over and their children then miss out. Swimming and water safety is an important asset and an amazing life skill to own, and you are not alone in wanting to learn. Swimming is a great way to exercise and has many health benefits that follow.”
Taghred Chandab, a 40-year-old Australian mother of four, recently learned to swim through her lessons with Absolute Swimming Academy in March.
Chandab’s desire to swim was part of her ‘40 before 40’ challenge for things she wanted to tackle before turning 40 years of age. The challenge captured the attention of Virgin Radio host Kris Fade, who aired Chandab’s story on his show.
“When you grow up in Australia you just know how to swim,” Fade said. “You don’t get taught, you just know how to swim,” he said. “Moving here to the UAE it was surprising to me to realise that there were people over the age of 21 who don’t know how to swim.”
The Kris Fade Show then joined up with Absolute Swimming Academy to recently organise a swimming lesson for some of the show’s listeners at Le Meridien Hotel in Garhoud. Two-time Olympian and dual European swimming champion Velimir Stjepanovic was also on hand to support the swimmers and encourage them to face their fears in the water.
Absolute Swimming Academy are hoping even more adults can learn the essential skill and it’s never to late to learn through their Learn to Swim programme.
WHAT: Absolute Swimming Academy’s Learn to Swim programme
WHERE: Venues across Dubai
WHEN: Offered throughout
CONTACT: Email [email protected]@.com