Local and international riders competed in the sixth round of the 2018 UAE Aquabike Championship at Mercato Beach.
Competitors from Britain, France, Hungary, Denmark, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Sweden, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco and the UAE competed in the competition which was organised by DIMC.
Among those to win were Kevin Reiterer of Austria who came out on top in the Ski Division GP1. He edged Steven Dolliac of France while his compatriot Maurin Raphael finished third.
There was something to celebrate for the UAE in the Runabout GP3. Khalid Al Mazmi won the event, ahead of Mani’e Al Marzouqi with Amer Hawair in third position.
More success continued for the hosts in the Ski Division. UAE’s Sultan Eisa Al Hamadi did just enough to hold off Kuwait’s Nawaf Al Farhan. His Kuwaiti team-mate Salem Ayman Al Mutawa sealed third position.
Dubai Dragons go into Friday’s AFL Middle East Grand Final bidding to capture a sixth title in seven years when they face the Multiplex Bulls at the Sevens Stadium.
This is a repeat of last year’s decider which Dragons won in a very tight match, but Bulls have grown in confidence and look a more composed outfit since their maiden season in 2015.
The teams have met twice this season, with the Dragons prevailing on both occasions, but both were in tight contests with the defending champions winning by a combined margin of only 29 points.
And if the Dragons can attain the same level of dominance around the middle this weekend, they will be hard to handle.
With Nick Kissane, Spencer Whitaker and Travis Hayward pulling the strings from defence to midfield, they have the opportunity to unleash the significant qualities of Ryan Perkins in attack.
Dragons coach Rich Wharton is relishing the prospect of clinching a record-breaking fourth successive title, telling Sport360: “We’re super excited and know that it’s going to be a very tough game.
“We’re confident that if we play with the intensity and teamwork that we’ve shown all year, we’ll be a very good chance.
“We’ve enjoyed the rivalry we’ve built with the Bulls and it seems to get bigger and bigger each year.
He added: “Make no mistake, we know the Bulls will be throwing everything they’ve got at us and whichever way it goes it’s going to be a brutal contest.”
This should be an enthralling, tight game, with Nathan Holly’s Bulls sure to be resilient.
In many ways they have looked a more effective team since losing against their rivals in round two and five, hammering Abu Dhabi Falcons and Dubai Dingoes by a staggering combined 140 points in their past two fixtures.
In George Rahhal, Nick Burchell, Jack Egan and Ted Stobart, Bulls have key men who pose a threat with and without the ball.
“Following the round five loss to the Dragons we’ve had 20 plus players to every training session which is encouraging in itself,” said captain and coach Holly.
“Then to go on and play the way we did in the final round of the season against the Dingoes really showed how much this group of guys want it this year.”
“With nothing to lose this year I expect to see the guys play with more confidence and convert the chances that we’ve missed in prior grand finals.
“With the rivalry as strong as ever, we expect a highly skilful game that the supporters from both sides will enjoy.”
Fadi Hachicho was a successful advertising professional from Lebanon, who had steady employment and a stable lifestyle that every expat in UAE aspires to.
So, when Fadi decided to quit the 9-to-5 grind in 2015 to pursue his passion – or rather obsession with the outdoors to become a mountaineer, not only did he raise many eyebrows but had to prove the viability of his choices to himself as well.
To escape the drudgery of his work environment, the 32-year-old was heavily involved with lots of outdoor activity groups but they did little in satisfying his wanderlust and eventually got him to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, which was the turning point in his life that strengthened his resolve to pursue mountaineering as a full-time profession.
“Kilimanjaro is the mountain that changed the whole formula of my life. I knew it was going to be a challenge and I needed all the mental support to push for my family and myself to prove to myself that this was the right thing to do. Kilimanjaro, for me, was the metaphor of what I was going to face in the near future should I choose to quit my job,” he said.
“I am the happiest when I am outdoors and I was really unsettled when I was behind the desk. I was heavily involved in other outdoor activities and jumped around the Hajar mountains in the region, but they were nothing compared to climbing a high-altitude mountain, like Kilimanjaro,” Fadi Hachicho told Sport360.
Extricating himself from the corporate sphere was a daunting task, but not nearly as unnerving as presenting a valid explanation to his family for his drastic career change.
“I knew changing my career path was going to be a big challenge, mentally, physically, and emotionally. You know after spending money and time on education and university, you can’t just turn around to your parents and say that you have decided to become a mountain guide.”
Despite the many hurdles, Fadi found comfort and support from his then-employers, who pushed him to give mountain climbing a shot and come back to his regular job, if it didn’t work out.
Fadi underwent rigorously training for Kilimanjaro to build up his endurance, but even multiple rounds of stairclimbing could not prepare them for the rough weather and the terrain.
After many difficulties, Fadi successfully climbed Kilimanjaro and decided to obtain the necessary certifications to finally start his own adventure company called Adventurati Outdoor.
“In August, I signed my resignation and was on my way to Alaska, where I signed up for an outdoor leadership school. I spent two months there in the wilderness backpacking and we had to carry almost 45 kilos on your back to get certified as a mountaineer, rock climber, and ice climber. And that was the birth of Adventurati,” said Fadi.
From there on, Fadi embarked on this life changing journey that allowed him to explore the natural beauty of the world and also made him realise how a person’s true nature bares itself when they are left to their own devices on the terrain.
“The beauty about the mountains is that you can’t fake it. When you’re out there out of your comfort zone, there is no mask – you are who you are. You want to cry, you cry. You want to laugh, you laugh. You want to be angry, you will be angry. It’s not like the city, where you can hide behind your possessions and your title in the mountain, it’s just you.”
Adventurati Outdoor offers tailor-made tours & treks for all group sizes. They cater and customise trips for individual travelers, families, groups, corporate clients and school adventure escapes.