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Abu Dhabi boosts watersports credentials with Cowes deal

Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a world-class watersports destination will be on full parade at the biggest gathering of global sailing fans this summer, with the emirate signing on as ‘Official Destination Partner’ to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the world’s pre-eminent sailing festival.

The annual festival will take place in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, England from August 2nd-9th 2014.

During Cowes Week, Abu Dhabi will go all out to promote its own hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet from mid-December this year to January 3rd and its extensive winter watersports offering while its Volvo Ocean Race contender, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will be in contention in one of the festival’s highlight events - the Artemis Challenge.

“Our Cowes Week plans include the official launch of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s new ‘Azzam’ Volvo Ocean 65 yacht, mounting a special tented Abu Dhabi exhibition in the heart of Cowes Yacht Haven where regatta goers can sample Arabian hospitality and culture including henna painting, calligraphy and falconry, the staging of a host of consumer competitions and being present in key media surrounding the event,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, director, events bureau, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, which is behind the emirate’s Volvo Ocean Race campaign.

Azzam’s ‘official launch’ will take place on a special prime-position mooring at Trinity Landing on Cowes Parade on Wednesday August 6th.

The next day, Azzam skipper Ian Walker will lead his ADOR crew in a bid to take honours in the Artemis Challenge Race around the Isle of Wight.

“This race regularly attracts some of the biggest names in offshore sailing,” explained Al Sheikh.

“It is a face-off between seriously fast boats, sailing legends and celebrities and will be a great training test for Azzam and ADOR while ensuring that Abu Dhabi is top of mind among the international sailing community.”
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week combines a great mix of competitive sailing with a vibrant social scene.

The event stages up to 40 daily races for upwards of 800 boats and is the world’s largest regatta of its kind. 

The 8,000 competitors range from Olympic and world class professionals to weekend sailors.

Over 100,000 visitors come to watch the sailing, enjoy the parties and live entertainment, and to experience the unique atmosphere.