Sheikhs category attracts record number of 110 entries in Gyr Peregines male and female categories
DUBAI, 13th December 2016: A high standard of competition was witnessed on the first day of the National Day Falconry Championship (Furoukh category) organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) on Monday 12th December.
The Sheikhs began the third edition of the Furoukh (younger falcons) Championship letting their birds out to race in the Gyr Peregines male and female categories as the first Fazza Falconry competition for the season 2016/17 got under way amid windy conditions attracting a record number of 110 entries.
The competition will continue until Saturday 17th December at the Fazza Falconry Championship area Ruwayyah in Dubai off Emirates Road.
The falcons of Team F3 recorded the best timings in both categories setting the pace throughout the morning.
Team F3’s top female entry clocked the fastest time of the day of 19.605 seconds racing over a distance of 400 meters. The next best times among the top five were 19.853 (F3), 20.006 (Al Dhafra Falcons), 20.031 (F3) and 20.274 (F3).
The best male falcon representing Team F3 clocked 19.701 with the top 10 in each category qualifying for the final round on Saturday.
Falcons of Team F3 also recorded times of 20.116, 20.408, 20.434, 20.621 and 20.769 while an MRM entry clocked 21.011.
Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, welcomed the participants and commended the high level of competition.
“The teams are very strong and highly professional because the first two days of competition are for the Sheikhs category,” she said.
“The Championship is developing every year and looks totally different because HHC seeks to upgrade and adopt innovative methods to promote heritage sports. Falconry is a traditional sport and the aim is to attract the younger segment of society with state-of-the-art modern technology to keep alive a very special and unique sport,” said Suad Ibrahim.
“The Fazza Championships always surprises us with something new each year in terms of participants and organization. The facilities have improved every time making it the right place to meet and practice our hobby,” said Suhail Saeed Al Kindi, supporter of Team F3 since the beginning of the Championships.
“The guests who are also participating are impressed with what they see. When the Championship started three years ago, there were very few facing falcons. Today, each team has 30 or 40 well trained birds for every season,” said Suhail who is keeping alive this heritage sport by passing it onto the next generation.
“I train my children, nephews and cousin’s children, one of whom won the Junior category last year,” he added.
Suwaidan bin Dumaithan, head of the National Day Falconry Championship, was pleased the standard of competition.
“This year the participants are very professional in adhering to time schedules, etc, making it easy for the organizers. The quality of racing falcons is also very high. Racing was not affected by the strong winds because we had shielded the track with the birds flying low to gain maximum speed,” he said.
“We started with the two days of competitions for Sheikhs because they have some of the best falcons,” he added.
Race Falcons owner from Austria Martin was a keen spectator of the National Day Falconry Championship on his first visit to Dubai.
“I have friends here and know Falconry is a popular sport. Back home falcons are used only for hunting not for races. Maybe it will change in future,” he said.
Emirati falconry fan Ahmed Sultan from Dubai was also impressed with the level of participation and high standard of this year’s competition.
“The competition is very strong. Falcons are very much ready for racing. In the Sheikhs category the competition is very much stronger because they have some of the best falcons in the world racing against each other. The difference is very minimal between Team F3, MRM Falcons, Al Dhafra Falcons and Team YLS,” he said.
The official sponsors of heritage events organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Center are Al Tayer Motors, Land Rover, Dubai Airports, Dubai World Trade Center, AW Rostamani (Arabian Automobiles), Global Village and Al Oula Radio.