Dubai, February 13 2016 – The Fazza Championship for Falconry Telwah series concluded on Thursday (February 12th) with the climactic Al Nukhba (‘Super Finals’) showdown, where two Bin Mejren brothers – Hamdan and Rashid – seized first places.
The Nukhba represented a fitting finale following three falcon racing tournaments, which were organized and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), with the very best birds from those respective contests facing off against each other here in the Al Ruwayyah area of Dubai to determine the paciest ‘Farkh’ and ‘Jernaas’ operators in the entire country.
This year’s event saw the Super Finals (‘Al Nukhba’) held at the very end of this three-tournament series for the first time ever as they had previously been staged after every competition in the past. That tweaking, in turn, meant that the first, second and third falcons from each category across the prior three contests faced off against each other in these two Super Finals, with it being an inaugural occasion this year too for there to be six winners (First, Second & Third x 2) as opposed to just two (First & First).
His Excellency Abdullah Bin Dalmook, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), was in attendance on the day itself and he fittingly presented the awards at the prize ceremony to all of the winners from the three events of the Fazza Championships for Falconry season.
The Nukhba event preceded the Airplane Championship finals of the Fakhr Al Ajyal (‘The Pride of the Generation’) Championship for Falconry Telwah some 24 hours later, when pilots of remote control planes were tasked with guiding their falcons out to a big orange cone in the distance and back again in the quickest possible time.
The Director of Championships at HHC, Souad Ibrahim Darwish, said: “We’ve seen 11 new championship records set across the tournament series and we’re very happy to report an encouraging and positive increase in the number of UAE falconers and participants from the GCC region this year. Having made some changes in relation to the frequency and timing of the Al Nukhba, we believe the switch has been very beneficial and highly motivating for all of the falconers. It brought added value to the Fazza Championship for Falconry Telwah and allowed the competitors to showcase their undoubted potential.”
There is plenty of potential in UAE falcon racing as it is judging by the ‘Farkh’ and ‘Jernaas’ Super Finals, where Rashid Bin Mejren won the former category by just 0.013s with a time of 18.035s.
His brother, Hamdan, came third in that particular contest, but he then clocked 17.400s in the latter classification (‘Jernaas’) to climb two more steps on the podium and prevail outright.
Mohammed Al Falasi split Rashid and Hamdan in the ‘Farkh’ Super Final to snare the silver medal, whereas Hamdan Saeed Jaber (Second) and Khalifa Bin Mejren (Third) finished behind Hamdan in the ‘Jernaas’ equivalent.
“This is the first time I’ve won the Super Final and I feel over the moon,” Rashid admitted. “All of the hard work paid off today (Thursday) big time. I’ve been working hard from the middle of August, with training sessions twice a day – one in the early morning and the other just before sunset for six months. You are competing against the top three in every category and the best birds in the country, so it was really tight. When you look at the results, it was just a fraction of a second that determined whether you finished in first, second, third or even fifth, so I was a bit lucky.”
Rashid’s equally as successful sibling Hamdan commented: “I’m happy and excited. The birds that were racing today (Thursday) are the very best. You couldn’t feel safe in the notion that you were winning at any stage because any falcon could have bettered your time, but this bird is excellent. He has been a winner on several occasions, including similar races earlier this year.”
Hamdan added: “Rashid is my brother and – at the same time – we’re one team. When he wins, I feel 100 per cent the same as him. There’s not even a one per cent difference. I’m as happy as I would have been if it were my bird that had won.”
Meanwhile, the final of the Airplane Championship for Sheikhs and the general public took place in the Al Ruwayyah area of Dubai on Friday morning, when 20 of the fastest and finest falcons and pilots were gunning for glory and those much-prized podium positions.
Pilot Khalifa Bin Mejren broke new ground in the Sheikhs category by profiting from an advantageous tailwind to set a new all-time record of 1:11.642s with a falcon that averaged 100.5kmph in flight. He asserted his dominance in this classification too with another lockout of the top five positions, with that quintet of birds the only ones to dip under 1:14s in the Sheikhs’ standings overall.
Falconer Hamad Al Kindi would have been confident of success in the general public classification after one of his birds clocked 1:14.735s in the penultimate flight of 10 to take a late lead. However, Hamdan Saeed Jaber saved the very best until last, with his falcon flying round in 1:13.375s to snatch a last-gasp triumph and spark joyous scenes of celebration.