[Dubai – United Arab Emirates, January 14, 2016] – Organisers of the Fazza Championship for Falconry Telwah insist the competition is set to go from strength to strength, with greater participation, better technology and international exposure all on the agenda for future editions.


The year’s championship, which is organised and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), saw record numbers in attendance as the contentious decision to half the falconers’ release time – from two minutes to one – reaped rewards.


Having hit the heights in the Al Ruwayyah area of Dubai here too, there is apparently a desire to spread some seriously strong wings and take flight towards an altogether different location on the global map.


Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, commented: “Our ambition is to take this championship into the international arena and to stage it in other countries around the world. It should be international. This is the main thing we aspire to do in the future.”


Mohammed Abdullah bin Dalmook, Director of Corporate Support at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, meanwhile believes enhancing the administrative and timing systems still further will significantly benefit the tournament by improving the falconers’ competitive experience.


Bin Dalmook said: “We are successful because we focus on the falconers and the falcons: How we can help them? How we can improve things? How we can make them compete? We want higher participation numbers and faster times; we always want 17 or 18 seconds. I’m confident not only about the current system as things stand, but that we will be using better sensors that will even improve our set-up. You cannot stay as is.”


He added: “We had 400 participants in one day and we just managed to finish the race five minutes before sunset. It was a lot of pressure, but I believe we can still accommodate 100 more entrants. If we have 500 falcons in one day, I firmly believe my team and I will be able to manage it.”


The 2015-16 event concluded on Wednesday (Yesterday) with the Airplane Championship final for the general public.


Mustafa Buhumaid seemed set to triumph with a winning time of 1:15.621s with only one falcon yet to fly, yet Rashid bin Mejren piloted that contender round the cone and across the finish line in 1:15.349 to ultimately pip Buhumaid right at the death by 0.272s.


Rashid bin Mejren commented: “It feels superb to have won. There’s no better feeling, especially being the pilot. She was the last bird to fly and all of the pressure was on me, especially with it being my brother’s (Hamad’s) bird and I’m the pilot, so I’m taking 90 per cent of the responsibility. The amazing thing about this bird is that she’s still young. All of the other birds are adults. It’s very difficult to get a young bird to perform as well as this one has done here. It’s amazing. It’s a good sign for the future. This bird will be unbeatable in the coming years. I’m sure of that.”


Rashid’s brother Hamad, who is the bird’s falconer and owner, added: “This is the first time that a young falcon has beaten all of the adults. It’s never happened before. I sure am happy. I will be entering this bird for the next (Telwah) competition. This female’s sister won in Telwah on Tuesday, so that means that these falcons are from a good family.”