Thrilling spectacle of man, machine and falcons coordinating to perfection
DUBAI, 3rd January 2017: The Fazza Championship for Falconry Tilwah organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) kicked off in Dubai with the qualifying round of RC (Remote Controlled) Airplane in the Sheikhs category on Monday 2nd January.
The largest and most popular among the series of falconry championships, the Fazza Championship for Falconry – Tilwah, will continue until 12th January in the dedicated site in Ruwayyah area with the participation of elite contenders in various categories and groups.
Despite foggy conditions overhead on Monday morning, the falcons glided low and fast following remote controlled planes to produce impressive times.
MRM Falcon and Team F3 clocked the best timings from among 25 entries in the RC Airplanes Sheikhs category with the top 10 qualifying for the finals.
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, was happy with the successful launch and smooth functioning of the largest tournament of its kind in the Falconry Championships.
“HHC wants to ensure that falconers can focus on the competition by having an experienced team of officials handling everything from the registration process to monitoring the results. The local organizing committee has plenty of experience in the sport of falconry and a high standard of competition could be expected during the championship,” she said.
Covering a total distance of two kilometers with a turn around after 1,000 meters, RC Airplane event is not merely a race against time but a fascinating spectacle of co-ordination between man, machine and falcons.
“The Remote Controlled Airplane category is the most difficult of the competition because the falcons must be strong to keep pace with the power of machines. Planes were used to train falcons for racing for a long time. Due to its popularity, in 2010 we started a competition with remote controlled planes, an event which is unique to the Gulf region for the past six years,” said Dumaithan bin Swaidan, Head of the Fazza Championships - Tilwah Committee.
Fazza Championship for Falconry – Tilwah will continue until 12th January with the RC Airplane Finals for both the Sheikhs and General Public category taking place on 11th January.
Butti Al Ketbi and Mohammed Sultan Matar Markhan of MRM Falcon combined to see their falcon clock the fastest time of the day of 1:16: 496 minutes.
“We are happy with the timings. It is just the qualifying round. Our falcons can definitely improve their pace for the finals,” said MRM Falcon trainer Saeed Naseeb Al Ketbi who said they had trained at the competition venue for 10 days prior to the event.
“The speed of airplane is controlled by remote control by the trainer who knows the power of the falcon who needs endurance to race 1,000 meters one way and back again to the finish line. It is very difficult and requires lot of training. It all depends on the skill of pilot and quality of falcon,” he said.
Team F3 led by Khalifa bin Mujrin not to be outdone produced the next best time of 1:17: 535.
“The performance was good. Better than I expect actually. My bird is not ready 100 per cent. But hopefully in the finals it will be ready,” said Hamdan bin Mujrin of Team F3 after two of his birds qualified for the final round.
He said their performance was not affected by conditions.
“This bird has been training for a month now because this is a two years old bird.
Two of three qualified. The RC Airplane category is very difficult because stamina of bird should be 100 per cent. Although it is like a marathon, actually racing for a distance of two kilometers is not much. Birds can fly much more than but to get the full speed in two kilometres is a little bit difficult,” he said adding performance also on the pilot of the remote controlled plane.
MRM’s Falcon also notched the third best time of 1:18: 113.
The honours were evenly shared between MRM Falcon and Team F3 who had four finalists each qualifying for the final round while Team YLS filled the other two spots.
There are about 12 judges on the field of the course to monitor the flight of both the airplane and falcon during the competition including at the start and finish lines.
“There are judges right from the entry gate and sensors along the course to ensure that the Smart ring of the racing falcon is detected properly. They also make sure there are no violations by both machine and bird especially when they turn around at the halfway mark,” said Abdel Aziz Al Ali, one of the judges in the RC Airplanes category.
“This is how they used to train falcons for Tilwah Championships so that durability of falcons would be longer and their speed faster. As a result, it was decided to have a RC Airplane competition since 2010,” he explained.
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.