AL AIN WATER THE LIFE BLOOD HELPING DESERT CHALLENGE FIGHT RISK OF DEHYDRATION
Ben Sulayem: Keeping competitors, volunteers hydrated a major priority as World Cup rally takes on the Rub Al Khali
is one of the biggest threats to competitors in extreme motor sport events run
in high temperatures, but thanks to research carried out in the UAE the risks
will be greatly reduced in next month’s / week’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
POWERED BY Nissan.
Taking place under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh
Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western region,
the 26th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the second round of this year’s FIA
World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and the opening round of the FIM
Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes.
Ensuring drivers, riders and marshals have ample
water supplies is again a top priority presenting another logistical test for
the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE when the 26th edition of
the event embarks on a dramatic passage into the Rub Al Khali.
For an 11th year the event’s life blood
will be provided by Al Ain Mineral Water, one of UAE's largest bottled drinking
water manufacturers and a name now as synonymous with the Desert Challenge as the
Nissan Patrols used to carve out the route each year.
carried out here in the UAE showed that competitors and volunteers working in
high temperatures can face a very serious risk of dehydration,” said ATCUAE
President and EMSF President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“Dehydration affects physical and mental
performance, and even at low levels can lead to severe physiological
consequences. Side effects include poor concentration, co-ordination and
reaction time which can lead to accidents for competitors. Keeping competitors, volunteers hydrated is a
major priority as World Cup rally takes on the Rub Al Khali” added Ben Sulayem
“For this reason we’re very happy to have Al Ain
Water on board again to make sure we keep everyone properly hydrated in the desert,
which is not an easy thing to do. It’s vitally important to have enough water
readily available to protect competitors, and our marshals working out in the
desert for hours on end, from the threat of heat stress and exhaustion.”
Findings from the research conducted by the ATCUAE
in 2012 in conjunction with the University of Ulster, one of the UK’s top
learning and research institutes, is now helping motor sport organisers around
the world to combat the threat of dehydration.
Challenge water stations will be set up across the five demanding competitive
sections running through the Rub Al Khali following the super special spectator
stage which launches the event at the Al Forsan Off-Road Race of Champions
Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Saturday 2 April.
Each day, competitors and marshals will head off
into the desert each day equipped with plentiful supplies while the rally
bivouac, close to the Qasr Al Sarab Resort, is a virtual oasis thanks to
extensive supplies of Al Ain Water,
At the end of the long, arduous desert stages
competitors will be able to unwind and rehydrate inside the Al Ain Lounge, an
air-conditioned dedicated relaxation area.
However, the nature of cross country rallying means
that some Desert Challenge competitors will require treatment, and a 20-strong
team of doctors and trauma specialists led by Dr. Sean Petherbridge, the
ATCUAE’s Chief Medical Officer, will be based at the bivouac.
The Nissan Patrol, the “Hero of All terrain in
Life”, is positioned for the 13th year as the official vehicle of the event. The
line-up of strategic sponsors and partners includes the Ruler’s Court in the
Western Region, Western Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Municipality, the UAE
Army, Abu Dhabi Police, National Ambulance Service, Nissan, Yas Marina Circuit,
ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Tadweer (The Center of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi),
Rotana and Centro Hotels - Yas Island, Qasr Al Sarab Resort, and DP World.