Organisers of the Senyar Championship pearl-diving and fishing competition organised by the Cultural Village Foundation-Katara announced the names of those granted leadership (Serdal) titles for the upcoming edition, set to kick off on 13 April.

The organisers announced that winners of Senyar 2016 will act as mentors throughout Senyar Championship 2017, and will also guide the traditional dhows to the competition area. Mohamed Jawher Al Sulaiti was granted the title of ‘Lead Fisherman’ as he won first place in the hand-line fishing (Haddaq) competition last year, while Abdulah Jassim Al Tamimi was granted the title of ‘Pearl-Diving Leader’ as he was awarded the first position in the pearl-diving competition in the previous championship.

The festival, which is on its sixth edition, stems from Katara’s efforts to preserve Qatari culture and heritage, by promoting craftsmen, traders and practitioners of activities unique to the region and providing a platform to display their skills.

In an official statement, the organising committee of Senyar Championship said that appointing leaders is an initiative that seeks to preserve Qatari culture and to revive the heritage of their ancestors. The title of ‘Lead Fisherman’ originates from Qatar’s maritime heritage.

Throughout the championship, the Lead Fisherman is responsible for major duties such as leading the opening and closing routes of the championship, checking the weather forecast throughout the event, predicting heavy wind storms and choosing ideal locations for pearl-diving or fishing. Furthermore, the leaders from each category will have the honour of signalling the start of each competition, and will distribute awards to first winners. These leaders are renowned for their proficiency in technical skills and maritime experience.

The Media and Communications Manager of the championship, Mohamed Al Sada said that the festival attracted over 1,100 participants, having 962 participants placed in 74 teams for the hand-line fishing competition, and 143 participants grouped in 11 teams for the pearl-diving competition.

Deadline for participating traditional dhows to enter Katara’s beach for the championship is 11 April. Prior to the competition, each participating dhow will be tested and checked for sea-worthiness to ensure that safety measures such as first-aid kits, life jackets and fire extinguishers, are on board.

The organisers also assigned the conference room in building 15 at the Cultural Village as logistics hub for all participants, to conduct meetings and make announcements related to the championship. The first meeting is scheduled to take place on the 4 April at 6 pm.

The organising committee have reminded all participating teams that they need to strictly follow the terms and conditions of the championship. Failure to do so may result in the team being disqualified from the competition.

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