Times of Oman
Sailing: Almouj school emerge overall winners at Oman Sail Ranking Race
November 15, 2017 | 4:30 PM
by Times News Service
Winners in the Optimist class celebrate on the podium. Photo - Supplied
 
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Muscat: Young Omani sailors celebrated the National Day by taking part in the final Oman Sail Ranking Race event of 2017 in ideal conditions at Al Musannah Sailing School last weekend across three competitive fleets: Optimist, Laser and Windsurfing.

Part of the ongoing Omantel Youth Sailing Programme, the concluding event of the year saw 77 young Omani sailors from Oman Sail’s four sailing schools take part in two days of competitive sailing.

“The ranking events are an opportunity for our young sailors to race against their peers, learn in a competitive sailing environment and meet new friends from all over the country. We use these events to assess performing talents and identify the best young sailors to represent the Sultanate at international competitions,” Mohsin Al Busaidi, Youth Programme Manager at Oman Sail, said

Leading the way in the 52-strong Optimist fleet – the largest class taking part – Almouj’s Mohammed Al Qasmi took three race wins on his way to winning the overall title, fending off determined challenges from Al Musannah rivals Al Moatasem Al Farsi and Alla Al Omrani.



All three had represented the Sultanate at the International Optimist Dinghy Association 2017 Asian and Oceanian Championship, which was held recently in Hong Kong.

Adding to Almouj’s success in the Optimist class, Osama Al Zadjali again demonstrated his prowess with three wins and two second places to win the Junior age group ahead of Musannah Sailing School’s Elyas Al Fedhaili and Ahmed Al Jabri from Marina Bandar Al Rowdha Sailing School.

Samiha Al Riyami also showed her emerging talent as the leading female Optimist sailor, finishing in eighth place overall despite losing her discard score to a retirement in one race.

With the Top Sailing School award decided by the performance of the top three Optimist and Laser sailors at each school, combined with their best Junior Optimist result, Almouj made sure of their overall win by also securing the Laser class.

Abdulmalik Al Hinai was another three-time race winner, and never finished off the podium in the 17-strong fleet. Fellow Almouj, Muscat racer Adnan Al Mabsali took second place, with Ali Al Husani from Marina Bandar Al Rowdha taking the third spot.

In the Windsurfing class Mohammed Al Balushi took victory in three of the six races sailed, closely pursued by Hammad Al Mujaini and Ali Al Omrani in second and third place respectively. The top Junior windsurfer was Abdulwahab Al Majaini.

Prizes were presented to the young sailors by Badar Al Balushi, principal of the Ibn Al Nafees School in Al Wadi Al Kabir.

Speaking about the event, he said: “It was a real joy to see these young sailors compete with confidence and have fun in the water. Oman has a rich maritime heritage that stretches back in history and these young sailors are reminding us of the depth of our affinity with the sea.”

“I congratulate the winners in the ranking races, and applaud Oman Sail and Omantel for developing an excellent programme for the new generation of Omani seafarers”.

The overall event was hailed as a fitting celebration of National Day and a tribute to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The final Ranking Race event of 2017 was also notable for the fact there were no post-race protest hearings. This was credited to the detailed racing rules briefing and on-the-water penalty decision-making provided by the jury of Saleh Al Jabri, centre manager at Oman Sail’s Bandar Al Rowdha Sailing School, and the race management team led by Ahmed Al Qasmi and Nawaf Al Ghadani.

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