Muscat: Oman Sail has announced the nominees and jury for the 2014 Sailor of the Year Awards (SOYA) ahead of a glittering ceremony planned to be held at the Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Muscat on Wednesday.
Now in its second year, the awards aim to recognise the achievements of Oman's best sailors, coaches, technical crew and sailing schools to reinforce a culture of excellence that prevails throughout the company's sailing initiatives from grassroots levels to elite squads competing on the international stage. In addition to recognising achievements, SOYA was also created to encourage young Omani talent and reward champions from Oman Sail's Community programme.
"The standards of performance and achievement among our Omani sailors are becoming ever higher and the SOYA awards provide a way of recognising the best of them for their hard work and success," said David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail.
"These sailors are essential to our work at Oman Sail because the more successful they are, the more interest they create in sailing for the future. We have seen in our sailing centres just how important it is for youngsters to see and learn from their role models. Their success inspires others to work harder and aim higher every year."
This year's award categories are Outstanding Male Team Performance sponsored by Renaissance Services, Outstanding Female Race Team Performance sponsored by Oman LNG, Outstanding International Race Team sponsored by Mercedes, Male Coach of the year sponsored by Rolls Royce, Female Coach of the year sponsored by Thales and Technical Support Award sponsored by BP. The awards are presented by Oman Sail along with Renaissance Services, independently observed by KPMG, and supported by Rolls-Royce and Muscat Daily.
The achievements of the nominees have been closely scrutinized by a panel of five distinguished judges including winner of four Olympic gold medals and the America's Cup Sir Ben Ainslie, President at Asian Sailing Federation Malav Shroff, professional Omani female tennis player Fatma Al Nabhani, General Secretary of Oman Olympic Committee Taha Sulaiman Al Kishry, and Chairperson of GCC Women Sports Committee Sheikha Naima Al-Sabah.
The seventh category winner, the 2014 Sailing School Youth Team, is sponsored by Omantel and was selected following four ranking races and a schools regatta that took place last year. This year's Sailing School Youth Team award goes to the Oman Sail sailing school at Marina Bandar Rowdha.
This 2014 Sailor of the Year Award Nominees are: Outstanding Male Race Team Performance (sponsored by Renaissance Services)
Musab Al Hadi and Hashim Al Rashdi, Fahad Al Hassani, Hussain Al Jabri
Outstanding Female Race Team Performance (sponsored by Oman LNG)
Rajaa Al-Owaisi, Raaya Al Habsi, Ibtisam Al Salmi
Outstanding International Race Team (sponsored by Mercedes)
The Wave, Muscat (Extreme 40), Musandam (MOD 70), Female Keelboat Team, sailing Al Thuraya – Bank Muscat, Men's Keelboat - M34, F18 Catamaran: Musab Al Hadi and Hashim Al Rashid, GCC Youth Optimist Team
Male Coach of the year (sponsored by Rolls Royce)
Adil Al Wahaibi, Ghalib Al Mamari, Mohammed Al Araimi
Female Coach of the year (sponsored by Thales)
Saada Al Habsi, Nashwa Al Kindi (2013 winner), Khairnisa Al Balushi
Technical Support Award (sponsored by BP)
Hilal Al Zadjali, Suliman Al Manji, Mohammed Al Wahaibi, Saud Al Balushi