Talented Omani Sailor Nashwa Al Kindi

T-Mag Thursday 04/February/2016 12:35 PM
By: Times News Service
Talented Omani Sailor Nashwa Al Kindi

Falling for Sailing
My tryst with sailing began in 2011 after Oman Sail announced its plans to recruit trainee women sailing instructors. Being a person who loves sun, sea, and sand, I didn’t have to think twice to send across my application. The rigorous selection process comprised of interviews and team activities, and I was picked for the six-month course. I finished first in all the training activities as I had previous experience in boat expeditions. After six months, Oman Sail appointed me as a sailing instructor. It was a dream come true for me and I felt I landed at the right place.

Early Challenges
Sailing is a physically and mentally demanding sport. So I worked out in the gym for hours to keep myself fit. When the clock strikes 7 in the morning, I rush to the gymnasium. A rigorous workout follows for the next one-and-a-half hours to tone my muscles and get in some cardio-vascular exercises. I always try not to miss workout sessions.

Biggest Moment in Your Career
I was quite ecstatic when I became the first Arab woman to make the trans-ocean crossing in 2014. It was a big achievement to successfully complete the 850-nautical mile journey across Indian Ocean that started from Mumbai in India, along with British quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister aboard a 28ft Dragonfly trimaran. It took nine days for us to complete the sail. I hope my feat will inspire Omani and non-Omani women to go for their dreams and goals. Personally, the feat gave me strength to achieve my ultimate goal—to sail solo around the world.

Life as a Sailor
For a sailor, everyday is different and I learn something new each time I sail. I hate the word loss, and believe that no situation is a loss in my career. It is either winning or learning. The belief helps me live without regrets.

Role Model
I consider myself as my role model. So I try not to put myself down.

Goals for Next Season
After donning the roles of sailing instructor and sailor, I am now busy working as a diver and captain with Oman Sail. I work hard to produce as many talents as possible.

Advise for Women Sailors
If you want to become a good sailor, you have to work hard, keep fit, and never stop learning. Love what you do. Your efforts will pay the dividends one day.

Launched in 2011, the Oman Sail Women’s Sailing Programme aims to empower Omani women and create equal opportunities in the sport. Oman Sail set up a comfortable environment for girls wanting to learn and found the right female instructors to teach Omani girls the nuances of sailing. The Women’s Sailing Programme has now become a template for other organisations in Oman and across the Arab world looking to open up opportunities for women. Oman Sail recruited notable international female sailors as mentors and coaches for the programme. These include Shirley Robertson OBE, the first British woman to win two sailing gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games, and Dee Caffari MBE, the first woman to sail single-handedly non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times.