Muscat: Fahad Al Hasni’s all Omani crew on Team Renaissance showed their preparations for the 2017 EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour (SATT) were well on track when they came 2nd overall against strong international and regional competition in the 2016 Dubai to Muscat Race.
With two months to go before the 2017 SATT to kick off from Muscat, the seven-strong crew had their navigation skills tested to the full as the 350-mile classic around the Musandam Peninsula was plagued by light winds from the outset forcing a review of strategy and some additional patience.
“Normally this race takes less than 3 days but the light breeze slowed us all up so we used the opportunity to work on our watch handovers and helming,” said skipper Al Hasni who will be competing in SATT on the same Farr 30 with this same crew.
“It was the first time we had spent time together as a crew and to have four nights offshore was useful - it was a real test of our patience and stamina so we are happy with our performance and the current 2nd place.”
“We knew the area pretty well so there was no issue with our routing but deciding whether to stay inshore or go in search of more wind further out became our focus. We decided on a strategy and stayed with it, which paid off.”
“We have only a few litres of water and little food left, so our calculations were pretty accurate for this race and that shows that our preparation was correct. We are really happy with this result.”
Al Hasni was joined by some familiar faces as crewmembers from his previous SATT and Musandam Oman Sail MOD70 campaigns Ali Al Balushi, Yasir Al Rahbi, Raad Al Hadi and Sami Al Shukaili combined to hatch the best plan for the conditions.
Their energy was boosted by Abdulrahman Al Mashari, a regular offshore sailor and Akram Al Wahaibi and Haitham Al Wahaibi, two instructors from Oman Sail’s School at Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, who brought their helming skills to the fore on their long, slow and challenging passage.
“The Dubai Muscat Race is one of the major offshore races in the region along with EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour. The route of this race was very challenging with a combination of rough seas, strong currents and light winds. When you are at sea sailing with no boats around, a team is very likely to have up and down moments, but the high spirit and good calls on strategy were key to the achievement of renaissance. Congratulations to the team on this achievement.” Said Gilles Chiori, race director of Dubai Muscat Race.
The Dubai to Muscat Offshore Race, celebrating its 25th Anniversary, started on Thursday November 10 from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) with a field of 21 boats contesting IRC and cruising classes.
First to cross the finish line at Almouj in Muscat, Oman was Atari7 who claimed line honours for the second consecutive year having spent around 70 marathon hours at sea.