MUSCAT: Oman Sail recently concluded an intensive Winter Cup training camp to help young racers prepare for the next chapter of their sailing careers. Coaches have taken the opportunity to identify promising up and coming sailors who can earn promotion from the Oman Sail youth clubs to the Race Club, which is comprised of young sailors eligible for selection to national events.
Held in Mussanah, the Winter Cup provided racing for more than 64 girls and boys — aged from 14 to under-21 — in the Optimist and Laser 4.7 classes, an Optimist team racing event and competition for windsurfers across the RSX, RSX Youth, Techno and Techno 293 classes. Junior sailors taking part in the Winter Cup raced Optimists.
The best young sailors will be selected to join Mussanah Race Week, Oman Sail annual youth regatta which offers competitive sailing between the world’s best young sailors from January 11-17, 2018 in Mussanah. Last year this event welcomed 172 sailors from numerous countries including Germany, Monaco, India, Thailand, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia. Taking advantage of the expert coaching available at the Winter Cup were a team of six special Olympics athletes who have been selected to take part in the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi from March 8 to 22.
“This Winter Cup training camp plays an important part in our 2019 Youth Programme, providing an early opportunity for our coaches to assess and monitor the sailors, and select those suitable for promotion to Race Club,” said Rashid Al Kindi, Oman Sail’s national sailing team manager.
“Race management, the jury, the protest committee, and the team racing was organised to an international regatta standard. Both our coaches and sailors learned and improved a lot. We are very happy to run this fair selection event,” he added.
At the conclusion of Winter Camp the Team Race event was won by sailors from Oman Sail’s Al Mouj sailing school, ahead of racers from Marina Bandar Al Rowdha and Al Mussanah sailing schools. Sur sailor Saleem Ali Al Alawi was top in the Optimist class in front of Jihad Al Hasani (Al Mouj) and Elyas Al Fadhali (Mussanah). Laser 4.7 racing was won by Al Mouj’s Abdulmalik Al Hanai, with Mussanah’s Al Moatasem Al Farsi and Al Ala'a Al Omrani in second and third.
As part of the event, race management expert at World Sailing, Emrah Surmen, had a coaching session with the Oman Sail race management team to ensure that all regattas are run within international standards. Youth sailor Samiha Al Riyami supported the event on the race jury, as well as acting as a member of the protest committee.
The winner in the RSX Under-21 class was Abdulmajed Al Hadrami, with Ali Jamile Al Omrani at the top of the RSX Youth category, Mohmmah Hashil Al Srahi won the Under-15s and Ali Hasil Al Sarhi was the winner in the Under-17 class.