Young Omani sailors racing in the Caribbean regatta

Sports Wednesday 10/July/2019 20:43 PM
By: Times News Service
Young Omani sailors racing in the Caribbean regatta

Muscat: Oman’s best young Optimist sailors are racing in the Caribbean at an international event which features many of the world’s best youth sailors. The five-strong Oman Sail team are competing at the International Optimist Dinghy Association’s (IODA) 2019 World Championship which is being held in English Harbour, Antigua, with teams from 65 countries taking part.

The 257 sailors competing are all aged from 11 to 15 years-old. Oman’s world championship team was selected on the basis of individual performances at a series of trials and results at racing regattas, with Salim Al Alawi, Mohammed Al Qasmi, Elyas Al Fadhali, Jihad Al Hasani and Ablaj Al Dughaishi chosen to represent the Sultanate.

In the opening races Al Alawi showed particular potential with a fourth place finish in his 63-strong racing group, with strong performances also coming from his teammates. “Our young team is racing against the world’s best Optimist sailors in Antigua, and we are confident they will perform well in what will be a challenging championship,” said Oman Sail team leader Mohsin Al Busaidi.

“The whole team took part in an intensive training camp in France before the world championship started, which was a great preparation for the racing here in Antigua.”

Participation in the World Championship is part of a planned development programme for the racing squad which will culminate in the 2019 IODA Asian and Oceanian Championship which this year is being held in Oman.

“While the World Championship is a great event in its own right, our ultimate target is to win a medal at the Asian Championship which will be held on our
home waters at Mussanah,” said Oman Sail Optimist team coach Sultan Al Zadjali.

“The competition in Antigua will help all our team to further develop their racing and tactical skills which will put them in the best possible position for success later this year.”

The 2019 IODA Asian and Oceanian Championship is being held in Mussanah Sports City from September 30 to October 7. Meanwhile, racing at the World Championship will continue until July 16th.