Muscat: A record number of youth sailors have celebrated the successful conclusion of the 2019 Renaissance Inter-School Sailing Championship in Mussanah.
No fewer than 135 promising young racing sailors – representing 43 government and private schools – gathered at Oman Sail’s Mussanah Sailing School for the annual event which is regarded as the highlight of the youth sailing year.
Over two days of racing the young Omani sailors demonstrated the skills learned as they progressed through Oman Sail’s Community Programme. All had qualified for the Championship through a number of ranking race events.
Speaking at the prize-giving in the heart of Mussanah Sports City, Oman Sail CEO David Graham said: “Through these championships we aim to increase awareness of sailing as a fun, healthy and exciting sport, provide a platform for students to represent their schools proudly and improve their sailing skills, and create an opportunity to identify young talent to join our Youth Programme and be part of our Olympic vision.
“This regatta has set many young sailors on the path to a career in sailing. Annually it gives every participant the chance to learn valuable skills and gain experience in a competitive environment.
“With hard work and determination, we hope to see them competing here and around the globe in the future, flying the Sultanate’s flag and making the country proud.”
Among those taking part were the team selected to represent Oman at the Arab Sailing Championships which will be held in Alexandria, Egypt, at the end of next month.
Racing in Mussanah was held in a number of classes.
The Laser 4.7 class was won by Abdulmalik Al Hanai, who finished ahead of Al Muta'asem Al Farsi and Al Bara’a AL Noufli. The Techno windsurfing class saw Mohmmad Al Srahi claim victory from Abdulrahman Al-Mujaini and Zayid Al Balushi.
The popular Optimist class saw Al Hassan AL Jabri, Mohammed Al Qasmi and Saleem Al Alawi claim the top three places. In the Optimist Under-11 category, Hood Al Nofli and Abdulrahman Al Hadi won their respective divisions.
Rashid bin Ibrahim Al Kindi, Oman Sail’s Acting Director of Sailing, said: “Congratulations to the winners and runners-up in all the classes – you have improved and learned to become better sailors. Your achievements are a result of your patience and dedication and are well deserved.
“We must also celebrate the achievements of every sailor competing here. This is a huge step forward in your skills development and has been an invaluable opportunity to test yourselves against your peers.”
And he added: “Youth and opportunity is at the heart of Oman Sail’s initiatives. Now in our tenth year we are now seeing male and female sailors progressing to the senior programme. With the help of our coaches we’ve unlocked potential and developed individuals who are now geared for success on or off the water.”
Al Kindi also paid tribute to the on-going support of Renaissance Services whose long-term backing has benefitted both youth and senior team activities throughout Oman Sail’s history.