The Al Mouj Muscat Sailing School emerged overall winners of the Oman Sail Ranking Races in Musannah, which saw the Sultanate’s best young sailors take part in the spirited two-day competition as the sport of sailing picks up across Oman Sail’s four sailing schools in Mussanah, Bandar Rowdha, Sur and Al Mouj.
The title is awarded to the school with the best combined score of their top six sailors in the competitive Optimist class, and the local Musannah Sailing School team must have had high hopes of victory when Al’Muatasem Al Farsi took first place overall with Alaa Al Omrani in third.
However, despite being edged into second place by a single point, Jihad Al Hasani led the charge for the Al Mouj Muscat team who packed the top of the leaderboard, with their best six sailors all finishing in the top 13 overall in the 44-strong Optimist fleet.
The Sur Sailing School placed third overall with the Marina Bandar Al Rowdha Sailing School completing the roster of Oman Sail schools taking part.
The event was managed by Mohsin Al Busaidi, Oman Sail Youth ProgrammeManager, Ahmed Al Qasmi, Instructor at Oman Sail’s Mussanah Sailing School, and Nawaf Al Ghaddani, the Chief Instructor at Oman Sail’s Sur Sailing School. It was held as part of the Omantel-supported youth programme which allows Oman Sail coaches to monitor the development of the young sailors and select teams to represent the country in forthcoming international sailing events.
“This Ranking Race event was better than before as we had more junior sailors taking part, which is what we need for the future,” said Oman Sail Youth Programme Manager Mohsin Al Busaidi. “We also saw some different results in the top-10 of the Optimists which shows it is becoming more competitive.
“It will help us select seven sailors who will go to a training camp in France,” he added. “Then five of them will go on to the Optimist Worlds in Thailand in July.”
The two-day regatta saw a total of 70 youngsters out on the water, many of them competing for the first time at this level. Light winds resulted in a late start to racing on Friday, but better breeze arrived allowing the race organisers to complete the three races planned for each day.
Apart from the Optimists, there was also racing in other sailing and windsurfing classes. In the junior, under-12 Optimist class, Osama Al Zadjali added to the Al Mouj Muscat team’s delight, finishing ahead of Hamad Al Ghailani (Sur) and Laith Al Wahaibi (Marina Bandar Al Rowdha).
Marwan Al Jabri flew the flag for the Marina Bandar Al Rowdha team in the Laser 4.7 class, winning on countback with two race wins to pip Abdul Malik Al Hinai (Al Mouj Muscat) to the post. Adnan Al Mabsali (Al Mouj Muscat) completed the podium.
Victory in the Techno windsurfing class went to Abdullah Al Sarhi (Under 17), Ali Al Sarhi (Under 15) and Al Mukhtar Al Mujaini (Open), all from the Mussanah Sailing School.
The next event in the on-going development process is the Oman National Championships, which will again see Optimist, Laser 4.7 and Techno class racing at Sur from August 18 to 22.