MUSCAT: Oman made history this week when two Omani sailors started their first transatlantic yacht race as part of Musandam-Oman Sail’s crew in the inaugural KRYS Ocean Race from New York to Brest in France.
Their biggest and most ambitious project to date, Oman Sail’s flagship trimaran is one of five 70 footers to compete in the new Multi One Design Circuit which has attracted some of the biggest names in offshore racing.
As part of a major Sultanate-backed initiative to develop sailing in the region, Oman Sail was created in 2008 to contribute to the development of Oman and Omanis through the sport of sailing, which involves teaching 30,000 children to sail by 2015.
It was also designed to create employment opportunities in the sport and in sectors supporting it as well as raise Oman’s profile as a high-end tourist destination around the world.
Mohsin Al Busaidi and Fahad Al Hasni have both passed through the programme with flying colours achieving such high levels of performance that they were selected by French skipper Sidney Gavignet to join the six-strong crew for Musandam-Oman Sail’s first 2,950nm race across the Atlantic.
Al Busaidi, who in 2009 became the first Arab to sail around the world said: “It’s the first time an Omani boat with Omani crew has raced across the Atlantic and I am proud that Fahad and I are representing our country onboard and hope that in the future we will have more and more Omanis sailing with us.”
The Musandam-Oman Sail crew also includes American Ryan Breymaier who recently finished fifth in the two-handed Barcelona World Race and British multihull legend Brian Thompson, who in April was a member of the fastest crew to race around the world.
Their brief was to cross the Atlantic safely and do the best they can, yet within 24 hours Musandam-Oman Sail was leading the fleet, having covered a remarkable 610nm in strong breeze.
A new chapter in the young Omani’s sailing careers has been written going some way to inspire a new generation of sailors back home.
BMTags: Fahad Al Hasni, Musandam-Oman Sail, Oman Sail