Mussanah Race Week 2012 ends on a high for all sailors
17 March, 2012
Photo by Lloyds Images.
The 2012 Mussanah Race Week drew to a close yesterday with a prize-giving ceremony under the patronage of H.E Sheikh Rashid Al Hinai, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Sport. Also in attendance were David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail and Issa Al Ismaili, Events Director of Oman Sail.
Mussanah Race Week ended with some of the closest racing each of the fleets had experienced. At the beginning of the week the coaches noted that the fleets were very split, but after the coaching sessions and lots of time on the water, the finishes were much closer between the top three teams.
The Hobie 16 fleet saw some very impressive close encounters, Asian bronze medalists Musab Al Hadi and Ahmed Al Buluhsi snatched the first place of the catamaran class. And the team that impressed all was the pairing of Ahmed Al Hasani and Asrar Al Ajmi. Neither of them had sailed together before Mussanah Race Week but after the first two days of coaching they showed strong teamwork that they brought together for the racing, winning the second position. Suleiman Al Wihaibi and Abdul Latif Al Wihaibi got the third place.
In the Laser Radial fleet it was the up and coming young sailor, Mohammed al Mashari who scored consistently from race one ‘Mohammed is one of the sailors that we all watched sailing and agreed that he has a strong future in the Laser fleet. It is one of the most competitive classes in the world and so it is good for him to be in a strong fleet like this as he starts his competitive future.’ Mark Corky, Oman’s national team’s coach said at the prize giving in the gardens of Mussanah Marina. The Laser Radial is the same as the Laser Standard but with a slightly smaller sail to compensate for lighter sailors.
In the full size Laser Standard it was the young German sailor, Michael Zittlau who put in the strongest performance to dominate the results. The final results were between three nations; Germany, Oman and Bahrain, and that was the way the results stacked up at the end of the week. Michael said: “ It was a fantastic race. It feels great to win but it wasn’t easy! There was some strong competition from Hussain Al Jabri (Oman’s Laser team) and I am very impressed by his performance since he has only been sailing for the past year or so. Mussanah Race week has been a great event. The beautiful venue and the steady wind conditions makes an exciting race and it shows Oman’s direction in joining other leading sailing destinations. with such efforts, it is clear that the event will continue to grow bigger every year.”
Oman’s Hussain Al Jabri won the second place sailor who pushed Zittlau until the final leg of the last race and is a true reflection of the standard of sailing that Mussanah Race Week has helped develop. In the third place was the Bahraini sailor Abdulla Al Janahi.
In the laser 4.7 fleet, the same as a Laser Radial but with a smaller sail again, it was Bahrain’s Dawood Abdullah that reflected the national flag on the top step of the podium. Freddie Miller from the UK placed second but it was the third placed Ibtisam Al Salmi who stole the show after showing incredible form having only learned to sail as a result of the formation of the Women’s Sailing Programme at the end of 2011. Ibtisam is another of the sailors who has caught the eye of the coaches and is being groomed for further sailing success.
In the exciting windsurfing class it was the coach who won the overall podium position but he graciously stepped down and gave his place to Waleed Al Kindi who had pushed hard all week. ‘The three Omani windsurfers have only been training for the past 7 weeks and I have to say, I am incredibly impressed at how quickly they have picked it up and become competitive. Seeing Waleed beat me in one of the races today was a proud moment for me’, said the national windsurfing coach, Koray Ezer.
In the RS Qba, the winner of the first place was the Said al Rahbi, snatching the second place was Kawthar al Habsi, another Omani woman sailor on the podium who there a fantastic performance; a testimony for the fast development of the Omani Women Sailors program. And Mohammed Al Qasmi joined them on the podium in the third place.
In the Optiment class, young sailors Bashar Al Jabri, Marwan Al Jabri and Salim Al Alawi came first, second and third consecutively.
And it was all smiles for the three young sailors who wasted no time in the water and proofing the skills of the upcoming sailing generation in the Sultanate with Abdula Al Bulushi in the first place, Mohammed Al Jalbobi taking the second position and Ahmed Al Mujaini in the third.
Congratulating Oman Sail’s achievement in organizing the event with international standards, His Excellency Sheikh Rashid Al Hinai, Under Secretary of Ministry of Sports commented: “ We thank Oman Sail on their continues efforts and contribution in developing sailing the Sultanate. Mussanah Race week showcases the Sultanates direction in developing sailing and the growth in the number of international participants is a clear indication to the event’s growth from its inaugural edition last year. “ He added: “ Seeing the Omani sailors today on the podium and the team behind organizing such a great event is the result of the world class training and qualifications they have been receiving in Oman and I wish them all the best in their upcoming regional and international events.”
As the sun went down on the marina and the competitors shared friendly banter and recalled the lessons they learned over the week, it was clear that the 2012 Mussanah Race Week has been an overwhelming success. Many of the sailors have vowed to come back again next year, along with many others from the ones who participated this year from from Bahrain, Denmark, France, German, Holland, Poland, UK and the US encouraging other sailors from their countries to join them.
For more information and to view results of all the races, visit mussanahraceweek.com.