Sailing Arabia race kicks off in Bahrain
Manama, February 9, 2014
Bahraini sailors have joined with world class teams on a 760-nautical mile race from Bahrain to Muscat today (February 9).
The EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2014, which runs till February 24, will span four countries with stopovers in Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Musandam, Mussanah and Muscat.
The competitors are sailing a fleet of identical Farr 30 design yachts, to ensure fair racing, said a statement.
The opening ceremony, which was held at Bahrain’s Amwaj Marina, welcomed the teams including EFG Bank (Monaco), Royal Navy of Oman, Team Delft Challenge, Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team, Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat and Team Renaissance.
Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, president of Bahrain Sailing Federation, said: “Bahrain’s sailing heritage has been reignited thanks to the EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2014. We are proud to welcome not only our regional sailors but also our visitors to this fourth edition of the event, and hope they will enjoy two weeks of challenging, yet fun racing in the only offshore sailing race of its kind in the region.”
Speaking ahead of the first leg Issa Al Ismaili, director of events at the race’s organiser Oman Sail, said: “Through EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour, Oman Sail is offering a platform to develop sailing in the region both now and in the future that all nations in the region can benefit from.”
“We believe that by showcasing some of the best sailing talent from around the world that are gathered here to race, we can inspire a new generation of sailors, all eager to try something new,” added Ismaili.
The first leg of the course takes the fleet on a 100-mile sprint from Bahrain to Doha. The fleet will be based at The Pearl Marina, Doha where crews can relax and recover before the event’s first Inport Race which is due to start at on February 11. There will be up to three races, depending on the strength of the wind, held on short windward/leeward courses. - TradeArabia News Service