Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail

Arabian Peninsula Tour

Inter Arabian nations offshore event to set sail on 30 January

Friday January 14th 2011, Author: Ingmar Jense, Location: Oman

On the morning of Sunday 30 January, six boats will depart Manama, Bahrain to race to Muscat, Oman. It will mark the start of the inaugural Sailing Arabia–The Tour, a new race for the region.

Organised by Oman Sail, the race will bring together several Gulf countries with sailors being represented from each of them.

After starting in Amwaj Marina in Manama, the teams will race to The Pearl Marina in Doha before crossing to Abu Dhabi. After a short rest the teams will sail along the coast of the UAE to Al Hamra Marina in Ras Al Khaimah. From there they will race further towards Musandam where they will round the tip of Oman and into Zighy Bay Six-Senses near Khasab.

The final run will see them stop in Musannah Marina ahead of a short sprint down to the finish at The Wave, Muscat. The whole race will take 14 days.

The Concept of Sailing Arabia–The Tour is simple: to bring Gulf States together in a yacht race around the Arabian Peninsula. Along the way the race will promote one of the region’s fastest growing sports, showcase commercial opportunities in sponsorship engagement and encourage the development of this region as an international stage to host high profile sporting events.

Sailing Arabia-The Tour will join sailing events such as the Volvo Ocean Race, the Extreme Sailing Series and the Indian Ocean 5 Capes race as well as the Asian Beach Games and the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Based loosely on the Tour de France à la Voile, held annually in France, Sailing Arabia-The Tour will be raced in Farr 30 one designs as have recently been used in the Tour, the race format including inshore races as well as the passages between the stopovers. 

Many of the sailors competing have a lot of experience behind them with sailors such as Mohsin Al Busaidi, the first Arab to sail around the world, Ahmed al Ma’amari and Abdullah Al Busaidi, both around the world sailors, and Saleh Al Jabri, Chief Instructor at Oman Sailing School and former Captain of the Jewel of Muscat.

"With this event we are really seeing a group of sailors who have worked hard to be able to compete in an event such as this," Saleh said after training at the Wave, Muscat. "The competition will be tough, with the winners of the Tour de France à la Voile taking part as well as the team from Bahrain, GAC Team Pindar. We will have to work hard form beginning to end. Bring it on - we’re ready!"

Sailing Arabia-The Tour will also provide massive opportunities for sponsors to engage with a totally new demographic in the region and give businesses a platform at venues along the way. The first tour has already attracted interest from financial, logistics and lifestyle companies who all see potential in involvement.

A trifecta of banks has already taken the unique sponsorship opportunity created by an event which involves and unites the region. These banks are represented at three of the stops: Commercial Bank in Qatar, United Arab Bank in the UAE and National Bank ofOman for the three Oman stops in the Tour. GAC Logistics are sponsoring one of the competing boats as well as coming onboard as the official shipping and
logistics partner. Art Marine will use its Pan-Gulf network to leverage the event as a race support partner.

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