Doha, Qatar, Nov 12th 2012: Oman Sail today announced that Gulf nations will once again battle it out on the Arabian Sea for the 3rd edition of Sailing Arabia - The Tour from 10th to 25th February 2013. The only pan regional off shore sailing race of its kind delivers 15 days of intense sailing action across four different countries and seven beautiful marinas located in Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman. The race will start in Bahrain on Sunday 10th February and will continue on to Qatar, where the fleet will join local festivities at the Pearl Marina in Doha. The boats will be racing on to UAE (Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah) before sailing around Oman’s peninsular to Musandam and finally reaching Muscat for the closing ceremony.
The event was initially launched in 2011 to promote one of the region’s fastest growing sports and reignite the Gulfs rich maritime heritage, and this year the competition between teams - including confirmed new entries from Royal Navy of Oman and Team Messe Frankfurt in addition to some of the teams that participated in the 2012 edition,- is likely to be fiercer than ever. Teams from across the region and further afield will be competing in a fleet of identical Farr 30 keelboats, one of the Grand Prix racing world’s most exciting boats.
Last year French team Courrier Dunkerque were crowned 2012 champions after a downwind sprint to the finish line situated off shore of The Wave, Muscat. Skippered by one of the most experienced French sailors to date, Daniel Souben, the team had a healthy lead from the very start of the final leg, ending the race with a near perfect run throughout. Daniel was part of the French Olympic team from 1978-1992 and in 2008 and 2009 he won Le Tour de France à la Voile, the event on which SATT is modeled.
Sailing Arabia – The Tour continues to attract a high caliber of sailor from across the globe and in two short years the event has proved to be a cutting edge off shore race that not only establishes the Gulf as a sailing destination but also demonstrates that there is a wealth of talent within the region. The number of participating teams has grown year on year increasing from six in 2011 to nine in 2012. A staggering nine teams taking part in the 2012 edition held in February were also representing GCC nations and organisers Oman Sail hope to confirm an increased level of interest for the third year.
David Graham, Oman Sail CEO commented “Now in its third year Sailing Arabia – The Tour has really established itself as part of the winter sailing calendar, attracting some of the very best sailors from the region and beyond to compete in the superb sailing conditions the GCC has to offer. Interest in sailing is at an all-time high within the region and Sailing Arabia – The Tour will demonstrate the benefits that the sport can bring to communities in the GCC, including youth training, economic development and health and fitness.”
HH Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed bin Saqr Al Nahyan, Chairman UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation explained “Sailing Arabia – The Tour is designed not only to showcase the sailing talent we have here in the region but also to encourage friendly rivalry between GCC nations. This healthy competition not only inspires a new generation of young sailors but also puts us on the international sporting map. The conditions here in the Gulf are perfect for racing and the in-port facilities are first class, I hope to see the same exciting race to the finish as last year.”
Issa Al Ismaili, Oman Sail Director of Events added “Sailing Arabia – The Tour aims to not only encourage healthy competition between gulf nations but also to raise the profile of the GCC internationally as an exceptional sailing destination complete with unbeatable sailing conditions, local talent and decades of sailing heritage. We are expecting 12 teams competing in the 2013 edition of the tour “.
Sailing Arabia - The Tour is taking place between 10th to 25th February 2013 travelling across the gulf between Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and finally Oman.
For more information on the race please visit: www.sailingarabiathetour.com