3 days to go and final preparations are in full swing for Sailing Arabia
- Bahrain: Thursday, February 07 - 2013 at 14:44
- PRESS RELEASE
At Amwaj Marina, one of Bahrain's premier locations for yachting, the local community and sailing enthusiasts will this morning notice a flutter of activity as the 9 teams competing in EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour prepare for the start of what will be a grueling 15 day race ending in Muscat, Oman.
It is only three days until the start of the Gulf region's only long distance offshore sailing race EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour, which will take the crews on a two week journey and the 760 nautical miles.
In the last few days, the expert teams have come together and familiarized themselves with Farr 30 yacht that all teams will compete in as they pit themselves against the offshore conditions of the Gulf as well as challenging inshore courses at 4 of the ports.
Amongst the leading teams arrived and in the final phase of their preparation is Al Thuraya Bank Muscat, the all-female crew led by world famous single handed round the world sailor Dee Caffari.
Dee outlines how the team has come together: "We have all been training hard in the last months, but now is the time that the team needs to really come together and iron out any creases in our performance. The girls are all ready to go, but we need to practice the drills in particularly for the starts and on the spinnaker - if the weather picks up we will need to be twice as efficient as the heavier crews."
The wind for the opening leg is forecast to be between 11-14KmH, which may give Dee, her female crew and her light boat a competitive advantage against the other 8 teams.
The battle will take place across four countries and along an 8 port route, competing in off shore and in port racing over the course of 15 days. The all Emirati Team Abu Dhabi, skippered by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing sailor Adil Khalid, are competing in the race for the first time and are looking forward to testing their skills in home waters.
The Emirati skipper can't wait to get started. "It's always tense before a race, you want to make sure that you have everything ready and that the whole crew and the boat can stand up to the challenges ahead. We have had some wonderful support from ADSYC and the government of Abu Dhabi, so we know that the sailors are the best in the country, and that the boat is 100% capable of winning. All we have to do now is wait for the start," David Graham, Oman Sail CEO said.
David Graham, Oman Sail CEO added, "This season promises to be the best yet, with some of the world's best sailors competing in the ideal sailing conditions of the Gulf. EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2013 represents the culmination of three years' development in offshore racing in the region, and the roster of competitors reflects the adoption and recognition of this unique event by the international sailing community."
Veteran of the international sailing circuit and 2011 champion Bertrand Pacé, returns to the race with a new crew, Team AISM as the represent the neighbouring Emirate of Dubai.
Skipper Bertrand said, "Preparation has gone really well and the team is very close knit. The anticipation is intense at this stage and everyone is keen to get out onto the water for the start. This is a great course to race and I am confident we will finish with a podium place; we've worked very hard in preparation so now we just have to enjoy it."
The nine crews are now in the peak of their physical condition, and their boats are all ready to face the elements. From the 10th February on, the crew will be challenged by sea rations and fatigue, while the boats will be suffering from constant wear and tear as they travel together from Manama to Doha and ADSYC, on to Dubai, Dibba, Mussanah, finally arriving in Muscat on February 25th.
Taking in four countries and eight ports of call, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour is a showcase of everything that the Gulf has to offer in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and idyllic sailing conditions.
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