Six teams representing three of Oman Sail’s sailing schools took to the seas in Mussanah on Saturday at the Oman Team Racing Championships.
Each school entered two teams, emphasising the high quality of sailor on show, with The Wave, Muscat One emerging victorious after 17 intense races.
The school held off the challenge of a team from Mussanah in second and The Wave, Muscat Two in third to take the trophy. A team from Marina Bander Al Rowdha finished fourth.
The championship, now in its second year, serves as a first taste of competitive team racing for many sailors in the Optimist Class, all of whom are part of Oman Sail’s Omantel Youth Programme co-sponsored by Oman Shipping Company.
Rashid Al Kindi, Oman Sail’s National Team Manager, said, “Team racing provides an extra edge and teaches a more tactical side of the sport. Our sailors need to consider the goals of the team and not solely focus on their own performance. They must work together during the races to ensure their team finishes in the best position possible. This added dimension is an important lesson in the development of our young sailors and is a valuable experience for them as they progress through the Oman Sail Performance Pathway.”
The competition features a fleet of identical Optimists, competing in a series of short 10 minute races with the winner of each race earning one point, second place receiving two points, third gaining three and the fourth placed team are given four. At the end of racing, the team with the fewest points overall is declared the winner.
This format requires a combination of boat speed, good boat handling and teamwork as well as a thorough understanding of racing rules and tactical insight in order to create opportunities to overtake or force rivals into errors that can be capitalised on.
The Oman Team Racing Championships mark the first event in a busy winter season for the Optimist Class and kicks off the new school year with an event that involves parents, friends and talented young sailors in a high profile national event. Racing continues next weekend with the first ranking race of the new season where the Optimist class will compete for positions in Oman’s National Squad for forthcoming competitions.
“We are immensely proud to be able to enter two teams from each school and the high level of competition from each shows how committed our young sailors are. The team from Sur Sailing School will be taking part in another tournament soon and we expect another thrilling race. Our youth teams have a busy schedule until the end of the year and it is our aim to challenge them and allow them to thrive through the skills they learn from sailing,” added Rashid.
On 27 September, the top six Optimist sailors that comprise the Oman National Squad will travel to Algeria to compete in the IODA African Championship. In October, the Optimist squad will travel to Qatar to take part in the Optimist Asian Championship.