Please select your home edition
Sunsail 2017 Jan 728x90

Team Renaissance aim for EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour podium finish with all-star Omani crew

by Oman Sail on 10 Jan 14 February - 1 March 2017
Team Renaissance aim for EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour podium finish with all-star Omani crew © Mark Lloyd / Lloyd Images

Since Fahad Al Hasni first competed in the inaugural EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour (EFG SATT) back in 2011, he has dreamt of standing at the top of the podium, having won fair and square with a team made up of Omani sailors.

In 2017, at his seventh attempt on the title, he will get his best chance as skipper of Team Renaissance, which is sponsored by the Omani multinational oil and gas company and comprises 90% Omani talent with French navigator Guillaume Berenger having to brush up on his Arabic to offer directions.

Last year, they finished in fourth place just one agonising point behind Team Averda after some polished offshore performances. In both the second leg from Abu Dhabi to Doha and the last one from Sohar to Muscat, they posted second places and gained the confidence to raise expectation levels for 2017.

"We have consistently finished in the top half of the fleet, with a fourth last year... so it would be great to be on the podium this time," said Al Hasni, who has become Oman's most accomplished offshore sailor with the Round Ireland world speed record among his many accolades.

"I have always found EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour challenging and with a 90% Omani crew, it will be even more of a test of our skills."

His Omani crew features some familiar faces including three teammates from Oman Sail's MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail Sami Al Shukaili, Ali Al Balushi and Yasir Al Rahbi, all of them experienced EFG SATT campaigners.

Abdul Al Mashari, a member of Team Renaissance last year and Akram Al Wahaibi will also be on board and together they make a very good team, says Al Hasni.

"I like pushing the guys to the limit since I know we are good as a team and we can get the most out of each race, whether we are inshore or offshore," he said.

"We train very hard to be ready to face any challenge but the main reason for doing EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour is to improve our overall sailing skills and get to be on the podium."

When the 2017 route was announced earlier this year, the Omanis welcomed the changes. The fleet of identical Farr 30s will start at Al Mouj in Muscat with an in port race, then head north on the first leg to Sohar, a relatively short sprint of 105 nautical miles.

The second leg (140nm) will take them to Khasab, the capital of the Musandam Peninsula before the fleet heads to Abu Dhabi on a 153nm leg. It will be back to sea for a 160nm dash to Doha in Qatar where more points will be up for grabs in the second round of in port races before the last and longest leg (205nm) to Dubai for a final round of in port racing.

"The 2017 route looks even better than that of 2016 with long offshore legs mixed with high-pressure in port racing. It is the only annual race in the world now that has this exciting mix of competition," Al Hasni said.

"It is an advantage for us to start from Oman because it means we can train more and of course having local knowledge means we know the places more than other participants."

The experience gained from six previous Tours will help Team Renaissance negotiate the more challenging parts of the course, Al Hasni added.

"It would be great to win but with our knowledge and experience, we are aiming to go one better than last year and finish on the podium in third place.

"Most of all we intend to enjoy the sailing, represent Oman with pride and have some fun!"

For more information on the 2017 edition of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, please go to

Related Articles

EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2017 Leg 3
Win and overall lead for EFG Bank Monaco Reigning EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour champions EFG Bank Monaco (MON) today tightened their grip on the overall lead with a victory in the third offshore leg of the race around the Arabian Gulf. Posted today at 2:06 pm
Phil Robertson to skipper Oman Air
In 2017 Extreme Sailing Series Oman Air's bid to claim back the Extreme Sailing Series crown will be led by world match racing champion Phil Robertson after he was appointed skipper for the 2017 campaign starting in Muscat, Oman, in March. Posted on 18 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2017 Leg 2
Douillard avenges early upset French sailing star Thierry Douillard avenged a shock last-minute defeat in the opening stage of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour by snatching victory in round two of the Gulf classic on Friday. Posted on 18 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2017 Leg 1
Hometown hero Al Hasni guides Omani team to victory Omani sailing star Fahad Al Hasni led his crew to a sensational victory in the opening clash of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, beating reigning champions EFG Bank Monaco (MON) in a thrilling last-minute comeback on Wednesday. Posted on 16 Feb
Foiling cats to face off in two weeks
In the Extreme Sailing Series and GC32 Racing Tour In a fortnight's time the first ever GC32 Championship for the combined fleets from the GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series™ will begin in Muscat, Oman. Posted on 14 Feb
Big breeze baptism of fire
As EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2017 gets underway The eight international crews vying to be crowned EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2017 champions were today facing a baptism of fire with heavy weather lying in wait on the opening offshore leg from Muscat to Sohar. Posted on 14 Feb
Excitement builds with one week to go
To EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2017 start Crews are assembling in Muscat, Oman, and boats are being prepped as the countdown to the start of the 2017 edition of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour sets nautical nerves jangling with one week to go. Posted on 7 Feb
Team Al Mouj sets sights on victory
In EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2017 At EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour last year, Team Al Mouj Muscat were the new kids on the block with ambitious plans to spring a surprise, which they duly did when they finished on the podium in the opening round of the epic two-week quest for honours. Posted on 28 Jan
Team Averda focus on food
In bid to nail first EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour victory After six years competing in EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour, Team Averda skipper Marcel Herrera has come up with a secret weapon that he believes might prove the difference between winning and coming second. Performance food! Posted on 21 Jan
Inaugural GC32 Championship in Oman
GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series™ fleets go head-to-head A joint gathering of the international fleets of GC32 one design foiling catamarans is to take place at the GC32 Championship in Muscat, Oman over 27 February to 5 March 2017. Posted on 18 Jan