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Oman Sails Mussanah Race Week officially opens

by Oman Sail 10 Mar 2013 17:32 GMT 10-16 March 2013
Oman Sail's Mussanah Race Week officially opens © Mark Lloyd

The official opening ceremony, which took place along the waterfront of Mussanah's Millennium Hotel, marks the beginning of the Oman Sail's 3rd annual Mussanah Race Week. This year is set to be the best yet, with a host of world-renowned names participating in the 7 day event, there will be fierce competition in the Laser Standard class, where the likes of GBR's Olympic gold medalist Paul Goodison will be taking on Australia's Tom Burton who is currently ranked number one in the world, alongside New Zealand's top competitors Sam Meech and Andy Maloney, and many more. This outstanding level of competition will make for close and intense racing among the 222 competitors representing 27 different nations.

Issa Al Ismaili, Oman Sail's Director of events comments: "Oman Sail's Mussanah Race Week has grown year on year, it has become an internationally renowned event with some of the world's top dinghy sailors competing and a professional race committee in place to ensure the event is run at the highest standard. It is our aim to receive ISAF (International Sailing Federation) credibility and recognition as a top class event, thus helping Oman earn its place on the world map of sailing venues, whilst continuing to inspire the growing talent which we are nurturing among our local sailors."

Tom Burton, currently ranked number one in the world in the Laser Standard class comments on his first impressions of the venue and the ever increasing level of competition that the event plays host to: "This is a great location, the perfect conditions took me a bit by surprise, I wasn't expecting to see such good breeze, and the temperature makes a nice change from some of the colder locations we race in. I'm looking forward to the event and another opportunity to race against a collection of the top Laser sailors in the world."

During the winter months, Mussanah boasts consistently good weather, steady sea breeze averaging around 14 knots, sunny 23 degree C temperatures and warm 20 degree C water. Not only is the climate welcoming for the sailors, but the venue also offers a fully equipped gym facility, superb waterfront accommodation only a stone's throw from where the boats are kept, and array of cultural evening social events, to allow the visiting competitors to sample the local traditions.

This event has a unique and innovative approach to sailing in that it combines 2 days of world class coaching clinics for each of the disciplines (including: Laser Standard, Radial, 4.7, F18, Optimist and RSX Windsurfing) as part of the seven day regatta format, allowing competitors the rare opportunity to learn from the masters themselves.

In the Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 Oman Sail's youth team will be battling it out alongside a collection of racers from the Gulf and Europe. By introducing a new generation to sailing the Youth Programme supports Oman Sail's overall objective of promoting national pride by succeeding on the world's sporting stage, promoting elite Omani sailors as role models to inspire the youth of Oman, and this event provides the ideal platform to allow youth sailors to train and compete in Olympic class events.

Mussanah, as a racing venue is rapidly growing in popularity, paying testament to this, it has been chosen to host the Laser World Championships in November 2013. Some of the sailing elite recognize the value of using Mussanah Race Week as training ground for the Worlds, Burton states: "Recently I have been sailing in other boats, and I am using this event as a kick start in the lead up to the European circuit and as preparation for the Laser Worlds."

The competitors and the committee are looking forward to an action packed week of quality racing by some of the most talented sailors in the world.

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