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Oman Sail's Mussanah Race Week kicks off with 50 sailors at the start-line

by Oman Sail 3 Nov 2021 16:48 GMT 3-5 November 2021
Oman Sail's Mussanah Race Week © Oman Sail

Mussanah Race Week got under way in perfect conditions at the Barceló Resort in Al Mussanah Sports City, Oman.

Running until November 5th with racing every day, fifty young sailors in Optimist, ILCA 6, ILCA 4 and, for the first time at week, para sailors using the RS Venture Class took to the waters for the first practice round.

Sailors from five countries compete throughout the week alongside classroom sessions to improve technique and learn from professional sailors and coaches. Along with a strong home contingent, young sailors from Malaysia, Egypt and Abu Dhabi join the fleet to put their skills to the test.

Mussanah Race Week 2021 has seen the debut of para sailing, which is a big step forward for the event, with eight sailors from Oman Sail's SailFree programme taking part. This introduction comes in the same week that World Sailing launched its "Back the Bid" campaign to reinstate para sailing to the 2028 Paralympics in Los Angeles, USA. SailFree was launched in 2019 in partnership with BP Oman, and it is the first of its kind in the Middle East for people with disabilities. Prior to the event, SailFree Para-Sailing National Team travelled to Palermo, Italy, to represent the nation at the Hansa World Championships 2021, joining 180 athletes from 25 countries.

Shaima Al Asmi, Mussanah Race Week Project Manager, said, "For more than a decade, Mussanah Race Week has been the proving ground for promising young sailors to develop on and off the water, learn from each other and the coaches and experience the Sultanate of Oman's famed hospitality. We're delighted with the size of the fleet this year, considering the challenges much of the world is still facing and in particular with the introduction of sailors from SailFree. Mussanah Race Week is the first step for many towards a successful career in sailing and we look forward to an exciting week ahead."

Al Mussanah Sports City, located 85km north of Muscat, was purpose-built to host Olympic-standard international sporting events with facilities to accommodate thousands of guests, global media and up to 400 boats at its onsite marina. The venue has become Oman's home of sailing, successfully hosting high profile events including the recent Asian Windsurfing Championships, the forthcoming ICLA Radial World Championships and Youth World Sailing Championships, as well as the opening stage of this year's Sailing Arabia - The Tour, among others, and is also home to Oman Sail's sailing school.

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