Apart from Qatar’s brief involvement with Tracy Edwards and the Oryx Cup and Emirates Airline’s sponsorship of TNZ, up until now the Middle East has gone more for powerboat racing than sail boat racing. Oman is set to change that with plans that began with Musandam’s round the world voyage, include another season in the iShares Extreme 40 series, involve setting up an Omani sail training academy and – maybe coolest of all (if it happens, of course) – plans for a one design 100 foot trimaran class suitable for both inshore and offshore racing.
Seems the aim is to do a sort of ORMA series, without the escalating expense that killed that class off, in boats that can go round the world, as well as around the cans. We hope that comes off, because there’s a whole load of Anarchists who would not only love to see giant Extreme 40’s in action, but reckon that an RTW in multis is what’s needed.
On top of that, while it is hot as hell a lot of the time at least from October to March in ain’t too bad, and the Sultanate has plans for several more marinas to make a visit even more attractive. In the meantime, a visiting yachtsman will find a host of bays and Norwegian style fjords in which to drop anchor.
According to what Oman Sail told BYM News “Oman is unbelievably beautiful and is an adventure play ground, with 1,700 km of natural coastline.” Looks like they are right about “adventure playground”, starting with the road you’ve got to negotiate, in the hired 4×4, after you’ve dropped anchor in the idyllic fjord!
BYM put questions to Omani sailor, Mohsin al Busaidi, about his RTW voyage, and to Oman Sail, about the racing plans and cruising opportunities in Oman. The two part Q&As starts here.