The ex-Ellen MacArthur trimaran B&Q-Castorama, now named Musandam, arrived back in Muscat, Oman today having taking 76 days to circumnavigate the globe. One of the crew was Omani sailor, Mohsin al Busaida, who made history as the first Arab to sail non-stop around the world.

As part of a wider project to help re ignite Oman’s maritime heritage and inspire youngsters to take up sailing, Mohsin Al Busaidi left Muscat, Oman on an attempt to sail non-stop around the world on January 8, 2009. Today, the Sultanate of Oman has welcomed him home as a hero. “This is an incredible achievement for Mohsin who a year ago had never stepped on board an offshore racing multihull before and now he is the first Arab to circumnavigate the globe. Mohsin and the entire Musandam crew are to be congratulated.”  said Dame Ellen MacArthur.

Mohsin Al Busaidi, who grew up in Al Khoud, a village north of Muscat said: “I am so happy, so proud for my country; it has been the most amazing experience of my life. I have loved sailing and the sea for a long time; this round the world journey has been the key focus for the newly formed Oman Sail project and we wanted to show quickly what could be achieved to inspire others. We’ll continue the voyages of our ancestors, who sailed the seas, and we’ll build boats and masts, so our children continue the journey after us.” 

The arrival of Musandam back into Muscat was a momentous occasion with thousands of fans, supporters, family and friends lining the waterfront straining for a sight of Oman’s new hero. The Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Dr Rajiha Bint Abdul Amir bin Ali, who attended the special celebrations in Port Sultan Qaboos said: “We are happy to see our crew and boat home safely. To have Mohsin accomplish this voyage and enter the history books is very exciting and I know young Omanis will be inspired by this. As Tourism Minister, I also see today as an opportunity for Oman to demonstrate how it is re igniting maritime heritage.” Pic Mark Lloyd; more here.