Ask yourself a question: When was the last time you saw this kind of racial mix in a photo of the winning team at a major grand-prix one-design event?
Assuming that the answer for 99% of you is "never," it’s a sad commentary on the lack of diversity that exists in our sport, but that’s even more reason to celebrate this photo of Oman Sail’s victory over 19 other boats at the recent Grand Prix Atlantique de Pornichet. This ain’t no slacker regatta, either; these teams are prepping for the last ever Tour de France à la Voile in the Mumm/Farr 30, and they’re peppered with talent. We’re not saying the five Omanis on Oman Sail’s Renaissance are rock stars yet, either – after all, VOR super-stud Rob Greenhalgh ran the boat while Melges 24 rock star and TdF vet Cedric Pouligny drove – but clearly, their instructors down in Muscat are doing something right!
Actually, they’re doing a hell of a lot right, and right now Oman Sail is, without a doubt, the model of how to go about forming a national sailing program with laser-beam focus and clear goals – we even hear that National Governing Body reps from a handful of other countries have been in touch with Oman Sail for advice on how to freshen up their own programs. Great news from a great program, and we’ll be cheering for them in the upcoming Tour. We’ll also be cheering for past SCOTW Deneen Demourkas and the Groovederci kids, who finished 3rd at Pornichet. Report here (in French), pics here, and this one is from Bruno Bouvrey.