What would you buy if you had an unlimited budget and a directive to create a top-drawer racing program while igniting a nation’s love for sailing? Well, you might just end up with the kind of awesome fleet that the boys and girls from Oman Sail have assembled, and every time we think they’ve outdone themselves, they go one further.
Case in point: They’ve got the little boats – from little prams to F-18 cats, used to get hundreds of Omani kids into sailing. They’ve got the monster 105′ trimaran, a floating billboard that provide for some great offshore racing and the potential for an all-Arabian circuit of big one-design multihulls. The dominating Extreme 40 teams show off for the spectators and the world’s media, the Mumm 30 putting up great results working toward the final Tour De France in the legendary pocket offshore racer, and the new M34 is set for delivery soon to prepare for the 2011 Tour De France a la Voile. All of them prepped well, raced hard, and run as professionally as anyone in the business.
As is that wasn’t enough, now we hear that a mini-fleet of Mumm 30s will be making its way to Muscat after the TdF as permanent residents, and that an Arabian Peninsula offshore circuit is likely in 2011 or 2012. Notice there are no 12 meters, Swedish Match 40s, or IACC boats…we like these guys’ style. We just wish someone in our own country was making this kind of effort, but serious kudos to Dave and the folks in Oman who should be writing a text book on how to create something from nothing.
Above is Part One of an interview we did in March with Oman Sail CEO David Graham and Project Manager Isa Alismaili when we went down to get the inside story behind the landmark program. You can find Part Two here, and an interview with Sailing School Director Neil Coxon right here. Bear with the crappy sound – these guys have some interesting things to say.