oh man!

A few months after the event it’s clear that the overwhelming consensus on the first new-look EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour is of a job well done.
The eighth edition of EFG SATT this year saw a complete revamp with Farr 30s and a route around the southern Gulf replaced by Diam 24 trimarans and an Oman-based itinerary of stadium racing and coastal raids, both changes an intentional nod to the Tour de France à la Voile. Late call though it was, Oman Sail proved more than equal to the organisational challenge, delivering an event that provided perfect winter sailing conditions with warm weather and – mostly – reliable winds.
The opportunity to steal a march on the competition ahead of the European season was not lost on any of the eight teams keen to get their Tour Voile campaigns off to an ideal early start.
Perhaps less obvious was the impact the new course had on those participating. Oman Sail have never made a secret of the fact that, alongside their mission to reignite the country’s maritime heritage and develop homegrown sailing talent, it is also about promoting the Sultanate’s credentials as a high-end, sports tourism destination – combining the pleasure of exciting racing with a chance to explore Oman’s beauty and culture. Starting EFG SATT in the largely untouched south and then taking the fleet along Oman’s striking coastline clearly made a great impression on all those taking part this year.
Cédric Pouligny, a veteran of EFG SATT events, spoke for many when he said: ‘The latest edition of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour confirmed what I already knew about Oman and Oman Sail. The hospitality is incredible and I had the opportunity to discover a new landscape and new places – it is absolutely beautiful with enormous potential.’ Read on.