Following the completion of four stadium races amid steady breeze, Golfe du Morbihan claimed two outright wins and a second place to start on a encouraging note.
The two-week challenge saw ten teams hitting upto 20 knots off Marina Bandar Al Rowdha and three different winners emerged on day one.
Earlier in the day, H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, the Minister of Sports Affairs, presided over the opening ceremony.
Oman Sail CEO David Graham highlighted the success of last year’s new-look event which introduced the high-speed Diam 24 boat and switched the focus to an entirely Oman-based course.
“The calibre of the sailors here this year has hit a high – Olympic sailors, Volvo Ocean Race sailors, and winners, America’s Cup sailors and a number of very impressive up and coming young sailors.
“Racing in identical Diam 24 trimarans means the focus will be on skills, tactics and efficient teamwork,” said Graham.
On Monday, a coastal raid will be held off Marina Bandar al Rowdha before the boats and teams move down the coast to Sur.
Golfe du Morbihan helmsman Louis Flamment said, “It was a good beginning of course, and we were very focused and got good starts and good speed, and we did our best.”
Skippered by Solune Robert, Cheminée Poujoulat came up with a win in the opening race and it finished the day in second place, just a point behind the leaders.
Skipper Robin Follin said, “It was a good start for us – we had to keep it all very cool as the wind was quite strong.”
Also a race winner on Sunday was four-time Tour Voile winner Damien Iehl, skipper of first-time Sailing Arabia entry MOOD.
A third in the fourth and final race of the opening day saw it finish on the podium in third overall.
Standings [after day one]: 1 Golfe du Morbihan, 2 Cheminée Poujoulat, 3 MOOD, 4 Beijaflore, 5 Oman Shipping Company, 6 CER Geneva, 7 Seaflotech, 8 Renaissance, 9 EFG Bank, 10 DB Schenker.