Oman Sail stars return after Antigua success

A team of young sailors from Oman returned after a remarkable achievement in an international event held in the Caribbean from July 6 to 16.

Competing at the 2019 Optimist World Championship organised by the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) in Antigua, Mohammed al Qasmi of the Oman Sail team achieved ‘the pre-regatta target of qualifying in the top gold fleet, and went on to finish 56th overall in the 257-strong fleet’, Oman Sail said on Sunday.

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‘Teammate Saleem al Alawi finished in the top-100 having qualified in the silver group, coming 95th overall,’ it said, adding that ‘Ablaj al Dughaishi earned a place in the bronze section, while Jihad al Hasani and Elyas al Fadhali raced in the emerald group’. ‘They have reached their goal at the world championship against youngsters from 65 countries,’ Oman Sail said.

The five-member strong Omani National Youth Sailing team - all aged from 11 to 15 years old - return with excellent experience and motivation to prepare for their next challenge which will be the 2019 IODA Asian and Oceanian Championship in Oman.

“We went to the World Championship with the aim of giving the whole team valuable experience of racing at the highest level,” said Oman Sail team leader Mohsin al Busaidi. “At the same time we had the target of qualifying in the gold group and Mohammed was able to achieve this, which is a tribute to his hard work and the dedication of all the coaches in the team.”

“It has also been very effective preparation for the Asian Championship later in the year, where our teams aim to win a medal for Oman on home waters,” he added.

The 2019 IODA Asian and Oceanian Championship will be held at Musannah Sports City from September 30 to October 7.

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