DUBAI, - The parade of boats participating at The 25th Dubai to Muscat Sailing Race, the longest offshore race in the region covering over 300 miles, left on Thursday the start line at docks of Umm Suqueim 1 Fishing Harbour.
The race is organised by the United Arab Emirates Sailing and Rowing Federation (UAE SARF), in association with Oman's Ministry of Sports Affairs, and recognised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). The race is scheduled for 5 days and 20 hours, departing from Dubai Offshore Sailing Club in Dubai on 10 November and ending at 6:00 p.m. on 14 November at Al Mouj Marina in Muscat. The sailors can expect to spend from three to five days at sea, racing 24 hours a day in pursuit in a variety of challenging conditions.
Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Sailing and Rowing Federation, joined by Ahmed Obaid Al Falasi, Executive Director of Human Resources, Finance and Administration Division, of Dubai Customs, and Khalifa Hareb, General Manager of the Fishing Harbours, greeted the skippers and their first mate along with the 43 children from the Gems Sohar Education Programme.
The ceremony at the Umm Suqueim 1 Fishing Harbour, which will host the race village until the 13th November, was attended by friends and family of the 151 crew on 21 boats, including one from Kuwait, two professionally crewed Farr 30 from Oman Sail and the Pindar Volvo 60.
World famous offshore and multihull sailor from France, Sidney Gavignet will skipper EFG Bank Monaco from Oman Sail. Sidney holds the single handed world record for Round Britain and Ireland.
This year in particular, the competition is fierce, with professional sailors mixed with experienced club sailors. Many have expressed their hopes for strong winds. Tom Way, skipper of the Pindar Volvo 60 stated clearly, "We need a strong wind to move, and if we get it we would really like to break the current record."
The Dubai to Muscat yacht race record was broken in 2013, for the first time in 13 years, and was smashed the following year by two boats. Current record holder is Doug Hassell in Diablo, Commodore of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.
"We are so proud that the race endures and it is thanks to the collaboration of Dubai Customs, Dubai Offshore Sailing Club and Al Mouj Marina that the build up to this race has proven so successful. All of this is thanks to the sponsorship and support and of Dubai Customs and we thank them for their role in this most prestigious race in the region," said Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Ahmed Obaid Al Falasi, Executive Director of Human Resources, Finance and Administration Division of Dubai Customs, commented: "Dubai Customs is pleased to have been a principal sponsor of the prestigious Dubai to Muscat Yacht Race which celebrates its silver anniversary this year. We are committed to our partnership with UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation to help them organize a successful race. They have our support by making available all necessary requirements and facilities at Dubai Customs' Umm Suqueim 1 Fishing Harbour which has been hosting educational and entertainment activities for school students and visitors as part of the race's 25th edition."
Dubai Customs' newly-revamped infrastructure at the Fishing Harbour have been put at the disposal of the Dubai to Muscat Race organizing committee to ensure smooth and efficient organization of the event and its parallel programs, he added.
"We are particularly proud that Dubai Customs has been a key part of the exciting program of community events organized from September to November in conjunction with the Dubai to Muscat Yacht Race. The Umm Suqeim Fishing Harbour is hosting the Dubai to Muscat Race Village which caters to the visiting boats and racers, and welcomes members of the community interested to know more about sailing sports, but more importantly will be the stage of so many children's activities, including the education program, facilitated by Gems Education."
The race village from 10th November to the 13th November, will include Try Sailing, Safety demonstrations, a dhow, and many children's activities, trendy food trucks and is free to enter.
The race village will also be the centre of activity for the children of Gems who have taken part in the Sohar Education Programme.
Source: Emirates News Agency