A perfect series for Arab Sailors as, The Wave, wins Extreme Sailing Series
Khamis Al Anbouri: “It is an unbelievable feeling and I am so proud to win the Series”
November 24th: After 130 races, across five European venues, Oman Sail’s The Wave, Muscat were crowned victors of the prestigious Extreme Sailing Series earlier this month, having sailed in front of tens of thousands of spectators over the course of the tour. The Extreme Sailing Series is arguably the most exciting and fiercely competitive spectator sailing series on the planet. The young team on The Wave, Muscat had a remarkable season, battling some of the world’s best sailors including pre-season favorites from France Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Yann Guichard) and team mates Oman Sail Masirah, to ensure the title came back to the Arab region for the second consecutive year.
This is the second consecutive year for Oman to win the Extreme Sailing Series Europe.
The difference from last year’s circuit was Omani Khamis Al Anbouri had become a fully fledged member of the Extreme 40 race team, and was looking to become the first man in Oman’s history to stand on the podium of a top international sailing event – he didn’t just make the podium though – he won the event. “At the start of the Series we just wanted to finish in the top three boats. It is an unbelievable feeling and I am so proud to win the Series.
Arriving back in Oman with the trophy last Friday was amazing. The support from The Wave, Muscat, the prestigious residential development, have given us is amazing, it allowed us to have the best equipment, training and courage to win the trophy – I hope they are proud, we couldn’t have done it without their support. Thank you to everyone at The Wave, Muscat,” said Khamis on arriving back in Oman with the trophy.
So how did The Wave, Muscat win the event? The five-event circuit began in May touring Sète (France), Cowes (UK), Kiel (Germany), Trapani (Sicily) and, finally, Almeria (Spain). They started the series well finishing the first event in third place. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild emerged the winner and would prove to be the team’s closest rival throughout the series.
The two Oman Sail Extreme 40s then moved to the UK, where they took part in one of the world’s biggest yacht race, the J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, a 50 mile dash around the Isle of Wight. The teams were prepared for some stiff competition from the other 1,752 boats that had entered. After a 5am start and 4 hours and 27 minutes of hard racing, The Wave, Muscat who crossed the finishing line 24 seconds ahead of their teammates on Oman Sail’s Masirah to win their class. The only one boat ahead of them was 97 ft, over double their size.
August saw the Extreme Sailing Series move to Cowes again on the Isle of Wight. The Wave, Muscat triumphed winning the event. The teams were supported by some very important guests in Cowes, including His Highness Sayyid Tariq bin Shabib Al Said and His Excellency Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Hinai, the Omani Ambassador to United Kingdom. David Graham, Oman Sail CEO commented, “Having the support in Cowes of His Highness Sayyid Tariq bin Shabib Al Said and the His Excellency Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Hinai meant an awful lot to all Oman Sail – His Highness was blown away.”
There was little rest for the teams, before the next event, in Kiel Germany. Fresh from their win in Cowes, The Wave, Muscat were growing in confidence. They finished in third place finish propelling them up to third on the overall leaderboard behind Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.
Three weeks later and the fleet descend on Trapani on the western coast of Sicily, for the penultimate event of the series, where the pressure was beginning to build on the Omani team. The medieval port of Trapani, provided some challenging and windy conditions for all the teams, that saw some near capsizes in confines of the ancient harbour walls, but The Wave, Muscat proved unbeatable, winning the event overall. By securing victory in the fourth round of the Extreme Sailing Series in Trapani, The Wave, Muscat become new leaders of the Extreme Sailing Series, with just the final showdown in Almeria, Spain left to decide who would lift the winner’s trophy.
And so to Almeria, for the final crucial event where the champions were to be decided and the question on everyone’s mind was whether the The Wave, Muscat could hold onto their lead and take the title back to Oman for the second year. For The Wave, Muscat to win the series they had to beat the French team, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, second place would not do.
The racing was action-packed right up until the final double-points race which, ultimately, decided the victor. The young team beat pre-season favourites Groupe Edmond de Rothschild from France to lift the trophy.
Michael Lenarduzzi, CEO of The Wave, Muscat said, “It gives us immense pride to see the first Omani reach the winner’s podium of a top international sailing event through unrelenting personal perseverance and world class training. As The Wave Muscat continues to grow as the leading tourism destination in Muscat, we will continue to support the rising talents of young Omanis and look to play an instrumental role in helping them develop their skills and realize their dreams in the sporting arena.”
Lenarduzzi added, “Khamis’s win is a reflection of Oman’s historic and glorious maritime culture and reinforces the decision by Oman Sail to call The Wave, Muscat, its head quarters and ultimate home to the training Academy for thousands of youth across the country. In partnership with Oman Sail, The Wave Muscat aims to become a hub for regional and international sailing competitions.”
About Oman Sail
Oman Sail is an exciting new initiative whose aim is to rekindle Oman's long and glorious maritime heritage and inspire the next generation. The project, which was formed in mid 2008, operates with the support and guidance of the Ministry of Tourism and through the development of seven Oman Sailing Schools across the country by 2015, aims to move sailing accessible to schools and young enthusiasts.
The project includes hi-tech ocean sailing and the highest level inshore professional racing, in turn driving interest from young Omanis to step on to a boat for the first time, creating dreams of their own. The Oman Sailing School is now established in Muscat, Oman and the long-term objective is to make sailing accessible to schools and young enthusiasts, developing a wider base from which sailors from around the country can progress up in to the Oman Sail Racing Team. They will also be encouraged to develop marine industry skills and the infrastructure to create a sustainable future for sailing in Oman. The creation of role models such as Mohsin Al Busaidi (first Arab to sail around the world), Saleh Al Jabri (Captain of Jewel of Muscat), Ahmed Al Mamary & Abdulla Al Busaidi (the first Omanis to race around the world in the famous Clipper Round), Khamis Al Anbouri (full time crew member on Extreme40) and Ali Ambosaidi (chief instructor) have already started to inspire young Omanis and shows that with determination and hard work, anything is possible.
About The Wave, Muscat
The Wave, Muscat is the first 100 per cent freehold development in Oman and a unique public-private venture valued at US$2.5 billion. A world-class mixed-use community spread along 6km of natural beach, The Wave, Muscat will comprise Oman’s first 18 hole green links golf course, designed by Greg Norman; a 400-berth marina; modern and spacious apartments and townhouses; water, beach and garden-view villas; and 5-star luxury hotels. Situated on 6 km of natural beach and just 10 minutes away from an existing shopping mall and the airport, The Wave, Muscat is delivering real homes for real people.
The Wave, Muscat, is being developed through a joint venture comprising Oman’s Waterfront Investments (representing the Government of the Sultanate of Oman), National Investment Funds Company (representing Omani Pension Funds), and the UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim Group. For the more details on the Wave, Muscat, please log on to www.thewavemuscat.com
For further information regarding Oman Sail, contact Mohammed Al Eissa, PR Manager at Oman Sail on +968 96330571 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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