AL THURAYA woman’s team aims to beat the boys

  • Team Thuriya 2015

Skipper Mary Rook, returning for her third Tour, is fully aware of the strength of the opposition but the seven members of her team, a mix of Omani and international sailors, have agreed on one thing – they can compete with the very best.

Mary said, “The field is looking very tough this year with lots of other good teams so it will be hard to put a number on where we hope to finish until we get started, but as ever we would love to beat the Omani Boys team! This year we have Ibtisam Al Salmi, who has taken part in the tour with me once before and last summer became an expert trimmer on the J80 in France. She is the best female sailor we have on the programme.”

She added, “Also in the team, we have Raiya Al Habsi who was one of the first girls from the Oman Sail Women’s Sailing Programme to join the Tour and the first Omani woman ever to take part in the Rolex Fastnet Race. She is back again this year to keep us entertained and happy with her fun personality! We then have two more girls from the women’s programme who are completely new to competitive sailing as well as Annemeike Bes from Holland, a three time Olympian and a Silver medallist from Beijing who was a member of Team SCA’s training crew for the Volvo Ocean Race.”

“Lauren Eatwell did the tour last year and Hannah Morris from New Zealand raced with us last year and is a very accomplished offshore racer. Five of our team have done the race before and might have an idea of what to expect which is a great help. Two of the Omanis are brand new to sailing so we will be able to talk them all through it.”

“As we are lighter we will be able to sail with eight people which will be useful have the extra few pairs of hands. We haven’t been sailing together for very long as a team but hopefully we will come together as the race progresses. Two of the new girls won’t have ever done an offshore race before so it will be quite an experience for them!”

In 2015, the 760nm route has been reversed by Oman Sail with the boats starting in Muscat in Oman and finishing the race in Manama, Bahrain, completing six legs and visiting seven stopovers with two inshore races in Dubai and Doha scheduled along the way. These changes have repercussions for all the teams, says Rook.

“The climate is going to get colder as we go along which is the opposite to normal and might pose an added difficulty especially with the Omanis who suffer with the cold! The first leg will be massively tough as the three times I have sailed the route, we have been becalmed for between 24-48hrs each time. So it will be interesting to see how that goes but we will be doing our best to make sure we are always fresh whatever the conditions.”

Crew list:

  • Mary Elizabeth Rook
  • Lauren Eatwell
  • Hannah Morris
  • Annemieke Bes
  • Raiya Al Habsi
  • Ibtisam Al Salmi
  • Asma Adim
  • Marwa Hamood
  • Bushra Ramadhan


  • – Training sessions – 11-14th February, Muscat
  • – Leg 1 – 15th February, Muscat – Sohar
  • – Leg 2 – 17th February, Sohar – RAK
  • – Leg 3 – 19th February, RAK – Dubai
  • – Leg 4 – 23rd February, Dubai – Abu Dhabi
  • – Leg 5 – 24th February, Abu Dhabi – Doha
  • – Leg 6 – 26th February, Doha – Manama
2017-01-09T15:38:44+02:00 February 10th, 2015|