An all new format and a new route is set to give EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour (SATT) greater prominence in 2015 as the appeal of the Gulf region’s leading offshore race extends further afield. Sponsored once more by EFG, the leading global private banking group, SATT 2015 will see a radical change to the 700 nautical-miles route around the Arabian Peninsula as the introduction of training sessions and a new starting point create a more exacting test for sailors in the form of strong and sustained headwinds in the early stages.
Since EFG SATT was first launched in 2011, the fleet has crossed the start line in the Bahraini capital, Manama and finished in Oman’s capital city of Muscat but for the first time, the route has been reversed so the boats, all identical Farr 30s, will start their campaigns at Almouj Marina at The Wave, Muscat.
The teams are will finish approximately 14 days later at the Amwaj Marina in Manama, Bahrain’s newest marina, where a grand prize giving ceremony will be staged to bring the 2015 event to a close. In between, there will be seven stopovers to showcase some of the best venues and facilities on offer to sporting tourists visiting the Gulf region. The first 100 miles of the first leg from Muscat to Sohar are expected to be tough but at the end will be a warm welcome at International Maritime College Oman, which is hosting a SATT stopover for the first time.
The next leg, which at 172 miles, the equivalent of 40 hours of sailing, is the longest of the event takes the fleet around the Musandam Peninsula to Ras Al Khaimah before the boats head off on short hops to Dubai where the first of two inshore race days will be staged, then to Abu Dhabi. The Four Seasons Marina at Doha will host the next stopover and also roll out the red carpet for guests attending the second inshore racing day on February 26th.
The fleet is expected to arrive at the finish in Bahrain two days later when the winning team will be presented with their trophy. In 2014, it was Sidney Gavignet’s EFG Bank (Monaco) who took the title and his return to defend his crown is keenly anticipated. Over the next few weeks, organisers Oman Sail will reveal the line-up for the 2015 event but more entries than previously and a larger contingent from Gulf region are set to attract an even higher level of media attention and coverage than last year when new audience records were set.
“Sailing Arabia – The Tour has grown in stature over the past five years because it is a well-run event in beautiful scenery that offers sailors, both professional and amateur from all over the world, the chance to train and compete in fantastic conditions during the winter,” said Oman Sail CEO David Graham.
“It has always been our aim to rekindle our mutual Gulf maritime heritage by offering a first class winter racing venue for sailors and provide an outstanding platform to grow regional talent to raise the standard of our home-grown sailors. EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour ticks all the boxes in helping us achieve our aim.”
Keith Gapp, Head of Strategy and Marketing, EFG International said, “EFG sponsors a wide range of sporting events around the world and is proud to continue its association with EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour this year. Sailing is a sport that EFG International is passionate about and after the success of our team (Monaco), we will look to build on the achievement this year. With a new route and a new format, EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2015 is sure to be an exciting race around some of the Middle East’s best marinas.”
EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2015 takes place from February 15th – 28th with practice rounds taking place in the preceding days.
- 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