Muscat, February 7 2019: All the 10 international crews taking part in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour are set to make an early start on Friday to get ready for extra racing at the Masirah Island venue.
The move came after continued strong winds and rough seas at Sur saw racing cancelled for a second day.
EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour race director Gilles Chiorri made an early decision to cancel sailing on Thursday and plan for extra stadium racing Friday, a decision welcomed by the teams who received an unplanned opportunity to explore Oman.
Bernard Stamm, manager of the Cheminée Poujoulat team who are early leaders of the event, said: “It was a good decision to cancel racing give the state of the sea – even getting out of the harbour would have been difficult.
“We are here to race so it is a good plan to get to Masirah early – and it will be an unexpected pleasure to have the chance to visit Wadi Shab as well.”
It was a view shared by Oman Shipping Company skipper Stevie Morrison. The British Olympic yachtsman said: “It’s too windy and too wavy, but that’s the nature of our game.
“We are here to sail of course, but Oman is such a fantastic country to come to the organisers have come up with something special for us to do. As much as it is a sailing event, coming here is also a cultural experience.”
The focus is now on Sailing Arabia’s logistics partner DB Schenker to transport the 10 Diam 24 racing trimarans to Masirah Island.
The German company is also the sponsor of the all-women team on the Tour. Skipper Audrey Ogereau said: “The aim for sure is to sail as much as we can so we are happy to make an early start and see what we can do in Masirah, it’s a good idea.
“DB Schenker is our sponsor and the Tour’s logistic transporter and I am sure they will do a really good job in getting us to Masirah earlier than planned. Once we have packed the boat up we will enjoy at trip to Wadi Shab – Oman is a great place to visit.”
A total of three days of racing are now planned for the Masirah Island venue before the Tour moves on to Duqm and then the final event in Salalah at the end of next week.
1 Cheminée Poujoulat
2 Oman Shipping Company
4 Golfe du Morbihan
7 EFG Bank
8 CER Geneva
10 DB Schenker