The tenth edition of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour in Oman was a two-week display of exceptional talent and tight competition from the global field of sailors. However, just as much skill was needed on land in order to make the race a logistical success. In order to achieve this, Oman Sail partnered with DB Schenker to move the eight boats, 31 sailors, and support equipment to five different locations along a 1,500 kilometre stretch of the Omani coastline.
Hosted and organised by Oman Sail, EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour is the premier multi-stage sailing event in the Middle East. Since its inception in 2011, the two-week long race has been an annual showcase of Sultanate’s rich maritime heritage, as well as a prime winter event for some of the top sailing talent in Europe.
The 2020 race included five stopover ports – Salalah, Duqm, Masirah Island, Sur, and Muscat – and eight teams, featuring sailors from Oman, France, Switzerland and Spain.
Given the size of the event, the role of DB Schenker was crucial from the very beginning, from organising the logisitics for the DIAM24s – a 7.24-metre trimaran sailboat – from France, to the land transportation of the eight trailers needed for the DIAM24s, support boats, boom loaders and cranes.
Oman Sail Client Services Strategist Nelia Smith said: “We are very fortunate to be working with some exceptional partners for EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, from our title sponsor EFG Bank Monaco to the partners supporting our teams, Oman Airports, Renaissance and DB Schenker.
“Oman Sail has worked with DB Schenker on this race since 2017 and we were very proud to continue that partnership for the tenth edition this year. Oman Sail’s drive to support the development of sailing and people aligns with DB Schenker’s mission to advance businesses and lives by shaping the way our world connects.”
Thomas Ruelke, CCO of DB Schenker Middle East and Africa, said: “I am very happy to be working again with EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour this year. With the Middle East posing as one of the growing regions, such an opportunity helps us to demonstrate our growing commitment to the region. Passion and commitment push us – both on the ocean and in behind-the-scenes logistics. We’re incredibly proud to be part of such an amazing event.”
As well as supporting logistically, this is the fourth year that DB Schenker has backed an all-female team. The 2020 squad, made up of Oman’s Ibtisam Al Salmi and Marwa Al Kaifi, French Skipper Audrey and Swiss sailor Lauranne Mettraux, made history, becoming the first all-female team to finish on podium in the ten-year history of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour.
Richard van Schie, Managing Director of Schenker Khimji’s LLC, Oman, said: “We continued our relation with Oman Sail in 2020 as it gives us the opportunity to show our expertise in sport event logistics and also connect with Oman and its people through this sailing event.
“The team dynamics shown by our exceptional sailors really represented the spirit of DB Schenker: one team, one goal, pushing limits, and always going for gold.”
Ibtisam Al Salm, who like Marwa Al Kaifi is part of the women’s elite programme at Oman Sail, said: “I’m so proud to be part of the first all-female team to finish in the top three. It was a tough few weeks of racing in all sorts of conditions but all four of us remained focused and worked as hard as we could. It feels amazing that that hard work has paid off.”
DB Schenker Skipper Audrey Ogereau added: “We are very proud to be in third at the end of the tour. All four of us – myself, Lauranne, Ibtisam, and Marwa – spent a month training together here in Oman before the regatta began and the hard work has really paid off.
“We have improved so much since last year and it will really set us up well for the sailing season in France. I’m also very happy that we could get such a good result for DB Schenker. This is the fourth straight year they have supported an all-female team and I am proud to sail for them.”
The 2020 edition of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour was won by team EFG Bank, raced by Olympian Sofian Bouvet, fellow Frenchman Gaulthier Germain, and rising Omani star Ali al Balushi, while Groupe Atlantic was second overall.