Please select your home edition
Edition
navathome 728x90

Sailing Arabia - The Tour bursts into life with first in-port races

by Sailing Arabia The Tour on 14 Feb 2013
EFG Bank - Sailing Arabia The Tour 2013 - In-Port racing Lloyd Images © http://lloydimagesgallery.photoshelter.com/
A group of nine world-class crews competing in the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour were back on the water off the coast of Qatar for the first of three in-port races to take place during the fifteen day race between Bahrain and Muscat.

In contrast to the calm of the opening days, day three of the third edition of the region’s only long distance sailing race was fast and fanatic as fiercely competitive in-port races saw Dubai-based Team AISM, steal the honours winning all three races in front of a large crowd enjoying Qatar’s National Sport Day.

After a windless opening day to EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour, sailing conditions today were a perfect at the Doha’s magnificent development, The Pearl. 10-15 knots with flat water for the three double lap windward-leeward courses, held against the Qatari skyscraper-lined backdrop.

Bertrand Pacé and his Dubai-based Team AISM dominated the first day of in-port racing. Pacé is returning to compete in the Gulf’s longest sailboat race for a third time, hoping to repeat his first place success of 2011. 'I like the mixture of inshore and offshore – it is good for us,' said the former America’s Cup helmsman. 'This time of year we don’t have that much sailing we can do [in Europe] so this is good practice for us. It is a perfect two weeks.'

Having such a lengthy background sailing the Farr 30 one designs is just one reason Team AISM is doing so well. Pacé also likes the smaller nine boat fleet. 'In these wind conditions it is very technical and we know how to use the boat, so I am not surprised that we have good speed. We started okay and with Cedric [Chateau] we have good tactics. When you have the speed, you sail well and start well, most of the time you will be in the top of the fleet.'

Winner of the opening leg from Bahrain to Doha, the Cédric Pouligny-skippered BAE Systems, scored a 4-2-4 today in the three races leaving her just ahead of EFG Bank Monaco and Team AISM in the overall standings.


'We raced well today,' said team BAE Systems’ Omani crewman, Ali Al Balushi. Despite celebrating his 22nd birthday today, Al Balushi has a long track record – having competed in the last three editions of SATT and in the Tour de France a la Voile. 'We are very happy to be in Qatar. It is a very nice place, with friendly people - it feels like Oman,' concluded Al Balushi.

EFG Bank (Monaco) scored a 3-3-2 today. 'Today was great,' said skipper Sidney Gavignet. 'Conditions for us were ideal: just enough wind, flat sea, sun - all nice. The organisation did a good job to get three races in as well. We had a consistent day, we didn’t win, but I am pleased. There is some competitive racing in the top half of the fleet. We are not doing too badly for a team that is still discovering the boat.'

While the male crews were told today they had to limit their number to six (some were sailing with seven) this didn’t affect the EFG Bank (Monaco) team greatly as among their number they have Sami Al Shukaili, a bodybuilder. As crewman Fahad Al Hasni points out of his team mate and his tree trunk-sized arms: 'sometimes he breaks the sails – he goes very hard.'

For Dee Caffari and her all-female crew on Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat it was a difficult day and they struggled with their manoeuvring.

'This really was a practice day for us,' said Caffari. 'I have to say we are happy with our boat speed. In Bahrain when we were together as a team for the first time there was no wind. It is only our manoeuvres that let us down, but at least now we have something to work on. Having seen how we were against the other boats at each mark we know that there are a few boats there for the pickings.'

Delighted by the response of the local community in Qatar to the spectacular showcase of sailing, Issa Al Ismaili, Director of Events at race organiser Oman Sail said: 'Sailing and the sea are at the core of the region’s culture, heritage and everyday living. On a day like today with crews and spectators enjoying a perfect day of racing, Oman Sail’s vision to encourage the growth of sailing across the entire Middle East continues to become a reality. I would like to thank the Qatar Sailing Federation and Qatari people for the warm welcome.'


After today’s short course sailing series, the nine crews will be setting their sights on the longest leg of the 15 day tour, covering 160 nautical miles between Doha and Abu Dhabi, the first stopover in the UAE.

Sailing through the night on a typically a 36 hour race, based on an average speed of five knots, the race is expected to be reduced to 20 hours. Strong wind speeds are forecasted, lifting speeds to between 15-20 knots. As the longest leg is also predicted to be one of the quickest, the decision has been made to delay the start until 1200 local time.

Competing aboard identical Farr 30 yachts, the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour has attracted nine crews representing five different nations, led locally by Oman’s Team Renaissance, Royal Navy of Oman, Team BAE Systems and the all - female Team Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat. Two teams will compete on behalf of the UAE, Team Abu Dhabi and Team AISM. International crews include EFG Bank (Monaco), Team Delft Challenge – TU Delft (Holland) and the Team Messe Frankfurt (EU).

Taking in four countries and eight ports of call, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour is a showcase of everything that the Gulf has to offer in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and idyllic sailing conditions.

Leaving Manama on February 10th, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour calls at Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Dibba and Mussanah and ends February 25th in Muscat. The racing will include in-port racing at selected locations. Sailing Arabia The Tour website

navathome 660x82Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Yann Eliès and his team relaunch 60-ft IMOCA in Lorient
Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses. Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses organised at the Finistère Ocean Racing Centre in Port-la-Forêt (Brittany). He will also take part in the Azimut Trophy. Yann Eliès tells us about the work that has been done and what lies ahead in the final part of his preparation.
Posted on 26 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island RW - Images and video from the supermaxi racing
Michael Chittenden and Bob Killick were on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and provided these images Michael Chittenden and Bob Killick were on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and provided these images of the supermaxi battle between Wild Oats XI and Scallywag from Races 3, 4 and 5 Scallywag won the third and final race for the day (Race5). She should also have won Race 3 also but had a problem with their furler after leading by about a minute at the top mark.
Posted on 26 Aug
Vendée Globe – A long trip between France and Iceland for Heerema
After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. Thanks to this voyage from France to Iceland and back, the Dutch skipper is finding out more about No Way Back, the new generation IMOCA on which he will line up on 6th November
Posted on 26 Aug
Phoenix returns and Cayard is back for the TP52 World Championships
Richard Cohen will compete at the championships in Mahón, Menorca, with Phoenix, which will be skippered by Paul Cayard. The carefully assembled team includes a core group of sailors who have many years of experience in the class, but Cayard cautions that their initial objective is to learn and improve together in line with their long term goal, to be competitive on the 2017 52 Super Series.
Posted on 26 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Offshore teams lead two divisions
The penultimate day played out in 12 – 15 knots SSE wind, gusting up to 19. All Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleets contested passage races of varying lengths around the islands and this afternoon two of the championship divisions are being controlled by New Zealand sailing teams - Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste at the head of Rating division A and Simon Hull’s Frank Racing, which is running away with the first-ever Multihull Racing top prize.
Posted on 26 Aug
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted on 25 Aug
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted on 25 Aug
Championship momentum builds at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Three windward/leewards for the two Rating Series divisions on the eastern course area started out in 10-12knot ESE wind Three windward/leewards for the two Rating Series divisions on the eastern course area started out in 10-12 knot ESE winds under overcast skies and as the day progressed the breeze turned SE and faded to 8-9kts.
Posted on 25 Aug
Fair Winds celebrates 60th at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Over the past decade modernisation/expanding waterline length of boats competing at AHIRW has been obvious progression 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Over the past decade the modernisation and expanding waterline length of boats competing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week has been an obvious progression. In contrast the homebuilt and the classics among the glamourous production fleet and multiplying multihulls have become rarer sights.
Posted on 25 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island RW - Whales steal the limelight on Day 3 + Video
With the IRC class racing postponed ashore, the cruising classes were sent to an eastern course in search of breeze. With the IRC class racing postponed ashore, the cruising classes were sent to an eastern course in search of breeze. The only action in the racing area came from the whales rolling around without a care for the yachts that surrounded them.
Posted on 24 Aug