Please select your home edition
Edition
BandG Zeus3 AUS 728x90

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Raiya Al Habsi Celebrates

by Daniel Smith on 12 Nov 2013
Training prior to the Fastnet race. Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) and Dee Caffari (GBR) Lloyd Images
At the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman is a familiar site for Raiya Al Habsi and she will be joined by friends and family.

The ground breaking Omani made history in 2013 when she became the first Omani woman to sail the Rolex Fastnet Race on Oman’s flagship, the MOD70 Oman Air-Musandam.

For her success Al Habsi received a nomination for ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, 'It’s very good for me as I am the first female Arab sailor. It means a lot to me and my country and to all the female Arab sailors.'

Al Habsi’s extensive family will be flying in from around Oman and from overseas and is happy to see her success celebrated on her home soil, 'That is a very pleasing for us as Omanis because we are so pleased that you chose our country to come and do the event here. If I win I will give it to my country first and it’s a really good and we’re so proud to have you here.'



Al Habsi used to be a customer service assistant in a bank but she was given the chance to join Oman Sail Women’s Sailing Programme when it first launched in 2011.

A positive attitude and a hunger to learn ensured the vibrant Omani stood out from the crowd and sparkled brightly as she became a key member of the Oman National Sailing Team

'I had never sailed before,' recalled Al Habsi, 'I started the steps by taking a dinghy program and then I went to the keelboat for offshore and then I jumped into the MOD70.'

Al Habsi was the first Omani female to sail on the Rolex Fastnet Race in August 2013 and received her nomination for her efforts not only during the race but across the year where she took in Sail Arabia The Tour and the J/80 Worlds.

'It was amazing [Rolex Fastnet Race], an awesome experience to be on-board with the professional people who have been sailing 15 to 30 years. To sail such a long offshore race with them was amazing.

'The Fastnet from the beginning was crazy for me. To cross 600 miles on the fastest boat I’ve ever been on in my life was the MOD70, it was so good.'

Raiya’s diversity has made her stand out and as part of an all-female crew she enjoyed the J/80 Worlds experience, 'That was so good because I sailed with four Omani girls who are my friends and one professional. We presented our country as it was the first time Arab women were doing the J/80 Worlds so it was an awesome experience for us.

'We met a lot of different people and communicated with all the different sailors and took their experience, it was an awesome opportunity.

'Now we have to jump from more of this and continue more races and do more international races in the future.'

The 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year will be announced on Tuesday 12 November at a glittering award ceremony in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

The winners are selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world, who vote for the one male and one female nominee who they believe most deserves the Award.
Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82RS Sailing 660x82 AUS

Related Articles

Clipper World Yacht Race – Day 3, Race 1 – Tackling the Bay of Biscay
As the fleet makes steady progress south past the UK and towards Northern France, Skippers focus on the next challenge Ahead of the fleet, the weather is changing somewhat. A new low moving southeast across the race track should reach the Portuguese coast by the weekend. Whilst it does not look particularly strong, it will provide several tactical options for the twelve teams.
Posted on 23 Aug
AHIRW 2017 - Day 3 Reichel Pugh Girls II - Video
Day 3 of the regatta saw the third round of racing between the four Reichel Pugh girls. Day 3 of the regatta saw the third round of racing between the four Reichel Pugh girls. Wild Oats XI won the first day with the Black Jack 100 taking out the second under lighter conditions. We now bring you the start of Day 3 – lighter conditions after an extended AP on shore with the entire fleet moved to the eastern course. M3 (the only non-Reichel Pugh boat in the class)
Posted on 23 Aug
J-Class Worlds – Day 1 shots by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from J-Class World Championship 2017 – Day 1 Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from J-Class World Championship 2017 – Day 1
Posted on 23 Aug
Nice points jump for Facundo Olezza after U23 Finn Worlds opener
Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions on the first day The only young sailor at the U23 Finn World Championship in Balatonfured with Olympic experience, Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions on the first day to build a 13 point margin after three very tricky races were sailed.
Posted on 23 Aug
J-Class Worlds - Day 1 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery was on water at 2017 J-Class World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1's action. Top international photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2017 J-Class World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1's action.
Posted on 23 Aug
AHIRW 2017 - D3 Cruising Video
In picture postcard conditions (for those of old enough to remember what postcards were) the Cruising fleet set out In picture postcard conditions (for those of old enough to remember what postcards were) the Cruising fleet set out under a light breeze after a delayed start from what was meant to be the long island race. We caught up with the fleet at the start and then again when they were sailing downwind with the spinnakers up. A very colourful sight!
Posted on 23 Aug
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt I
In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. Over nine (+ve) in an aircraft, and without a G-suit, you will be unconscious. So at three G’s, and pulling no punches with them either, we not only enjoyed our opportunity to sit with Gianguido Girotti (G3), we got to learn a lot as well!
Posted on 23 Aug
AHIRW 2017 Day 2 - Grace on the Water Video
Despite a quieter day on the water today, grace and elegance broke out on the start of the Cruising Class. Sit back and Despite a quieter day on the water today, grace and elegance broke out on the start of the Cruising Class. Sit back and enjoy as the old and the new showed that style is never out of fashion, even on the race course.
Posted on 23 Aug
Clipper Yacht Race – Day 2, Race 1 – Strong tides divide fleet
Strong tides running North have divided the fleet tactically overnight, with the front of the pack heading close inshore The gap between first and last place has widened over the last 24 hours, with 68 nautical miles separating the teams and a group of four teams pulling away from the pack. At the top of the leader board is Unicef which has crept four nautical miles ahead of Visit Seattle this morning despite sitting in second place overnight.
Posted on 22 Aug
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Building on success
Pulses look set to race once again at the Mediterranean’s greatest festival of big boat competition. As usual, this year’s fleet will be grouped into classes depending upon several factors, including size, rating and racing capabilities. Within the smaller participating yachts, between 18.29 metres and 24.08 metres, the sub-division promotes close and fair racing under the prevailing handicap systems.
Posted on 22 Aug