by Louay Habib
The 22nd edition of 360-mile Dubai Muscat Yacht Race commences Saturday, 2nd November 2013.
Adrian Lee’s Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners
Competitors have been arriving in Dubai from all over the world including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Sailors from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman will also be taking part. Hot favourite for Line Honours is Adrian Lee's Irish Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners, which has been specially shipped from the UK for the race. The Cookson 50 has won the Rolex Fastnet Race and the RORC Caribbean 600 and weather conditions permitting, the Irish yacht could challenge the monohull course record, which has stood since 2000.
The race starts at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club in the tidal shallows of the Arabian Gulf. After approximately 100 miles of tactical racing, the fleet will reach the Strait of Hormuz, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and the gateway to the deep waters of the Indian Ocean. The fleet then turn south through the Gulf of Oman. Racing the last 260 miles in open waters, along the mountainous coast line to the finish at Jebel Sifah near Muscat.
Weather conditions can be variable to say the least, The Shamal (North Wind) can bring sudden and rapid increases in the wind strength, sand and even thunder storms. During the day, the air temperature will be over 30 degrees but will fall rapidly during the night, which may cause land breezes to form. The route from Dubai to Muscat is definitely a challenging one with awe-inspiring scenery.
Race fans, all over the world can follow the race live. Dubai based communications company, Xtra-Link has equipped the yachts with the latest satellite communications equipment. Including Thuraya XT satellite phones and hi-tech tracking devices.