by Nicky Moore
The Extreme Sailing Series round two is being held in the venue that hosted the 2008 Olympic sailing event, Qingdao in China, and starts on 13th April 2011.
Pictures of The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air EX40 catamarans training prior to the start of the 2011 race series
There will be five days of intense racing with both Oman Sail teams The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air looking to ensure there is an Oman flag on the podium at the end of the event.
Just six weeks ago, The Wave, Muscat successfully played host to the opening round of the Series, welcoming the 11 international teams to compete on the Oman Sail team’s home waters. Andrea Linehan, Marketing Manager at The Wave, Muscat commented 'The Extreme Sailing Series was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase The Wave as a new and exciting destination and to put our marina on the world boating map. Al Marsa Village and the marina will be the center of a number of lifestyle, sports, retail and tourism offerings within The Wave, Muscat moving forward.' She continued, 'It gives us immense pride to support Khamis Al Anbouri and the team on The Wave, Muscat boat and we are behind them 100% in defending their title for 2011!'
Since the event in Muscat, both the teams on Oman Air and The Wave, Muscat have been working hard in the gym and enjoying time with their families. For Omani sailor and bowman on The Wave, Muscat, Khamis Al Anbouri, the time between events has allowed him to spend time getting to know the new future talent of Omani sailing. 'I have had time to work alongside the Oman Sail Sailing Schools which has been great. I have been sailing with the kids and went out with a group of girls who were taking part in the Try Sailing and it is amazing to be able to spend time with them. Oman Sail is also having a new recruit drive and I have been spending time with them down in Mussanah. They are all training hard and are starting to look really good – the training is tough, I remember going through that!!'
Following on from the close competition in Muscat back in February, the 11 Extreme 40 teams will all be vying for a good result in Qingdao. Tovar Mirsky, skipper on The Wave, Muscat commented, 'We were pretty nervous going into the event in Muscat as it was our first Extreme 40 experience together as a team, but now we have that under belts we are feeling more confident. We learnt a lot at that first event about the boats and about the competition – it is always going to be tough on the water, but we also learnt that we have the potential to be competitive amongst the fleet, and believe that both The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air are teams to contend with'.
This is the first time the Series will visit the city of Qingdao, known as the ‘City of Sailing’ since staging the sailing during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. For Nasser Al Masahri, bowman on Oman Air, this is the second time he will sail in China, having made his debut as bowman onboard The Wave, Muscat during the Extreme Sailing Series Asia, in 2010. Nasser commented 'I have sailed in Hong Kong before but I have never sailed in Qingdao and I am really looking excited to be heading back to China – I am really interested to see what the Olympic waters have to offer. We should have some great racing in Qingdao – at the minute it is looking like it will be quite windy so I am sure we can put on a good show for everyone watching'.
After the event in China, the Extreme Sailing Series will travel to Turkey, the USA, the UK, Italy, France, and Spain, before it’s conclusion in Singapore in December.
To keep up to date with how the Oman Sail teams are getting in and for exclusive updates visit Facebook. You can also read an exclusive blog from Khamis Al Anbouri on his thoughts before the Qingdao event on the Oman Sail website.
Oman Sail website