ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Nominees are out and we are taking a look at one of them, Oman's Raiya Al Habsi.
Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) (on left) and Dee Caffari (GBR) (on right) onboard MOD70 Oman Air
From great opportunities, come great moments. Raiya Al Habsi 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.
That great moment came from an opportunity two years prior.
Working as a customer service assistant in a bank the Omani was given the chance to join Oman Sail Women's Sailing Programme when it first launched in 2011. Al Habsi's positive attitude and hunger to learn made her stand out and sparkle as she became a key member of the Oman National Sailing Team.
Aimed at increasing participation of young Omani women in sport and to develop female role models Al Habsi has been the success story of a steadily emerging all-female Omani sailing team competing in the Farr 30 and J/80 classes and at the same time promoting sport, fitness, health and lifestyle to women in Oman.
Her success throughout 2012 ensured Al Habsi of a spot in the second edition of Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2013 where after she finished seventh out of nine teams.
Al Habsi was then selected for an all-women crew on board team Al Thuraya Bank Muscat to participate in the J80 World Championships in Marseille, France. The crew finished 91st over five days of racing highlighting vast improvement throughout the week.
In August 2013 Al Habsi was selected as the single Omani woman to crew on board the MOD70 Oman Air-Musandam under the guidance of mentor Dee Caffari.
Al Habsi took to the Artemis Challenge for her first MOD70 experience before history was made during the Rolex Fastnet Race. Skippered by Sidney Gavignet, Al Habsi was part of the crew that won the MOCRA Multihull event.
Joining Al Habsi as a female nominee for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2013 are Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL), Deneen Demourkas (USA) and Erika Heineken (USA).
View Raiya Al Habsi's ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Nominee Page.
The winners are selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world. The MNAs are now invited to vote for the male and female nominee they believe most deserves the Award.
The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, taking place on Tuesday 12 November 2013. The venue for the event will be at the El Bander Hotel, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a distinctive Rolex timepiece.