by Jessica Gray
Laser World Championship 2013 is set to be held in Mussanah Sports City, Oman and will be one of the largest international sporting events in the Sultanate’s history.
Second Asian Beach Games in Muscat 2010 - Laser World Championships 2013
An official ceremony to mark the signing of the historic agreement on Tuesday was attended by HE Sheikh Rashad Al Hinai, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Sports Affairs; David Graham, Oman Sail CEO; Issa Al Ismaili, Oman Sail’s Director of Events and Jeff Martin, Executive Secretary of the International Laser Class Association.
More than 1,000 visitors and their teams from around 60 nations are expected to attend the three events between November 2013 and January 2014.
Recent World Championships have been held in Australia and Germany and Oman has been able to match the strict hosting criteria, which includes accommodation, equipment, good weather and sailing conditions plus a knowledgeable and experienced racing management team.
Jeff Martin, Executive Secretary of the ILCA said: 'Demand is pretty high for venues and we have always been at the forefront of going to new places.
'We have closely followed the development of sailing in Oman and were impressed with the dynamics within Oman Sail that has seen them build a sport from the bottom up, engaging Omani sailors and Omani people in the infrastructure. Hopefully, this event will be the first of many.
'There has to be a legacy for sailing in the host country. Lasers are an important part of sailing development throughout the region and Oman is involved in a very substantial and significant way.'
A team of Omani sailors and officials recently attended the RYA’s Sail for Gold Regatta in the UK to add to their event management expertise in preparation for organising the Championships next year.
HE Sheikh Rashad Al Hinai, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Sport Affairs said securing such a major sporting event represented a proud moment for Oman: 'Sailing has been a big part of our heritage over the past centuries and has continued to progress. Oman Sail has played a crucial role in developing sailing in the country and bringing the Laser World Championships to Oman.
'This will be the Sultanate’s second championship after the Beach Handball World Championship that takes place in July 2012 at Mussanah. The infrastructure, facilities and wind conditions at Mussanah Sports city provide an ideal platform for hosting the Laser World Championship.
'This event will motivate us to host more high calibre international events in the future that in turn will help promote the Sultanate’s hosting ability while inspiring the young Omanis to represent their country and make the Sultanate proud.'
Oman Sail’s CEO, Mr David Graham added: 'We are delighted to be granted the privilege of hosting the 2013 Laser World Championships. This event gives an opportunity to showcase Oman in all its natural beauty to an international audience through sport, which aligns perfectly with Oman Sail’s strategy. The Laser World Championship is at the pinnacle of dingy racing; it is the world’s most popular race boat and having this event in Muscat will be an inspiration to the youth currently engaged in our grassroots programmes.'
Details of championships dates:
World Laser Standard Championship – 22-28 November 2013
World Laser Masters Championship – 2-8 December 2013
The Laser Radial Youth Championship – 29 Dec – 4 January 2014
From right to left: David Graham CEO of Oman Sail, Jeff Martin Executive Secretary of ILCA, HE Sheikh Rashad Al Hinai Undersecretary of Omans Ministry of Sports Affairs and Issa Al Ismaili Director of Events in Oman Sail - Laser World Championships 2013
Right to Left: David Graham CEO of Oman Sail, Jeff Martin Executive Secretary of ILCA, HE Sheikh Rashad Al Hinai Undersecretary of Omans Ministry of Sports Affairs and Issa Al Ismaili Director of Events in Oman Sail
International Laser Class Association website