Please select your home edition
Edition
The Water Shed - 5

Sailing Arabia - The Tour bursts into life with first in-port races

by Sailing Arabia The Tour on 14 Feb 2013
EFG Bank - Sailing Arabia The Tour 2013 - In-Port racing Lloyd Images © http://lloydimagesgallery.photoshelter.com/
A group of nine world-class crews competing in the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour were back on the water off the coast of Qatar for the first of three in-port races to take place during the fifteen day race between Bahrain and Muscat.

In contrast to the calm of the opening days, day three of the third edition of the region’s only long distance sailing race was fast and fanatic as fiercely competitive in-port races saw Dubai-based Team AISM, steal the honours winning all three races in front of a large crowd enjoying Qatar’s National Sport Day.

After a windless opening day to EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour, sailing conditions today were a perfect at the Doha’s magnificent development, The Pearl. 10-15 knots with flat water for the three double lap windward-leeward courses, held against the Qatari skyscraper-lined backdrop.

Bertrand Pacé and his Dubai-based Team AISM dominated the first day of in-port racing. Pacé is returning to compete in the Gulf’s longest sailboat race for a third time, hoping to repeat his first place success of 2011. 'I like the mixture of inshore and offshore – it is good for us,' said the former America’s Cup helmsman. 'This time of year we don’t have that much sailing we can do [in Europe] so this is good practice for us. It is a perfect two weeks.'

Having such a lengthy background sailing the Farr 30 one designs is just one reason Team AISM is doing so well. Pacé also likes the smaller nine boat fleet. 'In these wind conditions it is very technical and we know how to use the boat, so I am not surprised that we have good speed. We started okay and with Cedric [Chateau] we have good tactics. When you have the speed, you sail well and start well, most of the time you will be in the top of the fleet.'

Winner of the opening leg from Bahrain to Doha, the Cédric Pouligny-skippered BAE Systems, scored a 4-2-4 today in the three races leaving her just ahead of EFG Bank Monaco and Team AISM in the overall standings.


'We raced well today,' said team BAE Systems’ Omani crewman, Ali Al Balushi. Despite celebrating his 22nd birthday today, Al Balushi has a long track record – having competed in the last three editions of SATT and in the Tour de France a la Voile. 'We are very happy to be in Qatar. It is a very nice place, with friendly people - it feels like Oman,' concluded Al Balushi.

EFG Bank (Monaco) scored a 3-3-2 today. 'Today was great,' said skipper Sidney Gavignet. 'Conditions for us were ideal: just enough wind, flat sea, sun - all nice. The organisation did a good job to get three races in as well. We had a consistent day, we didn’t win, but I am pleased. There is some competitive racing in the top half of the fleet. We are not doing too badly for a team that is still discovering the boat.'

While the male crews were told today they had to limit their number to six (some were sailing with seven) this didn’t affect the EFG Bank (Monaco) team greatly as among their number they have Sami Al Shukaili, a bodybuilder. As crewman Fahad Al Hasni points out of his team mate and his tree trunk-sized arms: 'sometimes he breaks the sails – he goes very hard.'

For Dee Caffari and her all-female crew on Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat it was a difficult day and they struggled with their manoeuvring.

'This really was a practice day for us,' said Caffari. 'I have to say we are happy with our boat speed. In Bahrain when we were together as a team for the first time there was no wind. It is only our manoeuvres that let us down, but at least now we have something to work on. Having seen how we were against the other boats at each mark we know that there are a few boats there for the pickings.'

Delighted by the response of the local community in Qatar to the spectacular showcase of sailing, Issa Al Ismaili, Director of Events at race organiser Oman Sail said: 'Sailing and the sea are at the core of the region’s culture, heritage and everyday living. On a day like today with crews and spectators enjoying a perfect day of racing, Oman Sail’s vision to encourage the growth of sailing across the entire Middle East continues to become a reality. I would like to thank the Qatar Sailing Federation and Qatari people for the warm welcome.'


After today’s short course sailing series, the nine crews will be setting their sights on the longest leg of the 15 day tour, covering 160 nautical miles between Doha and Abu Dhabi, the first stopover in the UAE.

Sailing through the night on a typically a 36 hour race, based on an average speed of five knots, the race is expected to be reduced to 20 hours. Strong wind speeds are forecasted, lifting speeds to between 15-20 knots. As the longest leg is also predicted to be one of the quickest, the decision has been made to delay the start until 1200 local time.

Competing aboard identical Farr 30 yachts, the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour has attracted nine crews representing five different nations, led locally by Oman’s Team Renaissance, Royal Navy of Oman, Team BAE Systems and the all - female Team Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat. Two teams will compete on behalf of the UAE, Team Abu Dhabi and Team AISM. International crews include EFG Bank (Monaco), Team Delft Challenge – TU Delft (Holland) and the Team Messe Frankfurt (EU).

Taking in four countries and eight ports of call, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour is a showcase of everything that the Gulf has to offer in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and idyllic sailing conditions.

Leaving Manama on February 10th, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour calls at Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Dibba and Mussanah and ends February 25th in Muscat. The racing will include in-port racing at selected locations. Sailing Arabia The Tour website

Festival of Sails 2017 660x82Absolute MarineGAC Pindar Freight

Related Articles

MakeFastMooring matches boats with berths in several countries
makefastmooring.com is connecting potential renters with mooring and berth owners in several countries. Have you ever struggled to find and book a mooring? Or do you have a mooring that is laying idle and costing you money? makefastmooring.com is helping to solve this problem by connecting potential renters with mooring and berth owners in several countries. MFM has also recently been listed by Deckee.com as “one of the most innovative start-ups in boating industry”.
Posted today at 8:19 am
World Sailing News - February 2017 and December 2016
Catch the latest World Sailing month video magazine - February 2017 edition Catch the latest World Sailing month video magazine - February 2017 edition is just out featuring a wrap-up of the main sailing events of the December-January period including Thomas Coville’s new world record; the 2016 AON Youth Worlds; Rolex Sydney Hobart, Vendee Globe updates and a spectacular 49er crash while training in 27kts plus and big seas.
Posted today at 3:07 am
BOI Sailing Week 2017 - All You Need to Know
The Bay of Islands Sailing Week regatta is the biggest event of its kind in New Zealand The Bay of Islands Sailing Week regatta is the biggest event of its kind in New Zealand, and was described by yachting commentator Peter Montgomery last year as 'the best big boat regatta' in the country. As one of the premier yachting events in the Southern Hemisphere, Bay of Islands Sailing Week regularly attracts around 100 boats and 1,000 sailors from around New Zealand and overseas.
Posted on 22 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy – IDEC Sport expected in Brest on Thursday
The last few hours in the trade winds acted as a reminder that IDEC Sport needs to be tamed at times. The last few hours in the trade winds acted as a reminder that IDEC Sport needs to be tamed at times to avoid taking risks and suffering damage.
Posted on 22 Jan
Vendée Globe – Slow home run for Beyou
The quiet, still weather and pleasant winter sunshine has brought out huge Sunday crowds to the race village. The quiet, still weather and pleasant winter sunshine has brought out huge Sunday crowds to the race village pontoons at Port Olona, Les Sables d’Olonne.
Posted on 22 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy – Back in the trade winds and they're off again
This morning after 37 days at sea since leaving Brest, the crew on IDEC Sport is back up to steady speeds of 26-28 knots This morning after 37 days at sea since leaving Brest, the crew on IDEC Sport is back up to steady speeds of 26-28 knots.
Posted on 22 Jan
The closest three way battle in the history of Vendee Globe
Off the Cape Verde Islands, Louis Burton has finally got out of the Doldrums after three long days on a very slow course Jean-Pierre Dick, Yann Eliès and Jean Le Cam are engaged in the closest three way battle in the history of the solo round the world race as they pass the Azores archipelago between Graciosa and Florès on the heels of a vigorous depression giving them 30kts southerly winds.
Posted on 22 Jan
Final day at Quantum Key West Race Week with Nic Douglass
Final day at QKWRW did not disappoint. Needless to say, my first trip to Florida is one that will always be remembered. The final day at Quantum Key West Race Week did not disappoint. Needless to say, my first trip to Florida is one that will always be remembered.
Posted on 22 Jan
Day 77 – Ninety percent of Vendée Globe fleet now back in Atlantic
With Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today With Le Cléac'h's Banque Populaire and second-placed Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today – and fourteen of them are now in the Atlantic.
Posted on 21 Jan
Vendee Globe - Romain Attansio at the Horn
Romain Attanasio rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Étamine du Lys) rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday after 75 days 8 hours and 41 minutes of racing. Only Dutchman Pieter Heerema and Frenchman Sébastien Destremau are still sailing in the Pacific.
Posted on 21 Jan