Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Al Tharaya, all female crew fire into action in Sail Arabia The Tour

by Hannah Morris - Race Crew on board Team Al Tharaya on 19 Feb 2012
During leg one of the race - blasting with our gennaker! Lloyd Images © http://lloydimagesgallery.photoshelter.com/
Al Tharaya, the all women’s team representing Oman in the Sail Arabia The Tour, has now finished the first two legs of the race, with a fourth and a fifth placing so far. Now in Abu Dhabi, we have competed our in port racing, and ready to set sail to Ras Al Khaima tomorrow.

The first start from Bahrain was delayed 24 hours due to heavy winds and strong seas, so it was a early 7am start for us when the Race Committee decided it was safe to get the first leg off the ground.

Our international team, spanning five countries including France, Britain, America, New Zealand, and of course Oman, left the shores of Bahrain in style, blasting out to the start line in 25 knots. We were ready to get this show on the road! After a short upwind dogleg to start, we rounded the first mark and hoisted up our reaching jennaker, as 9 farr 30s all did the same.

Powered up and all stacked aft and on the rail, the little boat roared into action as we plummeted along to next way point. 12 hours later we arrived in Doha, sliding in at fifth place. Intesar and Raaya were naturally nervous and excited from the start, and were still grinning by the time we reached Doha. They handled the conditions extremely well, and kept team morale up with their cheerful singing, as they finished their first ever offshore race. The downwind sprint was definitely an adrenalin kick for all of us, and a fantastic way to start the event.

So after our brief stop in Qatar, we set off on our next leg to Abu Dhabi.

This leg proved to be slightly more challenging, as the 160 mile sail presented a few obstacles along the way including oil rigs and islands, as well as being a significantly longer race. The forecast was for an upwind sail – and it proved to be right. As we sailed through the night, we were constantly peeling between the number one and two jib, as the breeze went up and down. As the sun came up, dolphins came to play, and surrounded Al Tharaya as we adjusted to the daylight. A beautiful way to start the day, and was what we took to be a good sign for us!

Arriving in Abu Dhabi in the evening at 11pm, we ended up alongside team Commercial Bank and Team Renaissance, fighting it out for third, coming in fourth. After a long leg, and many miles of separation between the boats, it was amazing to have it all come down to close match racing right at the end!

Now in Abu Dhabi, we have completed our in port racing amidst a sand storm and heavy shifty winds coming in at fifth once more. The drive is definitely there to work our way up the fleet, and beat a few more boys in the next leg to Ras Al Khaima, which starts tomorrow morning.

The Omani girls have taken the challenge on, and are constantly improving and learning, and I have to admire their positive attitude in the more testing parts of the legs, including late night sail changes and keeping concentration levels up despite lack of sleep. All part of the fun!

Tomorrow we set sail for Ras Al Khaima, and it’s looking like it will be 115 mile charge, reaching on port most of the way, with the breeze shifting aft as we head up the coast. This will be my last leg of the race, as I am hopping on a plane to head back to New Zealand just in time for my brother’s wedding!

So I hope to see it out in style, and hopefully (inshallah as they say here!) we might even make the podium. A good night sleep is in store for the team tonight, as we gear up to set sail to our next port of call tomorrow morning.

For more information and live updates, go to www.sailingarabiathetour.com

Over and out until Ras Al Khaima!!
Naiad/Oracle SupplierBakewell-White Yacht DesignColligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - This day last year…
Around St Katharine Docks, air was full of nervous energy and a sense of anticipation as Clipper Race crew said goodbye 2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Around St Katharine Docks, the air was full of nervous energy and a sense of anticipation as the Clipper 2015-16 Race crew said goodbye to the thousands of well-wishers that gathered to bid them farewell on their round the world adventure.
Posted today at 5:37 am
2017 Marion Bermuda Race offers front row seats for America’s Cup
Enjoy all the post-race fun and activities at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and stay on for your front row seat Enjoy all the post-race fun and activities at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and stay on for your front row seat
Posted on 30 Aug
Dodging ducks, savoring summer—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 30 Aug
Full focus on board Oman Air for Extreme Sailing Series St Petersburg
With a lead on the overall scoreboard following their last gasp win in Hamburg the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus With a five-point lead on the overall scoreboard, following their last gasp win in Hamburg, the pressure is on to maintain 100% focus to make sure they perform to their maximum capabilities right up until the final race in Sydney in December.
Posted on 30 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Hollandia wins 8 Metre World Cup
After nine race series, Netherlands' Hollandia wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions After a five day, nine race series, Hollandia of the Netherlands wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions and Hollandia managed to win every race.
Posted on 29 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club takes the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Trophy again
The yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water. Every August the biggest question for the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is whether this will be the year that Noroton Yacht Club's winning streak ends. Yet even after the age minimums were raised by five years and the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days to stiffen the competition, the yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water.
Posted on 29 Aug
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug