Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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

Mackay BoatsSouthern Spars - 100PredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

Team Aqua takes control of RC44 Sotogrande Cup
With racing cancelled yesterday due to severe conditions, the fleet ventured out today in marginally improved conditions Once again the wind, although shifty, was less of an issue than the sea state, which was initially so massive that the RC44s were disappearing up to their spreaders in the troughs.
Posted today at 6:59 pm
Skiff success in first Hyeres World Cup finals day
Fletcher and Bithell held on tightly to the silver spot going in to the 49er finale to secure a third straight podium The French Riviera venue served up perfect conditions for the first of the event’s two medal race days, with bright sunshine and winds averaging 15 knots providing the ideal playground.
Posted today at 6:50 pm
All on for Team Oman Air in second half of Extreme Sailing Series
Team Oman Air have everything to play for going into the back half of the second round after racing in Qingdao Skipper Phil Robertson's men spent almost three hours poised for action as they waited for the breeze to materialise but, unlike yesterday's opener when a 15-knot wind appeared halfway through the afternoon, it wasn't to be.
Posted today at 3:40 pm
World Sailing Show - Video news - May 2017 - Volvo 65, America's Cup
May 2017 edition of World Sailing News, which this month features Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup and more May 2017 edition of World Sailing News, which this month features: Winding the clock back on a Volvo 65 and taking a race boat that already has over 40,000 hard miles under its keel might not be your idea of a perfect start for another lap of the planet. But the newly refurbished fleet of Volvo 65s are better than new. We went to Portugal to find out how this can be so.
Posted today at 11:41 am
Top Chinese sailor aims to inspire in hometown of Qingdao
24-year-old, better known by his nickname Black, is back in his home city of Qingdao as Extreme Sailing Series™ returns The 24-year-old, better known by his nickname Black, is back in his home city of Qingdao as the Extreme Sailing Series™ returns to China’s Olympic Sailing City for an incredible seventh time.
Posted today at 11:18 am
Sailing World Cup - Medal races on LIVE NOW - Day 1
Live coverage of the first day of Medal Racing at Sailing World Cup Hyeres starts at 12:00 CEST Live coverage of the first day of Medal Racing at Sailing World Cup Hyeres starts at 12:00 CEST . First up is the Mens 49er skiff
Posted today at 10:48 am
Annapolis to Newport Seminar - Navigation, Routing and Weather
Navigation, Routing and Weather, being held at the AYC Clubhouse, wraps up the popular and informative seminar series. Navigation, Routing and Weather, being held at the AYC Clubhouse, wraps up the popular and informative seminar series. There are few sailors anywhere in the United States who have logged as many ocean miles as Tarry Lomax and Tom Schubert.
Posted today at 8:01 am
Comanche on the warpath for Transpac record
Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has joined fleet of 62 entries preparing for Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has recently joined the fleet of 62 entries currently preparing for the 49th edition of the Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race, with one goal: to set a new race record. This 100-foot carbon fiber ocean greyhound designed by VPLP/Verdier and built by Hodgdon Yachts in 2014 was created to be quite simply the fastest sailing yacht in the world
Posted today at 5:29 am
Countdown to Transpac - Under 70 days to go
With just under 70 days to go to the first start of 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, are all working hard With just under 70 days to go to the first start of the 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, sponsors, families, spectators and organizers from the Transpacific YC are all working hard on their preparation tasks for this classic 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu. In all, 63 monohull and multihull entries from seven countries around the Pacific and beyond are now entered
Posted today at 5:17 am
RC44 Sotogrande Cup – Rain does not stay on the plain
Rain of Old Testament magnitude descended on Spain's Costa del Sol for day two. While the wind was not excessive Even as RC44 crews and race management surfaced for their breakfast this morning, it was evident that the onshore easterly breeze, that had been blowing all night, had caused the sea state to build to the extent that waves were already breaking over the harbour wall.
Posted on 28 Apr