Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2019 - Leaderboard

Experience and youthful talent will make 2019 EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour one to watch

by Oman Sail 29 Jan 07:34 PST 2-16 February 2019
EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour on February 14th, 2018 in the city of Sur, Oman. © Lloyd Images

The 2019 edition of EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour (SATT), organised by Oman Sail, has brought together a highly competitive mix of experienced stars of the international racing world, challenging young talent and the best of a remarkable generation of Omani sailors. Running for the ninth year, the Gulf region's premier offshore yacht race features as the first event of the established World Diam Tour in 2019.

In a repeat of last year's successful new-look event featuring the high-performance Diam 24 trimaran, the event will take a 10-strong fleet on a course from Oman's capital Muscat to seven different venues, culminating with a finale in Salalah, in the far south of the country.

Among the high-profile sailors likely to play a leading role as the drama unfolds is defending SATT champion Valentin Bellet, skipper of the Beijaflore entry. Managed by the renowned Pierre Mas, the squad used their impressive early season victory in Oman as a springboard that took them to the runner-up spot in last year's Tour Voile.

Out to stop a repeat performance will be EFG Bank Monaco, who had to settle for second place last year. The team and event sponsor will be hoping for a return to SATT success with the high-profile combination of skipper Franck Cammas, Oman Sail regular Thierry Douillard and Omani dinghy ace Hussein Al Jabri.

Strong competition though will come from the newly-formed Oman Shipping team. Skipper Stevie Morrison took fourth place in the Tour Voile alongside Douillard, but the British Olympian will give his former teammate a run for his money racing with Quentin Ponroy and the experienced Oman Sail instructor Raad Al Hadi.

In what looks like another formidable combination, match racer and four-time Tour Voile winner Damien Iehl skippers MOOD, a SATT first-time entry, and is reunited with Tour Voile teammates Benjamin Amiot and Aurélien Ducroz, a former world champion freeride skier. To add even more strength in depth, Team Oman Sail skipper Pierre Le Clainche is also in the squad.

Meanwhile Swiss racing legend Bernard Stamm will manage the reliably consistent and competitive Cheminée Poujoulat team, this time led by skipper Robin Follin, hot off the GC32 circuit and a leading light of the Team France Jeune project.

Another famous figure is 1985-86 Whitbread Race winner turned project manager Lionel Pean, who heads a Seaflotech entry skippered by French Olympic 470 sailor and Tour Voile veteran Sofian Bouvet.

Having had an entry in every single SATT event from 2011, the 2018 Renaissance team is an all-Omani affair. Oman Sail stalwart Akram Al Wahaibi skippers a team of Yasser Al Rahbi and Haitham Al Whaibi, both of whom were part of the Diam development team who took an impressive 12th place in last year's Tour Voile.

Also sporting a strong Omani contingent is the all-women DB Schenker entry. Skipper Audrey Ogereau and fellow French racer Maelenn Lemaitre join Oman Sail stars Ibtisam Al Salmi, Tamathir Al Balushi and Marwa Al Khaifi, all leading members of the organisation's Women's Sailing Programme.

One of the youngest sailors in the SATT fleet, Solune Robert's Golfe du Morbihan team of Riwan Peron, Charles Dommange and Louis Flamment took a highly competitive fifth place in last year's Tour Voile, having been twice winners of the youth group.

Also out to make an impression are the young CER Geneva team. Rising Swiss stars Nelson Mettraux and Victor Casas who each skippered a Tour Voile entry last year will team-up with Lauranne Mettraux, Nelson's twin sister, as they make their debut in the Oman opener.

EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour gets under way with a practice race in Muscat on February 2nd, followed by 14 intensive days of inshore and coastal racing, interspersed by days relocating to the next venue along Oman's striking coastline.

The ninth edition will consist of:

  • Five Venues
  • Five Stadium Races
  • Five Coastal Races
The teams:
  • Beijaflore
  • Cheminée Poujoulat
  • Seaflotech
  • CER Geneva
  • Oman Shipping Company
  • EFG
  • Renaissance
  • DB Schenker
  • Golfe du Morbihan
  • MOOD

Related Articles

Beijaflore wins EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
The French team produced a remarkably consistent performance Beijaflore have been crowned champions of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, repeating their success of last year to take back-to-back victories in the Middle East's premier yacht racing event. Posted on 16 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour: Beijaflore on the b
Beijaflore are on the brink of back-to-back titles The French defending champions have one hand firmly on the trophy having put on a masterclass of light wind racing in Salalah on the penultimate day of the two-week event, which also saw them add a further win in one of the two Stadium races held. Posted on 15 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour: Showdown in Salalah
Returning to the cut and thrust of intensive Stadium racing A solid breeze of up to 24 knots powered the Diam 24 trimarans around the tight courses, with four different winners again highlighting the competitive nature of the world-class fleet. Posted on 13 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour rolls a perfect six
Once again the island venue produced highly competitive racing The EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour fleet had a packed programme on the final day in Masirah, with no fewer than six Stadium races producing five different winners. Posted on 10 Feb
Dramatic changes to EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
Masirah Island was again the setting for an exhilarating day Ideal sailing conditions under blue skies saw a steady breeze of eight to 14 knots, but with plenty of big shifts in wind direction to keep the crews on their toes and keep race outcomes in doubt, often until the final leg. Posted on 9 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - Tour returns to action
After early relocation goes without a hitch EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour returned to racing on Friday after a flawless logistical operation saw the entire fleet and support organisation relocated 284 kilometres from Sur to Masirah Island in time for late afternoon racing. Posted on 9 Feb
Early start for EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour teams
Extra racing planned at Masirah Island venue All the 10 international crews taking part in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour are set to make an early start on Friday to get ready for extra racing at the Masirah Island venue. Posted on 8 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour's first coastal race
Only seconds separated the leading yachts off Muscat After almost two hours and 36 minutes of racing the French team of Cheminée Poujoulat took the win just 15 seconds ahead of the Oman Shipping Company entry, with EFG Bank taking the third spot on the podium. Posted on 4 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour fleet set to grow
Strong international interest is expected as entries officially open Building on the great success of the first new-look event in 2018, organisers are predicting a 50 per cent increase in teams with as many as 12 expected to line-up on the start line in February for the intensive 14-day marathon. Posted on 1 Dec 2018
French team Beijaflore crowned new champions
The new format demanded strength, skill and tenacity from the eight international crews French team Beijaflore were today crowned the new champions of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour ending a four-year winning streak for rivals EFG Bank Monaco as the regatta came to a climax in Muscat, Oman. Posted on 17 Feb 2018
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 1Gul 2019 Carrier FOOTERFestival of Sails 2020 GIF - FOOTER