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Gulf nations brace for Sailing Arabia

Third edition of popular sailing tour to be held from February 10-25

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Oman Sail has announced that Gulf nations will once again battle it out on the Arabian Sea for the third edition of Sailing Arabia — The Tour (SATT) from February 10-25, 2013.

The only pan-regional offshore sailing race of its kind delivers 15 days of intense sailing action across four countries and seven marinas located in Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman.

The race will start in Bahrain on February 10 and move on to Qatar. The boats will arrive in Abu Dhabi at the end of the second leg on February 15, and then race to arrive in Ras Al Khaimah on February 18 after which they will sail around Oman’s peninsula to Musandam and finally reach Muscat for the closing ceremony on February 25.

The event was initially launched in 2011 to promote one of the region’s fastest growing sports and reignite the Gulf’s rich maritime heritage. This year, the competition between teams — including confirmed new entries from the Royal Navy of Oman and Team Messe Frankfurt in addition to some teams that participated in the 2012 edition — is intense.

Teams from across the region and further afield will compete in a fleet of identical Farr 30 keelboats, one of the Grand Prix racing world’s most exciting boats.

Last year’s champions

Last year, French team Courrier Dunkerque were crowned 2012 champions after a downwind sprint to the finish line situated off shore of The Wave, Muscat. Skippered by one of the most experienced French sailors to date, Daniel Souben, the team had a healthy lead from the start of the final leg, ending the race with a near perfect run throughout. Souben was part of the French Olympic team from 1978-1992 and in 2008 and 2009, he won Le Tour de France à la Voile, the event on which SATT is modelled.

The number of participating teams has grown year on year, increasing from six in 2011 to nine in 2012. “Interest in sailing is at an all-time high within the region and Sailing Arabia — The Tour will demonstrate the benefits that the sport can bring to communities in the GCC, including youth training, economic development and health and fitness,” said David Graham, CEO, Oman Sail.

Further information can be obtained at