Oman Sail’s recently launch Arabian 100 (A100) trimaran, will be tracing out the route of two future professional sailing events in Asia over the coming months. The Tour of Arabia will link together the GCC countries from Kuwait in the north to Oman in the south. · This will lead into the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’, taking in South Africa, Australia, Singapore, India, via all corners of the Indian Ocean and the five great Capes of the region
The growth of competitive sailing in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean has today taken a further step forward as the sailing events company, OC Events (Asia), launches two new premier racing circuits.
The entire region is steeped in maritime heritage and legend, and is criss-crossed by a multitude of ancient and historically significant ocean trading routes. Professional and competitive sailing is only just awakening, but development of pro circuits will probably happen faster than the decades it has taken in Europe.
Building on the foundations of the Asian Record Circuit established by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2007 onboard ‘B&Q’, and the Extreme Sailing Series Asia to be staged this winter in Hong Kong, Singapore and Muscat (Oman), OC Events (Asia) have now launched two inaugural premier racing events – the ‘Tour of Arabia’ and the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’.
The launch of the first of the new Arabian 100 (A100) Class trimarans, Oman Sail’s stunning Majan, is the catalyst for the creation of these two new ground-breaking offshore racetracks. On 10 November, Majan will set out from Kuwait City in the north of the Arabian Gulf on a five-leg tour that will cover 1,700 nautical miles (3,150km), to trace out and test the route of the future ‘Tour of Arabia’ race. Stopping in Bahrain, Qatar Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Majan’s voyage will finish in Muscat, Oman.
The ‘Tour of Arabia’ will lead directly into the premier edition of the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’. Other than the recent traverse of the Indian Ocean by the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, current traditional oceanic courses only exploit the southern part of the Indian Ocean and above 40 degrees South it remains the most unchartered territory as far as professional racing is concerned, yet it offers a wide variety of tactical challenges and conditions.
As with the ‘Tour of Arabia’, Majan will trace out this new course taking the big dive south for a giant tour of the Indian Ocean Capes facing the challenges of all the combined might of the Southern and Indian Oceans. From the heat of the tropics, frustrations of the windless Doldrums at the Equator to the towering waves of the Roaring Forties. Majan plans to set out on the 6th February, 2010, on this 15,000 nautical miles (27,780km) course, that should take between 35 and 40 days including stopovers.
The Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race will pass the Capes of Ras Al Hadd (Oman), down to Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), across the frozen wastes of the Southern Ocean to Cape Leeuwin (SW Australia), past Cape Piai on the tip of the Malaysian peninsula (the southernmost point of mainland Asia, just to the west of Singapore), and back underneath Cape Comorin (southern tip of India) to Oman on the Arabian Peninsula. As the class of large ocean going trimarans like Majan (sistership to Thomas Coville’s Sodebo) grows, it is planned for this to develop as a recurring event on the ocean racing calendar.
Oman Sail’s new A100 Majan, designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret, was built in Australia before being assembled locally in Salalah (Oman). David Graham, CEO Oman Sail: “We built and launched Majan, the first Arabian 100 with a plan. We believe that the combination of exhilarating boats and challenging conditions in this economically buoyant region has a real potential for future growth. In conjunction with OC Events, we look forward to racing around the Arabian Gulf, Indian and Southern Oceans this winter and next spring.” Internationally renowned sailor, Paul Standbridge, will skipper Majan alongside Mohsin Al Busaidi who became the first Arab to ever sail non-stop around the world on board Majan’s stablemate, the 75-ft trimaran Musandam back in March this year, and they will be joined by two professional crew and two Oman Sail trainees plus a media crewman, Mark Covell.
Mark Turner, CEO, OC Events: “The launch of the new A100 class with the first sea miles of Majan presents us with an opportunity to develop these two new fascinating racetracks. These courses have both historical and sporting credibility, and equally commercial interest for sponsors of future competing teams. Between the ‘Tour of Arabia’ and the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’, we’re visiting 10 key markets, passing through all the corners of the Indian Ocean via five great Capes, and linking the Middle East with Central Asia. Professional yacht racing might have developed with an Atlantic flavour, but the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean remain great unchartered territory for future sailing events.”
One year ago Oman Sail sent out it’s first press release outlining some major plans based on the cornerstone of reigniting Oman’s maritime heritage. In the year since the press release was sent out, the goals that Oman Sail set out for itself have been surpassed and the growth has been matched only by that of Oman itself.
Albert Whitley, Executive Director of Oman Sail, was very happy with the progress, ‘We set some very tough goals for ourselves and we are proud to have achieved them and watched the recruits achieve what they have in such a short time. To see them so successful in their sailing ventures whether it was circumnavigating the globe, competing in Europe or training in Muscat reinforces our faith that we can reignite Oman’s maritime heritage for the good of Oman and her people.’
All members of staff of Oman Sail, as well as 18 young Omanis all hoping for a place in the Oman Sail programme, enjoyed a party at the Marina Bandar Al Rowdha. All the selection candidates were presented with Level One Sailing Certificates by Albert Whitley, Executive Director of Oman Sail. A giant cake in the shape of a ’1′ was presented to the team and was cut by theSail race team, Academy coaches and office staff.
In a speech by Saleh Al Jabri, one of the most experienced instructors in the Oman Sail Academy, th e upcoming year was outlined and the importance of the role that everyone plays was stressed. ‘What we have done over the last year has been very important but it is what we do in the next year and all the years which follow that will define us and our success. We have been successful in many projects but it is the large project of Oman Sail which we must always stay focused on.’
After the first event in Venice, Italy, Oman Sail’s Renaissance and Masirah teams sit in third and fourth respectively. The next round will be in France that is home to two key members of the Renaissance team, Loick peyron and Julien Cressant. Khamis Al Anbouri and Mubarak Al Ba ttashi will both be sailing on the teams and continue to become integral parts of the crews.
Abdullah Al Busaidi and Ahmed Al Ma’amari are in the UK as part of their Clipper round the world challenge that begins in September. Both will find out which boat they will compete on and get the opportunity to meet the rest of the crew.
On Tuesday morning nine young Omani men, all hoping to be recruited as full time members of the sailing team, set sail for an overnight sailing experience. None of the recruits had ever sailed a boat two weeks ago but now, under the tutelage of the current Omani sailing team, they are ready to face the open sea.
Accompanying the nine recruits is the boat skipper as well as Ali Ambusaidy who himself was a recruit less than a year ago. To become an instructor and teach fellow Omani’s in such a short time is testament to the quality of candidates chosen through the selection process.
Before Ali departed the dock at Marina Bandar Al Rowdha he said, ‘Before I became an instructor I never would have guessed that I would be teaching fellow Omanis how to sail out at sea. When I look at them I see myself a year ago, I only hope I can do them justice and shape them into world class sailors who will represent Oman through successes and sportsmanship’.
Oman Sail’s Arabian 100 trimaran has been loaded onto a ship and is now heading for Oman’s southern city of Salalah for assembly. The Arabian 100 was built at Boatspeed in Newcastle, Australia, the same yard as many famous yachts but none more so than Oman Sail’s current flagship, the 75’ trimaran Musandam which started life in 2004 as Ellen MacArthur’s B&Q/Castorama. Final assembly will take place in Salalah, Oman’s second city and home of the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos Bin Said. Final assembly will employ a workforce, which will include Omanis who have chosen the boatbuilding and shore management route to compliment the Omani sailors who will help sail the Arabian 100 on completion.
After the successful circumnavigation of the globe by the first Arab, the Oman Sail project will continue getting more Omanis out on the water, from beginners through the Oman Sail Academy to the highest level of ocean competition, and the new Arabian 100 trimaran will provide the team with unrivalled capacity to develop ocean racing in the Gulf and Indian Ocean.
Designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret the Arabian 100’ is a close sistership to Thomas Colville’s “Sodebo”
LOA – 32m
Beam – 16.54m
Draft – 4.76m maximum
Displacement – 11,400kgs
Mast and boom are designed and manufactured by Southern Spars in Auckland. Outline specifications for the mast are as follows:
Supplied by Harken, Italy with a single pedestal drives all winches with the exception of the runner winch.
The base inventory is supplied by North Sails, France and consists of:
Mainsail –220 m2 Cuben Fibre
J1 (Solent) –150 m2 Cuben Fibre
J2 (Staysail) –94 m2 Cuben Fibre
J3 (ORC) –48 m2 Cuben Fibre
Storm Jib – 30 m2 Cuben Fibre
Gennaker – 260 m2 Cuben Fibre
March 25th at 15:43:12 Local Time (11:43:12 GMT) Mohsin made history to become the first Arab to sail non-stop around the world, as Musandam crossed the finish line in Muscat in under 80 days.
After 76 days at sea, Oman’s Mohsin Al Busaidi became the first Arab to ever sail non-stop around the world. Sailing onboard Ellen MacArthur’s former record-breaking 75-foot trimaran ‘Musandam’ alongside four international teammates, 33-year-old Mohsin Al Busaidi has made history and was welcomed home to Muscat a hero. Thousands turned out on Muscat’s historic waterfront to congratulate Mohsin, a new hero and an inspiration for the country’s young population.
Up until 15 years ago, no one had ever completed a non-stop round the world journey onboard a racing multihull and still today it remains one of the hardest challenges a sailor can ever dream of tackling.
Musandam sailed over 24,000 nautical miles during which Mohsin sailed deep into the harsh and hostile Southern Ocean as he passed the legendary capes of Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope. Since the start day on 8th January, 2009 the crew have endured storms, freezing conditions, a diet of only freeze-dried food and, unless it rained, no showers and the tiny cramped conditions of a racing multihull.
Mohsin Al Busaidi, who grew up in Al Khoud, a village north of Muscat said: “I am so happy, so proud for my country, it has been the most amazing experience of my life. Although the voyage has only taken 76 days, I have loved sailing and the sea for a long time. This round the world journey has been the key focus for the newly formed Oman Sail project and we wanted to show quickly what could be achieved to inspire others. We’ll continue the voyage of our ancestors who sailed the seas and we’ll build boats and masts, so our children continue the journey after us.”
As of 0500 Local time Musandam is presently 85 miles from Muscat, 20 miles offshore Sur. Good wind speeds overnight but these are beginning to drop a little as they turn into the shelter of the main land for their final approach.
The Winds are light and the seas flat. Not the senerio you want when you are less than 700 miles from the finish. Still 1200 miles ahead of the virtual 80 day pace boat, only 8 km travelled in a 6 hour period overnight. Hoping for stronger winds after the high pressure has moved on to maintain the advantage over the pace boat to the finish.
Current forecasts suggest good winds through Monday and Tuesday giving Musandam the opportunity to make good progress up the Omani coast and towards Sur. Once out of this period of light airs they have been stuck in overnight the winds should fill in from the south / south west and have been predicted to have periods of 20- 25 knots on Tuesday, once north of Sur the winds are expected to diminish and the last 100 miles to Muscat could be hard work for the crew. For now it’s frustratingly slow and there is a need to be vigilant, man and machine are tired and an error now could cause just as much damage as anywhere else on this attempt.
From onboard Musandam today “We just have to take it on the chin today and hope by the end of the day we will be moving well again in a wind that has shifted as we anticipate and increased to a strength we can accelerate in to. If we do get the 20 knots that is hinted at then it will be the first time in almost weeks, that we will have been above 12 knots boat speed. we were doing 10 at times during the day yesterday and it felt like we were really going fast. Certainly we are all looking forward to doing 20 knots again if ever we get to do that again.
It’s another pretty good (but not the best ) sun rise here, there are quite a few clouds, especially off to the west. Last night we watched the sun go down, without a cloud in the sky. So we were hoping to get a chance to see the green flash and there was much anticipation as the last 20 minutes before sunset were spent watching it slow descend to the horizon. Just before it slipped into the sea it was obscured slightly behind some far off clouds and the green flash dream was over. Apart from the French who claimed to have seen it and afterwards claimed that you needed french eyes to have seen it..there won’t be many more chances to see the green flash now – so we might have to leave it for another trip.
820 miles from the west coat of India and back in the Arabian Sea, trimaran Musandam now less than 800 miles from Muscat
1400 miles ahead of the virtual 80 day pace boat, lighter winds overnight as expected as they move closer to the high pressure blocking their path
All attention is focused on what the high pressure will do, current forecast’s predict that it will head east and out of Musandam’s path allowing them to skirt to the west of it and reduce the stoppage time in the light airs. Once passed the high pressure, winds should be a consistent 15 knots and push then towards the coast of Oman. If the high pressure tracks west then the story will be different and the crew will be toughing it out for a second time in frustratingly light airs, for the moment they continue north and hope that they can execute the western option, which Charlie commented this morning in a call to Oman Sail HQ was “the right option and to be honest the only option, although we are expecting to be stopped for a period of time, lets just hope it’s not too long”
From Charlie onboard toady “It is another glorious Indian ocean sunrise and it’s pretty clear, it’s going to be a hot day again today. We have a few photos of sunrises now, Hooch in particular has taken the lead in sunrise and sunset photography, so when he asks you if you’d like to see a few of his sunset photos – mumble some excuse and head for the door, as you’ll be there a while - (there’s more than one picture per sunrise on this trip that’s for sure). We have a calm sea, and a gentle north east wind so are upwind full main and genoa, sometimes code zero
We have seen signs of life, with 4 boats yesterday all fairly close to each other – looked like a pair of fishing boats – not sure if they do pair trawling here, but they were at least sisterships, and two others they were really too far off to see any detail and occasionally the eyes on the front of the boat scare a few flying fish out of the water and off into the distance.
Some of our families and friends are starting to head to Oman over the next day or so, and they will get a chance to see a little of Muscat before our arrival. This is starting to make the finish all that more real in our heads and we are starting to make plans for what to do after we arrive, a return to the real world will be great, we have all missed different things on the trip, but we have all missed family and friends. Now that we are going to be back soon, we can turn our attention once again to planning attendance at birthday parties, weddings and all the other social engagements that have been on hold since the new year. There will be a lot of catching up to do and I am guessing the trick will be not to do too much too quickly.
keep your fingers crossed for us not stopping too long in the high, almost certainly tomorrow’s update will be from a becalmed trimaran, but with a crew expectant of increasing winds….. we just have to tough it out “
900 miles west of India and 950 miles to the finish in Muscat, 1500 miles ahead of the virtual 80 day pace boat
A tired crew who for a longtime anticipated that they would be in Muscat by this stage have one more obstacle – a high pressure system 200 off the coast of Oman
I must say this is an update I thought at one stage I would never write and that day 71′s food bag was one that we would unpack in the storage container. For a good portion of this trip we have been on schedule for a 70 day circumnavigation. The Doldrums have decided that would not be the case. We are now approximately 5 days ahead of the 80 day pace boat which should indicate a 75 day circumnavigation, however one final fence to jump – an area of high pressure centered 200 nautical miles off the Oman coast will have to be tackled. We must sail around it’s western side before turning north, into the oman coast somewhere around Sharbatat or Mukhsay and heading north east towards Ras Al Hadd – the final corner of our trip, 100 nautical miles from the finish in Muscat. These final miles will be familiar miles as it’s the same as our delivery last autumn, the winds should be quite different however with some moderate downwind conditions leading us to suspect a quick finish to this last 2 weeks of slow going.