Muscat, Jan 22 – Omani sailors had a great run at the recently concluded Mussanah Race Week and Mohammad al Balushi, manager of the Musannah Sailing School is a happy man. “Well, this is the eighth year of the Musannah Race Week (started in 2011) and the event has grown so much. Now, we have more experience and it is good for the Omani kids especially,’’ Al Balushi added. Al Balushi felt the international participation was certainly helping Omani sailors improve their skills and enhance their competitiveness. “We had 19 countries participating apart from us. Each country had brought with them about three sailors at least and in some cases, the number would go up to six and seven,’’ he added.
The event was a resounding success with a total of 172 sailors, Omani and international, competing. There were 94 sailors in the Optimist class, 25 sailors in the Laser 4.7 class, 31 sailors in the Laser Radial class and 22 sailors in the Techno Plus windsurfer class.
Apart from the sailors, there were 25 coaches accompanying the young sailors and a jury of five members.
Talking about the event, Al Balushi said the Musannah Race Week was enjoyed by one and all.
“There were three days before the event that we had kept aside. The first day was for registration, the second day we had a workshop for all the sailors and on the third day the sailors went out into the sea for sailing practice,’’ the manager said.
Al Balushi also felt that Omani sailors have come quite a long way since the first edition of the Musannah Race Week in 2011.
“In the first year, it was difficult for our sailors to adjust and adapt. But now, we have some very good sailors like Hussain al Jabri, who won the Laser Radial class, and Mohammad al Balushi, who was the winner in the Techno Plus windsurfing class.
“Even Abdul Malik al Hinai, who came second in the Laser 4.7 class, holds promise for the future,’’ he added.
“They all have a bright future. Hussain was the winner in an event in Abu Dhabi in the Laser Radial class last November,’’ Al Balushi revealed.
“As far as Mohammad is concerned, he is still young but I saw something good in his performance. The coach gave him time in the water and the time to improve,’’ he added.
Al Balushi said the atmosphere at the Musannah Race Week was something that Omani sailors benefited from.
“We saw some great friendships develop and there was bonding and camaraderie between the sailors of different countries and Oman,’’ he added.
After a creditable performance at the Musannah Race Week, one can hope for more fantastic efforts from the young Omani sailors in the coming days.