MUSCAT: Day two of the Arab Sailing Championships came to a close with sailors from Oman still leading the way the ILCA 6, LCA 7 and RS Venture classes after a series of excellent performances. The conditions remained good throughout the day with light winds and clear blue skies for the duration. Today also marks the halfway point in the championships, and the sailors will now start thinking about maintaining their momentum going into the medal races.
The ILCA 4 class saw UAE’s Othman al Hammadi extend his lead over team-mate Alharith al Ali to seven points and Waleed Daraan of Bahrain a further six points back in third. Janna Mohamed Shaalan of Egypt leads the women’s category, and stands second overall, 25 points ahead of Asmaa Wael Mahfouz of Egypt and 40 points ahead of UAE’s Ghala al Beshr in third.
Bahrain’s Lulwa Khalil, currently fifth in the women’s category, said, “This is my first time competing in the Arab Sailing Championships. Previously I have raced in the GCC Championships, in Kuwait. I am very happy with my performance so far, and sailed well today. I am looking forward to doing my best again tomorrow and my ultimate aim is to compete in the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 and LA28.”
Al Mutasim al Farsi of Oman showed a high level of skill and control in the ILCA 6 class to hold off the challenge of a strong fleet, maintaining a solid three-point lead at the end of five races. Bahrain’s Dawood Abdullah ends the day in second and Ali Ahmed al Failakawi of Kuwait is third. In the women’s category, Egypt’s Khouloud Moustafa Mansy leads – and sits third overall – from Karassane Mallia of Algeria and Dhuha al Beshr from UAE in second and third respectively.
Oman’s Ali al Saadi currently sits atop of the ILCA 7 leaderboard, level on points with Abdullah al Janahi of Bahrain and just one point ahead of Adil Khalid of UAE in third. Omani sailors Abdulmalik al Hinai finished the day in fifth and Abaraa al Noufli is currently ninth overall.
Speaking after the races, Adil Khalid said, “There is a great competition here between Oman, Bahrain and Egypt here. We are having a great experience here. Nice weather and there are around 100 boats in the Arab Sailing Championships, it’s a great thing. In the future, I think we will all be very strong as all of the sailors get ready for the Asian Games and to qualify for the Olympics. Our dream is to qualify for the Olympics and represent our country.”
Conditions remained ideal for the windsurfing events, with a slightly stronger wind than yesterday. Oman’s Abdulmajeed al Hadhrami took full advantage and claimed two victories to extend his lead in first place in the iQFOiL competition ahead of fellow Omani Omar al Qartobi in second and Mehdi Guembri of Tunisia in third.
Day two wrapped up with an Oman one-two in the RS Venture class. The team of Malik al Qartoobi and Ghaliya al Jabri maintained their excellent form from yesterday by winning all three races. Sami al Sulaimi and Naser al Rahbi finished second in all three races and end the day second overall. Saleh al Tuwaylie and Turki al Khawaji of Saudi Arabia are third and the Egyptian team skippered by Ahmed Salman Abdulwahid a close fourth.
Throughout the day, the Oman Sailing Festival introduced visitors to Barcelo Musannah Resort to sailing with free Try Sailing, Try Windsurfing and Try Kitesurfing sessions. There was also a chance to experience the RS Venture dinghy.
The Festival continues tomorrow with a beach clean-up event, in partnership with the Environment Society of Oman, as part of an ongoing mission to conserve the environment and keep the shorelines clean for the next generation to enjoy. The Oman Sailing Festival is proudly supported by Oman Air, National Mineral Water Company (Tanuf), Environment Society of Oman (ESO) National University Science and Technology (International Maritime College).