Muscat: The 2020 edition of the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour (SATT) concluded in Oman during the weekend with Team EFG Bank, made up of Olympian Sofian Bouvet, fellow Frenchman Gaulthier Germain, and rising Omani star Ali al Balushi, winning the title.
A team that impressed all during the SATT was the young all-Omani team on board Oman Airports. After finishing fourth in the coastal raid on day 1, Oman Airports continued to impress on day 2, finishing the tour strongly with three seconds and a third in the five stadium races held off the coast of Oman’s capital city.
Stefan Rueter, CFO of Oman Airports, who was present at the award ceremony, shared his thoughts about the team and the general aspects of sailing in the Sultanate.
“There is abundant talent in Oman as far as sailing is concerned. Oman Sail has taken efforts to professionally train the locals in the sport. Some of them went on to become role models for the upcoming young Omani sailors,” Rueter said mentioning Olympic hopefuls Musab al Hadi and Waleed al Kindi.
He hoped more Omani sailors make it big in international level and bring glory for the Sultanate in Olympic and Asian levels.
“Lot of efforts are going into sailing and we are seeing the results with the presence of all-Omani teams like Oman Airports and Renaissance apart from the presence of star Omani sailors like Ali al Balushi in the champions crew of Team EFG Bank.”
Rueter said that supporting an event like Sailing Arabia — which showcased racing credentials of Salalah, Duqm and Muscat — also comes along with the Oman Airports vision to go places.
“Apart from the sporting progress, these international events are truly benefitting the economy. We at Oman Airports are handling more international passengers along with the national carrier Oman Air. So overall, it does have a positive impact on several stakeholders,” he concluded.
Groupe Atlantic won the silver while all-female crew of DB Schenker claimed a creditable third place.
The tenth edition of the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour came to an official close with a presentation at Muscat International Airport, which was voted the Best Airport in the Middle East at the 2019 World Travel Awards Middle East Gala Ceremony.