Oman Sail 49er squads hit their Kiel Week targets

MUSCAT: Oman Sail’s 49er teams have hit their targets at the prestigious international Kiel Week regatta, marking a significant milestone on the pathway to the long-term goal of Olympic Games qualification. Racing together in the high-performance two-man dinghy Musab al Hadi and Waleed al Kindi reached their objective in qualifying for the silver fleet in the ultra-competitive racing class which featured many of the world’s best sailors, including world and Olympic champions.
Al Hadi and Al Kindi are regarded as leading contenders among the Oman Sail teams to achieve the long-established ambition of representing the Sultanate at an Olympic Games. The duo finished in a highly-creditable 47th place in the 82-strong 49er fleet, and showed their true potential by finishing fourth in one of the silver fleet races held at the German venue. Al Hadi said: “It has been a great experience for both Waleed and I racing at Kiel Week — the competition is very strong but it is a great opportunity for us to learn against the best and to get better.
“Our coaches have been very positive and we both feel we have made good progress towards our ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympic Games.
“We are more used to light wind conditions and it was at times windy here, but we feel that we managed the conditions well – and it is great preparation for the future.”
Meanwhile, a second Oman Sail team featuring Ahmed al Hasani and French racer Axel Silvy raced in the bronze fleet. Al Hasani, who has raced in a variety of Oman Sail teams, has only recently graduated to the 49er squad. However, the new pairing showed serious potential by finishing in 13th place within the 27-strong bronze fleet. The Kiel Week regatta is one of the largest sail racing events in the world, with multiple classes including all the Olympic sailing categories. For both Oman Sail teams it provided a testing but worthwhile competitive outing, as well as ideal preparation for the upcoming 49er Asian Championship which will be held in Abu Dhabi this November.