Oman sailors struggle at World Optimist regatta
Muscat – With the top youth sailors from 62 countries competing at the Optimist World Championship 2017 in Pattaya, Thailand, the five-member Oman team found it hard to keep pace with their much experienced rivals.
After two days of racing amid strong tide, unfamiliar conditions and rains, the best Omani sailor was Al Moatasem al Farsi, who was placed a distant 135th among 281 sailors on Saturday.
The five youngsters – all members of the Omantel Youth Programme – certainly are hoping to gain the experience amid a world-class competition.
Mohammed al Qasmi, also placed in Green fleet, like Farsi, was at 150th place while Mohammed al Alawi, placed in Blue fleet along with Alla al Amrani, was at 213th place.
Amrani was struggling at 256th place while the only girl participant from Oman, Samiha al Riyami, competing in Red fleet, was at overall 203rd place.
“It is a massive fleet and a completely new environment, but it is a great opportunity for them,” said youth programme manager Mohsin al Busaidi.
“In Oman we do not have a variety of sailing conditions so we need to travel to allow our sailors to experience different environments, light conditions and strong wind conditions. They need to understand different aspects of sailing to be ready for future events. Eventually the aim is for them to become Olympic or good offshore sailors.”
In the Green fleet, Farsi was ranked 34th while Alawi was placed 38th among 70 participants following Saturday's races.
Samiha was ranked 55th in her Red fleet while Alawi was 56th and Amrani 62nd in the Blue fleet.
Racing in Thailand continues till Thursday, with a mix of individual and team racing events.
The Oman squad for the Optimist World Championship in Pattaya, Thailand during the opening day on Friday
Samiha al Riyami