Oman wins bid to host continental Optimist championship in 2019
The Mussanah Sports City in Oman has been widely regarded as one of the best venues for sailing competitions over the past few years.
The efforts of Oman Sail and the government's push to put Oman on the map of world sailing got a further boost on Tuesday when Oman was awarded the rights to hosts the 2019 Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championship in Mussanah.
Awarded by the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA), Oman won the bid through a voting process at the IODA annual general meeting held on the sidelines of the ongoing Optimist World Championship in Pattaya, Thailand.
Speaking from Pattaya, Rashid al Kindi, Chairman of the Oman Sailing Committee and a senior Oman Sail official, said, “This is a matter of huge pride to host the continental championship that will attract some of the best sailors from Asia and Oceania.”
“This was our fourth attempt to seek the rights to host the prestigious championship and we are glad to have won it.”
“We would like to thank all the countries that have supported us. We promise to bring a world-class event and it will also help Omanis develop their organisational skills,” he added.
Besides Oman, the other candidate in contention for the continental championship was Yeosu, South Korea.
Oman is likely to host the championship from September 30-October 8. Antigua was awarded the 2019 worlds after it beat the bid from Qingdao, China. Sri Lanka withdrew from the race while Tunisia did not attend after initially submitting the bids.
Since the setting up of Oman Sail in 2008, Mussanah has successfully hosted international regattas across different classes.
From the hosting of second Asian Beach Games in 2010 to the Laser worlds in 2013 followed by Laser Radial women's worlds in 2015, Mussanah has successfully hosted the regattas and has won praise from the participants and top officials.
An Omani sailor competes at the ongoing Optimist World Championship in Pattaya, Thailand on Sunday
Rashid al Kindi