Oman Sail youth team emerges from Laser World Championships with new confidence

A four-strong Oman Sail youth team have made impressive progress while racing against a highly competitive international fleet at the Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships.

Each of the sailors – all aged 16 or 17 and selected from the Omantel Youth Sailing Programme – posted a number of strong results during the intense six-day regatta in Gdynia, Poland, while competing against 280 sailors from 41 countries.

The young Oman Sail team faced a crowded race course and changing winds on the Baltic Sea, with challenging light conditions over the final two days.

“The team faced many challenges during the regatta and it is good to report that they all performed well in sometimes difficult conditions,” said Laser 4.7 coach Ahmed Al Wahaibi.

“They have all worked hard in Gdynia and at the training camp before, and have been able to develop their skills and learn new disciplines which will be of great value at future events.”

Abdulmalik Al Hinai, from Oman Sail’s Al Mouj Muscat sailing school, finished 39th overall in the 69-strong second-tier Silver fleet, and had been better placed until two capsizes in the final races cost him valuable points.

Also racing in the Silver fleet, Salim Al Alawi, representing the Marina Bandar Al Rowdha school, finished 55th overall, with sailing schoolmate Hussain Al Mansoori placed 56th in the Bronze fleet.

The youngest member of the Oman Sail team, Ali Al Sadi from Mussanah Sailing School, finished 60th in the Bronze fleet at his first world championship Laser event.

“The whole team have grown in confidence during the championship and it has been a valuable learning experience,” said Omantel Youth Sailing Programme manager Mohsin Al Busaidi.

“After all their work here and at the recent Asian Sailing Championships in Jakarta, the whole Omantel team can be positive when they look ahead to the Oman Sailing Championships and then the Asian Games, which is the main focus this year,” he added.