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Hashim Al Rashdi From The Wave Muscat Team
Hashim Al Rashdi is a man of the desert but a chance suggestion three years ago to join Oman Sail has led to an international sailing career on the oceans of the world and opportunities he would never have even dreamed of.
“I heard about Oman Sail through the newspaper and from a friend in the Navy. I love adventure and it was a new sport in Oman so I did the exams and passed.
“It wasn't easy. Sailing was a difficult sport in the beginning but now it has become more of a hobby for me. I used to play football in Samail club in my hometown in the governate of Dakhelya and because of that I was interested in the sailing classes that require team work.
“I had no relationship with the sea since childhood. Samail is a town away from the sea and is more of an oasis full of mountains and palm trees and wadis. However my father used to to travel to Zanzibar on ancient dhows since part of my family used to live there. I guess I took the passion of sailing from him and I soon got his blessings when I told him I was about to enroll with Oman Sail.”
And so began a meteoric rise through Hobie 16’s and F18’s to the Extreme 40’s one of the fastest and most exciting classes of the world sailing circuit.
“When I started we did did sail training and gym every day. I also went to English lessons three days a week so I could work with my French and English team mates and talk to the media.
“English helped me learn about the cultures of the people I sail with and the places we travel to like China, America, Singapore and Europe. It is very interesting for me.”
Fifth place in home waters at the 2010 Asian Beach Games in Muscat was one of his proudest moments. Now his goal is to win the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series but he also dreams of winning an Olympic medal, either by standing on the podium himself or as coach to a young Omani sailor.
“I am a father of a 1 and a half year old boy, and I want to set an example for him so when he grows up I will hopefully see him carry the torch and make his country and family proud as well.
A highlight for Hashim was a four day training session in Trapani last year with British Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie.
“He taught me so much. I follow everything he does and also the professional sailors in my team. I thank Oman Sail for all this. It has changed my life.
“My family and friends are very happy and proud to see me represent Oman. They follow me through the media and it makes me happy that every time we win I get a series of messages of congratulations before I even inform them. It makes we want to do more, do better.
“Sailing is much better known in Oman since 2009. The culture of sailing is spreading in the media and through sailing schools and it’s great to see the tradition of sailing is back in the country.
“I can see the echo of sailing around the GCC especially with SATT. I am proud to see the efforts Oman Sail puts into promoting sailing across the GCC and how they contribute and provide opportunities for Omanis and GCC nationals to take part in major offshore and inshore sailing events and bring these races close to the public.”
Hashim says if he wasn’t sailing he would be an engineer in the oil industry. He would play more football and go mountain climbing on the beautiful peaks of his home town.
“The pros of sailing? I get to see the world, visit different people, get to know different cultures around the world and get the opportunity to represent and introduce Oman to the world. I don't see any cons in what I do. I am living my dream.”
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