For the eighth time since 2010, Muscat will bid a warm welcome to the Extreme Sailing Series fleet in March next year after Oman Sail announced that the Sultanate of Oman’s capital city will host the opening Act of the 2017 season.
One of the circuit’s longest term and most popular venues due to the superb racing conditions and red carpet hospitality, Muscat hosted its first Extreme 40 racing event back in February 2010 when it was the last staging post of the 2009 Extreme Sailing Series Asia, following events in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Oman Sail’s success in planning and coordinating the activities, and also winning both the Asian and European championships that season placed Muscat firmly on the map of world class sailing venues.
Hosting the opening Act in the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series and three other seasons since, has consolidated their reputation as organisers and in 2016, a new era in Muscat’s global sports status was heralded when the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, the most renowned sailing event in the world, was played out in the waters off Al Mouj in front of a delighted Muscat crowd.
The return of the Extreme Sailing Series to Muscat in 2017 continues to raise Oman’s profile around the globe as both a high grade sporting venue and a high end tourist destination, said Salma Al Hashmi, Chief Marketing Officer for Oman Sail.
“It gives us great pleasure to announce Muscat as the first venue in the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series,” she said.
“We are looking forward to welcoming guests from all four corners of the globe and to seeing the stunning pictures of Muscat, with our beautiful cerulean waters and majestic mountains, winging their way to television screens all over the world.
“This will be the 8th time we’ve hosted this event and each year the feedback from sailors, officials and visitors gets ever more glowing as a familiarity with our culture, scenery and set up here continues to gain momentum.”
OC Sport Event Director Andy Tourell added: “It is fantastic to start the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat.
“OC Sport were involved in the very beginnings of Oman Sail, and it is a privilege to have been part of the journey through the Extreme Sailing Series that now sees them organise world class sailing events year round.
“The sailing conditions in Muscat are fantastic and the racecourse allows us to combine our signature Stadium Racing with longer coastal racing. We’re looking forward to taking the first Act of the season to one of our longest term venue partners.”
For the sailors and shore crew, the return to Muscat came with some comforting assurances and familiar prospects, according to Oman Air GC32’s Pete Greenhalgh.
“We are thrilled to be returning to Muscat for a whole number of reasons not least the sailing conditions,” he said.
“It is beautifully warm and can be very windy which makes for some great racing – it has the potential to deliver the most amazing conditions for foiling. We also love racing in front of a home crowd where our sponsors and supporters turn out to spur us on.”
The 2017 Extreme Sailing Series starts in Muscat on March 8 and continues through to March 11 and marks the start of a new look programme with San Diego, USA and Los Cabos in Mexico making their debuts on the circuit.