The first day of racing at the Arab Sailing Championship 2022 concluded at Barceló Mussanah Resort with Omani sailors in leading positions in the majority of classes.

Marking the debut for the class at the Arab Sailing Championships, the four teams in the RS Venture para sailing race showed that sailing is a sport for all. After the first day of racing, The teams from Oman occupy the top two positions with skippers Malik Al Qartoobi in first and Sami Al Sulaimai in second, just ahead of the team led by Saleh Al Tuwaylie of Saudi Arabia in second and the team skippered by Ahmed Salman Abdulwahid of Iraq in third. The Omani pair traded wins with Malik’s crew winning the first two races and Sami’s team the third.

Malik Al Qartoobi said, “It was a very tough competition between the teams. We had the opportunity to train with Saleh (Al Tuwaylie, KSA), so we all knew each other’s capabilities and favoured moves, but I am pleased to be leading today. Wind was ideal, between 8 and 12 knots, and I am looking forward to racing tomorrow which I am sure will be just as tough.”

Competition in the Optimist class kicked off the championships as 27 sailors took to the water. Mohammed Al Marzouqi of UAE took an early lead and never surrendered it, finishing first after the first day with two wins from the first three races. Omani sailors Tamim Al Balushi and Abdullateef Al Qassmi finished second and third respectively. Karma Walid Mohamed of Egypt leads the female race, finishing fourth overall, ahead of Bahrain’s Malak Al Doseri in second and Camelia Al Qubaisi for UAE in third.

In the ILCA 4 class, Othman Al Hammadi of the UAE won all three races to end the day in top spot, two points ahead of teammate Alharith Al Ali. Waleed Daraan of Bahrain ends the day in third. Ganna Mohamed Shaalan of Egypt finished the day as the top female, third overall, with teammate Asmaa Wael Mahfouz in second and Ourabah Sofia of Algeria in third.

Omani Almutasim Al Farsi excelled in the ILCA 6 racing, finishing three points ahead of the Bahraini pair of Dawood Abdullah in second and Hussam Daraan in third. Oman’s Zakariya Al Wahabi ended the day in seventh. Karassane Mallia of Algeria leads the female category finishing third overall, and three points ahead of Egypt’s Khouloud Moustafa Mansy and Dhuha Al Beshr of UAE in third.

Oman’s Ali Alsaadi leads the ILCA 7 competition after notching two wins in the first three races. Abdulla Al Janahi of Bahrain ends the day in second and Adil Khalid from UAE is a close third.

Abdulla Janahi, said, “We have prepared very well for the Arab Sailing Championship. I have been sailing in Gran Canaria for the past year. We have all been training hard and pushing to achieve good results. It is a pleasure to come to Oman, we feel like home here. It is a beautiful place to sail. The conditions were very tricky today. The wind was light and shifty, so it was challenging for all of the sailors but we survived in the heat, so we are happy. Competition very strong, and it was nice to see such a high level on the first day.”

Oman dominated the iQFOiL class on day one, with Abdulmajeed Al Hadhrami winning all three races to lead from Omar Al Qartobi, who finished second in two races, and Abdullah Al Sarahi in third, who recorded a second place and a third place in the first three races.

Al Mukhtar Al Mujaini, coach of the Oman team, said, “I am very proud of my team on the first day. The team did very well in light winds, and I hope they keep the momentum tomorrow. Our ambition is to finish in the top three, so the results today put us in a strong position to achieve that goal.”

The Arab Sailing Championship 2022 features 120 sailors from 11 countries from across the Middle East and North Africa for five days of racing from 11-15 October 2022. Oman is represented by a squad of 19 sailors across all classes who will compete against sailors from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and the UAE.

Racing continues today (Thursday 13 October) alongside the Oman Sailing Festival begins at Barceló Mussanah Resort which offers free Try Sailing, Try Windsurfing and Try Kitesurfing sessions to visitors as well as showcasing local SMEs.

The festival runs until 14 October with a beach clean-up event on the final day, in partnership with Environment Society of Oman (ESO) to mark Arab Environment Day. Visiting sailors and coaches will join Oman Sail, members of the public and staff from Barceló Mussanah Resort in clearing litter from the beach and removing waste from the seas to emphasise the importance of maintaining a clean environment.