Oman Sail is delighted to announce that bp Oman is the title sponsor of the upcoming RS Venture Connect World Championships; the first exclusive para sailing event to be held in Oman.

In collaboration with Oman Sail, bp Oman has been heavily involved in the development of para sailing in Oman as supporters of the SailFree initiative. This is the region’s first para sailing programme, launched in 2019 as part of bp Oman’s social investment programme, and will now continue its association at the championships, taking place at Barceló Mussanah Resort from 22-27 November 2022.

Dr Khamis Al Jabri, Oman Sail CEO, said, “We are very pleased to welcome bp Oman as title sponsors of the RS Venture Connect World Championships and deliver the very first sailing championship in Oman solely devoted to para sailing. Their support for SailFree has been invaluable and has changed the lives of hundreds of people across Oman, and we hope that exposure to the RS Venture class during the championships and the Oman Sailing Festival will inspire even more people with disabilities to discover sailing.”

Thuraya Al Taei, C&EA Manager, bp Oman, Kuwait and Qatar said, “bp in Oman is committed to supporting Omanis with disabilities ensuring opportunities are inclusive for all people within community. We are excited to be sponsoring the RS Venture World Championship to deliver on our aim. Over the past three years, we have seen first-hand the success of our social investment programme ‘SailFree’ which has now allowed a national para sailing team to compete internationally. We look forward to working with Oman Sail to deliver a successful championship and continue supporting ‘Sail Free’.”

SailFree is a joint initiative between Oman Sail, bp Oman and the Oman Paralympic Committee, and is the region’s first para sailing programme. Launched in December 2019, it has since introduced over 200 men and women from the ages of 16 to 30. It has since become a model for inclusivity, diversity, and empowerment, and continues to offer opportunities for people with disabilities across Oman.

The RS Venture Connect World Championships will feature 36 teams from 19 nations, as well as a three-day Para Sailing Development Program (PDP) clinic organised by World Sailing, the global governing body for the sport, to provide training for coaches and race officials.

As with the previous RS Venture Connect Class World Championship, this year’s World Championship will once again feature a ‘Para’ as well as an ‘Open’ category for teams entered. This will increase the participation opportunities for sailors who previously didn’t meet the requirements of the World Sailing Minimal Disability Classification criteria required to participate in the Para category. The inclusion of the ‘Open’ category means that the event will present awards for both ‘Para’ and ‘Open’ Venture Connect Class Champions.