The Sultanate of Oman will welcome 39 teams representing 19 nationalities to the 2022 RS Venture Connect Class World Championship, the first exclusively para sailing event to be held in the country. Racing begins on 23 November 2022 at the Barceló Mussanah Resort and takes place daily until the Grand Final on 27 November 2022, in both ‘Para’ and ‘Open’ categories.
Before racing gets underway, The RS Venture Connect Class Association will be delivering a two-day Coaching Clinic to provide high-level training for team coaches and their sailors. The Coaching Clinic will be delivered alongside an International Classification Seminar which will allow four candidates put forward by the Oman based Al Amal Occupational Therapy Centre, to undergo a final assessment in order to become International Classifiers. These candidates, if successful, will join11 International Classifiers appointed by the World Governing body for the sport of sailing in what would be a major step forward for Para sailing in not just Oman but also globally.
Maryam Al Jadidi, Senior Project Manager at Oman Sail, said, “We are excited to welcome para sailors from around the world to Oman for the RS Venture Connect World Championship and help the sport to grow. Para sailors are among the most courageous and resilient athletes, and it is a great honour to host Oman’s first ever event exclusively for para sailing. This championship has a wider importance to the international sailing community by providing the platform for four candidates to become International Classifiers and help coaches and athletes develop the sport further, while also continuing to show the inclusivity of sailing on a worldwide stage.”
Oman Sail’s own ‘SailFree’ team, the region’s first sailing programme for people with disabilities, will also be taking part. Six two-person teams will compete in the para category; Hassan Al Lawati and Sami Al Sulaimi, Sultan Al Wahaibi and Muayad Al Sheriyani, Adil Al Siyabi and Ahmed Al Shukaili, Malik Al Qartoubi and Ghalya Al Jabri, Raiyan Al Mujaini and Hamed Al Subhi, and Zaher Al Atbi and Ali Al Ghasaini.
Dan Jaspers, Manufacturers Representative for the International RS Venture Connect Class, said, “Sometimes it pays to take risks and to think outside of the box, and I am confident that when I look back at this event in years to come, this event will be seen as the catalyst for shaping a new era not just for the RS Venture Connect Class but for para sailing on the whole. When this event in Mussanah was initially envisioned, there was no guarantee that it could go ahead, let alone with the kind of numbers of teams attending that we now see signed up for this event. Oman Sail committed to the event, and the rest is history!
“Thanks to Oman Sail, bp Oman, the Barceló Mussanah Resort and Oman Air, the possibilities for growing this discipline of our amazing sport are truly limitless. I feel very lucky indeed to be able to do the work that I do and be surrounded by like-minded people and organisations like those involved in staging this event. The platform for what promises to be an epic competition has been built and I now wish all of the teams the very best for the on-water battles that await them in Oman.”
This year marks an important milestone for para sailing with the result of World Sailing’s #BacktheBid for the sport to be reinstated to the Paralympics for LA28 due to be revealed in the coming months. The RS Venture Connect World Championship will continue to show support for the cause and highlight the growth of the sport as sailors prepare to #SailtoLA and #BackTheBid. World Sailing has committed to the long-term success of para sailing and even if the bid is unsuccessful will continue to campaign for inclusion for Brisbane 2032.