The Arab Sailing Championships came to a close after five days of exceptional racing from the best young sailors in the region in perfect conditions at Barcelo Mussanah Resort.
In the Optimist competition, UAE’s Mayed al Ali edged out Oman’s Tamim al Balushi by four points to take gold, with his teammate Mohammed al Marzouqi finishing third in a very tight fleet. Karma Walid Mohammed won the women’s category, finishing third overall, ahead of Bahrain’s Malak al Doseri – fourth overall – and Egyptian Talia Hussein Emad who finished eighth overall in what was a very high-quality fleet of both male and female sailors.
It ended up being a UAE one-two-three with Othman al Hammadi taking gold despite easing off in the last race. Alharith al Ali finished second and picks up the silver, ahead of Mohammed al Zaabi in third. Ganna Mohamed Shaalan of Egypt took the women’s gold, finishing fourth overall, ahead of teammate Asmaa Wael Mahfouz in second and Ourabah Sofia of Algeria in third. Elyass al Fadhil was the highest ranked Omani sailor in fifth overall and fourth in the men’s category. Teammates Hatim al Ouraimi finished seventh overall and Alsalim al Hamdani finished ninth overall.
Almutasim al Farsi from Oman showed a high level of skill and control throughout the week in the ILCA 6 class to hold off the challenge of the chasing pack, taking the gold medal ahead of UAE’s Ahmed Younis in second and his teammate Zakariya al Wahabi of Oman in third. Khouloud Moustafa Mansy of Egypt won the women’s category, finishing second overall, and comfortably ahead of Dhuha al Beshr of UAE in second and Mariam Ihab Moustafa of Egypt in third. Nibras al Owaisi of Oman finished tenth overall.
The ILCA 7 event was won by Adil Khalid of UAE who finished five points ahead of Al Alsaadi of Oman, and Abdulmalik al Hanai also from Oman finished third, holding off the challenge of Faris Al Bakri from Qatar in fourth and Egypt’s Aly Nabil Ahmed Badawi in fifth, as just eight points separated third and ninth. Fellow Omani sailor Abraa al Noufli finished eighth.
Conditions were ideal for the windsurfing events and the Omani duo of Abdulmajeed al Hadhrami and Omar al Qartobi continued to dominate the iQFOiL competition. Hadhrami took the gold, ten points ahead of his teammate Qartobi, with Mehdi Guembri of Tunisia a further eight points back in third. Oman’s Abdullah al Sarahi finished sixth.
The Arab Sailing Championships marked the debut of the RS Venture class, a highly versatile dinghy for para sailors, and it was victory on home waters for the Omani pair of Malik Juma al Qartoobi and Ghaliya al Jabri. Leading all week, the team notched up another win today to seal victory overall. Sami al Sulaimi and Naser al Rahbi of Oman finished second, winning the final race of the day to bring a very impressive campaign to a close. The Saudi crew of Saleh al Tuwaylie and Turki al Khawaji finished third after showing great consistency throughout. The team skippered by Ahmed Salman Abdulwahid of Iraq finished fourth.
Rashid al Kindi, director of Sailing at Oman Sail, said, “This week has shown that the future of sailing across the region is very bright. In all classes there are talented, determined sailors making progress every time they take to the water. I would like to congratulate the winners, and special appreciation for the RS Venture sailors who are breaking the boundaries for para sailing in the region and showing there is a pathway for everyone in sailing.”
The winners received their prizes from Sheikh Ghosn bin Hilal bin Khalifa al Alawi, president of the State Financial and Administrative Audit Institution during the closing ceremony at Barceló Mussanah Resort, bringing a successful Arab Sailing Championships – the first since 2019 – to a close and showcasing the incredible talent in both men’s and women’s sailing from across the Middle East and North African region.
Throughout the championships, the Oman Sailing Festival had introduced visitors to Barceoo Mussanah Resort to sailing with free Try Sailing, Try Windsurfing and Try Kitesurfing sessions. There was also a chance to experience the RS Venture dinghy. Many people took the opportunity to learn the basics of sailing during the three-day festival.
Oman Sail also organised a beach clean-up event in partnership with the Environment Society of Oman, collecting litter from the beach and sea as part of an ongoing mission to conserve the environment and keep the shorelines clean for the next generation to enjoy.