Oman’s top young sailors selected for the Optimist World Championships in Portugal

Sports Monday 27/June/2016 16:18 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman’s top young sailors selected for the Optimist World Championships in Portugal

Muscat: Oman’s best young sailors sampled international sport at the top end when they took part in a special four-day training regatta in Vilamoura, Portugal as part of the Omantel Youth Squad’s preparations for the Optimist World Championships which runs until July 4 at the same venue.
Ten youngsters who are ranked as Oman Sail’s best Optimist sailors in Oman lined up against 70 young counterparts from 14 different nations around the world to acclimatise to the conditions in Vilamoura and the challenging environment presented by large scale competitions.
Only five of them have been selected to compete in the Worlds, Mohammed Al Qasmi, Jihad Al Hasani, Al Moatasem Al Farsi and Mohammed Al Alawi and Ali Al Riyami.
“The aim of the training was to improve the sailor’s confidence, skills and motivation,” said Oman Sail Youth Manager Mohsin Al Busaidi.
“We set individual goals for all the sailors but the main thing was to give them experience.
We were pleased to see Al Moatasem al Farsi win the training race – that was the goal we set for him - and very encouraged to see two of our youngest sailors finish a race. For the five sailors who are competing in the Worlds, we have identified areas they need to work on which they will do over the next three days of training.
“For the five who go back home after these three days of training, we have worked hard with them and took the opportunity to assess not just their sailing skills but their attitude and teamwork.
I am very happy with the progress of these kids.
They got a real taste of competition here with boats from other countries and became familiar with the conditions in Vilamoura.
In a week’s time at the Worlds, that experience could pay dividends.”
The youngsters experienced challenging conditions over the nine race regatta with winds ranging from six to 20 knots which tested boat handling and tactical skills as well as their physical strength.
Training and racing in Vilamoura represented a great opportunity for the squad, Hamdan Moosa Hamdan Al Harasi, Caretaker VP of Corporate Strategy Unit at Omantel said.“Congratulations to the five sailors who were selected to represent the Sultanate in Portugal and well done to all the sailors who took part in the training camp.
At a young age, these sailors have demonstrated determination and passion for the sport and we are proud of them.
Racing against youth from all those different countries in a World Championship venue is great experience for the members of our squad and we are excited to see their results in the coming days.
At Omantel, we take pride in supporting the community and especially youth programs in various sectors and we are proud to be part of the Omani society,” he added.