2019 SATT to launch inaugural World Diam Tour
In a major boost to Oman's premier regatta – the EFG Sailing Arabia-The Tour (SATT) – the ninth edition will launch the inaugural Diam World Tour when it begins in Muscat on February 2.
The 2019 SATT edition brings together a competitive mix of experienced stars of the international racing world, young talent and the best of Omani sailors.
The inaugural Diam World Tour comprises 24 feet one-design boat competing in three continents, beginning with SATT with the participation of ten teams in the new formulae raids.
The 2019 SATT format will do away with the offshore concept and will see teams travel to different venues by air or road and compete in stadium and coastal races.
After the SATT, the Tour will be followed by the Tour Voile in France (July 2-21), Nastro Rosa in Italy (September 20-October 12) and conclude with the Grand Prix Pacifique des Jeux in French Polynesia (November 7-20).
The SATT, which begins in Muscat, will conclude in Salalah on February 16 after stopping at five different venues. There will be five in-port races and five coastal raids.
Among the high-profile sailors participating are Valentin Bellet, skipper of defending champion Beijaflore, skipper Franck Cammas of last year's runner-up EFG Bank Monaco.
Strong competition is expected from the newly-formed Oman Shipping Company with Stevie Morrison as its skipper. Damien Iehl, a four-time Tour Voile winner, is skipper of MOOD, a debutant entry.
The competitive Cheminée Poujoulat will be led by skipper Robin Follin while Seaflotech is skippered by French Olympic 470 sailor and Tour Voile veteran Sofian Bouvet.
An all-Omani team will compete onboard Renaissance, skippered by Akram al Wahaibi while a strong Omani contingent will be part of the all-women DB Schenker entry.
Skipper Audrey Ogereau and fellow French racer Maelenn Lemaitre will be joined by Oman Sail stars Ibtisam al Salmi, Tamathir al Balushi and Marwa al Khaifi.
Rounding up the ten teams are Golfe du Morbihan and CER Geneva.