Oman Sail team to compete in Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland challenge
Development of Omani sailors seem to be one of the primary aims of Oman Sail and as part of its endeavour to provide top-class regatta experience, it has picked two young Omanis – Akram al Wahaibi and Mohammed al Mujaini – to be part of its Class 40 squad that will compete in the challenging 1,800-nautical mile Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, set to begin on Sunday.
Led by French skipper Guillaume Le Brec, the squad has Italian racer Gabriele Olivo as the other crew member.
A record ten Class40s have entered the fray in the non-stop race.
Starting and finishing from Cowes Isle of Wight, UK, the course takes the fleet as far north as Muckle Flugga in the Shetland Islands.
The 2018 race is an official event for the 2018 Class40 circuit and since the Class40s first competed in the race in 2006, only five have finished the gruelling challenge.
Skipper Le Brec said the crew was ready for the challenge ahead.
“The season so far has been really positive and we have seen some great development with the guys on the boat,” he said.
“We have had some good results, we won the ArMen Race on the way to qualifying for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race, which was good. The Omani guys are really motivated, and we are all looking forward to the longer race.
“Overall through the year we have been working and training to improve their level, and they are doing a good job.”
Held every four year, the last two editions of the race have seen the fleet sent on an anti-clockwise course around Britain to avoid bad conditions, a situation that looks unlikely to be repeated this year given the settled summer weather in the UK.
“This year has been different as we have not had a lot of wind at all, and it has been light and upwind a lot of the time – and the boat is more designed for racing off the wind, so that’s what we are looking forward to more of,” Le Brec said.
“A top-five finish would be a good result for us and that is what we will be aiming for.”
Le Brec and the crew are of course aware that Oman Sail has a distinguished record in the Sevenstar Round Britain and
Ireland Race history, with the MOD70 trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail setting an incredible world record time for the course in 2014 of three days, three hours, 32 minutes and 36 seconds.