Today i attended the press conference of the first Muscat Regatta and it was interesting to see that Marina Bandar Al Rowdha came up with something really good; from the sponsors involved, Bank of Beirut, Oman Air, NFC, Ministries of Tourism and Sports' Affairs, to the technical company behind it, GWM Racing.
Here is the official release:
The launch of the first ever Muscat Regatta was announced in a press conference yesterday, attended by the chairman of Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Mr. Saleem Q. Al Zawawi and the Managing Director of Bank of Beirut Mr. Remy Zambarakji, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Sports Affairs.
The Regatta will involve a series of 9 races, the highlight of which will be a 230 mile Muscat to Khasab race which will be held on December 10th ending at Khasab in the Governorate of Musandam. The launch of the Muscat Regatta is important in the Sultanate, as prior to this in spite of Muscat’s rich sailing heritage as a thriving seaport; its involvement in the Sport was limited to being the final destination in the annual Dubai – Muscat yacht race.
Mr. Saleem Al Zawawi commented; ‘We at Marina Bandar al Rowdha feel that it is high time that Oman, as a Maritime nation with a sea-faring tradition going back over hundreds of years, has its own blue-water yacht race. The planned Muscat Regatta which will start here on December 1st is the result of over a year of hard work and will fulfill the aspirations of many Omani and Expatriate sailors”.
The Regatta will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Sports Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism and will be managed by a British firm of International repute; GWM Racing Limited. The company has many years of experience racing, including in the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. A number of sponsors have also signed up to support the landmark Regatta, including Bank of Beirut, who will be presenting the winning boat of the Muscat – Khasab race with a perpetual USD$50,000 prize, entitled the ‘Muscat – Khasab Bank of Beirut Chairman’s Cup 2009’.
Remy Zambarakji, Managing Director of Bank of Beirut, Oman said of the decision to sponsor the Regatta; “The bank’s aim is to support this exciting sport and take it one step forward to become an international race. We are certain that the Regatta in general, and specifically the Muscat – Khasab race will be a great success, and we are very proud of our sponsorship and involvement, especially considering the fact that Muscat and Beirut share centuries of maritime heritage together”.
The recent successes of Oman Sail on the European circuit has fired the imagination of many young Omanis wanting to sail and according to Al Zawawi, building a competitive platform for these young sailors is something very important to all involved in Muscat Regatta 2009.
“We are helping to build the National Sailing teams of tomorrow in hosting this event, providing them with an important opportunity for competition to hone their newly acquired skills. The Muscat Regatta now has the potential and the financial support to become not just a regional event, but also an international one – attracting yachts from all over the world.” Al Zawawi concluded.
The Muscat Regatta 2009 will be held from December 1st to December 10th at Marina Bandar al Rowdha, Muscat. For further information please visit: www.marinaoman.net
Well, good luck to them!