(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Illness has forced Omani sailor Raiya al Habsi, who is a member of the all-women crew for Al Thuraya bank muscat, to withdraw from the EFG Sailing Arabia-The Tour (SATT) on Saturday.
Confirming her pullout, Katie Pettibone, the team's skipper, said, ''It is unfortunate that we do not have Raiya along with us for the race. She underwent a minor operation on her teeth and she has been advised rest.''
Raiya was nominated for the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award last year after she became the first Omani woman to sail in the Rolex Fastnet Race as part of the MOD70 Oman Air-Musandam crew in August 2013.
She had been a regular member of Al Thuraya bank muscat and though Asrar al Ajmi is replacing Raiya, Pettibone said Asrar is also 'doubtful' of taking part.
Pettibone said, ''We've got Lauren Martel from Britain on board now. We will have four Omani girls with us, including Ibtisam al Salmi, who has previous experience. The rest three [Khaloud al Araimi, Huda al Mashrafi and Riham al Shezawi] are making their debut.''
Pettibone is a veteran of three America's Cup races and two round-the-world races. Britain's Mary Rook and Liz Bayliss of the US are also top flight sailors with Al Thuraya bank muscat.