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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 13/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Oman will be challenged by Bahrain, Qatar and UAE as the four countries gear up for the third edition of the Sailing Arabia-The Tour (SATT), to be held next year from February 10-25.Oman Sail announced on Monday the details of the pan-Arab offshore racing event that will span 15 days. The race will begin in Bahrain and move on to Qatar, then UAE, before concluding in Oman.The journey will see the international fleet cover Abu Dhabi and Ras al Khaimah in UAE before proceeding to Musandam in Oman and eventually Muscat, the final stopover where the closing ceremony will be held.The event was launched in 2011 to promote sailing as one of the fastest growing sports in the region and reignite the Arab world's rich maritime heritage.This year, the competition will feature two new entries, from Royal Navy of Oman and Team Messe Frankfurt, in addition to some of the teams that participated in the 2012 edition.The racing will take place on identical Farr 30 keelboats, one of the Grand Prix racing world's fastest vessels.Last year, French team Courrier Dunkerque was crowned champion following a downwind sprint to the finish line at The Wave, Muscat. Skippered by experienced French sailor Daniel Souben, the team had a healthy lead from the start right till the final leg.David Graham, Oman Sail's CEO, said, ''Now into its third year, the SATT has established itself as part of sailing's winter calendar, attracting some of the best sailors from the region and beyond to compete in the wonderful sailing conditions the GCC has to offer."Interest in sailing is at an all-time high within the region and the SATT will demonstrate the benefits that the sport can bring to communities in the GCC, including youth training, economic development, health and fitness.''H H Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed bin Saqr al Nahyan, chairman of the UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation, said, ''The SATT is designed not only to showcase the sailing talent we have here in the region, but also to encourage friendly rivalry between the GCC nations."This healthy competition not only inspires a new generation of young sailors, but also puts us on the international sporting map.''


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