(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) A sunny day with light wind conditions at the Amwaj Marina greeted the nine participating teams on Saturday for the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia-The Tour (SATT) 2013, organised by Oman Sail.
As team crews and skippers got busy to get their Farr 30 boats ready for the region's only offshore sailing race, which begins on Sunday, race director Giles Chiorri held a skippers' briefing on the eve of the start of the 1,400km race.
The 2013 edition will feature young skippers, like 19 year old Marcel Herrera (Team Messe Frankfurt), 24 year old Kay Heemskerk (Team Deft Challenge-TU Delft), and Adil Khalid, 24, of Team Abu Dhabi.
The young brigade will compete against the experienced Sidney Gavignet (EFG Bank Monaco skipper), Bertrand Pace (Team AISM skipper) and Dee Caffari (skipper of Al Thuraya bank muscat Team).
Four Omani teams are in the fray and much of the focus is on the all-women crew of Al Thuraya bank muscat Team. Skippered by Dee Caffari, its crew comprises four Omani girls.
The other three contenders from Oman are Team BAE Systems, skippered by Cedric Pouligny, Team Renaissance, led by Mohsin al Busaidi, and Royal Navy of Oman Team, skippered by Qais al Maamari.
The SATT 2013 will see the teams racing to seven marinas in four countries - Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman.
The Tour begins in Bahrain and makes its first stop at Doha, Qatar, before moving to Abu Dhabi, UAE. The fleet then heads to Dubai, from where the sailors will go to Ras al Khaimah.
The teams will continue travelling along the coastal route before entering Omani waters through the Strait of Hormuz. The fleet stops over at Musandam, then moves to Musannah, and finally heads to The Wave, Muscat, the headquarters of Oman Sail, on February 26.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Issa al Ismaily, Oman Sail events director, said, ''The fact that we have world-class sailors and top European teams competing here is testimony to our efforts towards promoting the region as an ideal sailing destination.''
Teams (with skippers): EFG Bank Monaco (Sidney Gavignet), Team Renaissance (Mohsin al
Busaidi), Al Thuraya bank muscat Team (Dee Caffari), Team BAE Systems (Cedric Pouligny), Team Messe Frankfurt (Macel Herrera), Team AISM (Bertrand Pace), Team Abu Dhabi (Adil Khalid), Royal Navy of Oman Team (Qais al Maamari), Team Delft Challenge-TU Delft (Kay Heemskerk).