Dubai: Plans for the 23rd Dubai to Muscat Race are well under way, with every effort being made to make it bigger and better than this year’s successful event.
Race staff at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC), the UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation (UAE SARF) and the Ministry of Sports Affairs are working with the Sultanate of Oman to organise the race. This year’s event finished earlier this month,
DOSC’s Rear Commodore David Worrall said: “Not only is the Dubai to Muscat Race one of the most exciting and prestigious sailing races for enthusiasts, at 360 miles it is also the longest offshore race in the region. Over 22 years, we have seen huge changes; what started as a fun and low-key race has now become established on the international sailing calendar. We have seen drastic growth over recent years and moving forward we are expecting a 25 per cent increase in the number of competitors for next year.”
He added: “We encourage all sailors to enter and have different classes for different boats and experience levels. It is an absolutely incredible race and so much fun to be part of whether you are sailing competitively or just testing out your skill by sailing alongside the racing boats.”
Plans to grow the race include catering to larger numbers of competing boats in the IRC and Club Classes as well as more event awareness with worldwide broadcast coverage. While organisers welcome international participants, there is a strong focus on regional competitors and extra efforts will be made to specifically target entrants from the Gulf region, building on the historic sailing traditions of the region. The event organisers are not only keen to increase awareness about the Dubai to Muscat Race but also raise awareness of the culture of sailing in the region and how this race can bring communities together regardless of nationality, age and experience level.
In terms of this year’s race, IRC Class winners Lee Overlay Partners completed the event in a record time of two days, 53 minutes and 40 seconds.
Yours Truly took the Club Class title for the second successive year.
After starting the race at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, boats had to negotiate the tidal shallows of the Arabian Gulf for approximately 100 miles and employ tactical racing techniques to get ahead. Once the yachts reached the Strait of Hormuz, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, they were then in the deeper waters of the Indian Ocean and racing the next 260 miles in open waters, sailing along the mountainous coast line of Oman towards Muscat.
Competitors from all over the world, including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, the United States, Kuwait and Oman, besides the UAE, took part in the race.