Oman’s reputation as one of the world’s best sailing destinations received a big boost when World Sailing awarded the prestigious 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships to Oman.
The youth sailing worlds is one of the most sought after events with the best young talent from around the world vying for top honours.
The event will be hosted by Oman Sail at Mussanah Sports City from December 11 to 18.
Confirming the development, a top Oman Sail official said, “We are proud of hosting such a big event.”
The 2021 event is the first youth worlds since the 2019 event in Gydnia, Poland, as the scheduled 2020 worlds in Salvador, Brazil, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Oman edition of the youth worlds will be a milestone as it will mark the 50th event of the youth sailing competition, which was first held in Sweden in 1971.
The competition has been held annually since, with 2020 being the first time the event was not staged during a calendar year.
World Sailing had scheduled the 2021 edition in The Hague, the Netherlands, for July but the cancellation of the Salvador worlds pushed back the event to August 2023 due to the pandemic.
Awarding of the youth worlds to Oman in December means that a hectic season awaits Oman Sail, starting with the Asian Windsurfing Championships in Musandam in October followed by the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships in November at Mussanah Sports City.
Hosting the Youth World Championships makes the sultanate the sailing capital of the world in 2021.
Over 350 of the world’s best young sailors from more than 60 countries are expected to arrive for the youth worlds and compete in Laser Radial, 29er, 420, Nacra 15, Techno293 Plus and Kite Boarding classes.
The youth worlds venue will be the Millennium Mussanah Resort at the Mussanah Sports City.
The inaugural Youth Sailing World Championship was held in Angelholm, Sweden in 1971 where 16 nations competed for titles in the two-person dinghies, 420 and Flipper.
The worlds are open to sailors aged 19 and under and is a platform where the stars of the future are born.
Past notable winners include America’s Cup skippers Chris Dickson, Russell Coutts and Dean Barker (all from New Zeal-and); Olympic medallists Ben Ainslie of Great Britain and Robert Scheidt of Brazil; and Volvo Ocean Race sailors like Stuart Bannatyne of New Zealand and Richard Clarke of Canada.