Thursday, September 16
02:46 PM

Sailing with the best

11 Aug 2021 By ASHOK PUROHIT

The Star Sailors League (SSL) is an international regatta circuit featuring some of the best amateur and professional sailors from across the world vying for the top honours and cash awards in Star Class. Since 2013, when the circuit was launched, the regatta has been offering a platform for top-class sailing along with a ranking points similar to the pro tennis circuit.

For the first time, Oman Sail, which is celebrating 13 years of excellence this year, has been invited to send a team for the SSL. A team of 11 top Omani sailors have been selected by Oman Sail to compete in the SSL Finals, which will be held at Lake Neuchatel in Grandson, Switzerland, from September 19-October 4.

In fact, the SSL circuit concludes with a grand finale – SSL Finals  – which offers the best in terms of quality competition and prize money. 

The SSL Finals are reserved for the highest ranked SSL sailors as well as exceptional sailors, invited by the SSL, based on their sailing pedigree and Oman is the beneficiary to the invitation as one of the representatives of emerging countries in sailing.

On offer at the SSL Finals is a purse of US$218,000 and a competition format that features two stages – a qualification phase and a final phase.

As part of the celebration to mark the 13th anniversary, Oman Sail unveiled the team for the SSL Finals on Wednesday in the presence of Deputy Ambassador of Switzerland to Oman, Sabina Läderach. Oman will compete at the SSL Finals for the Sir Roland Symonette Trophy. This will be the first exposure for Oman’s elite sailors in Europe since the coronavirus pandemic halted sporting activities in Oman in March 2020.

Khamis al Jabri, CEO of Oman Sail, said, “We are incredibly proud of what Oman Sail has accomplished over 13 years. 

“Having a team compete in the Star Sailors League (SSL) Finals will provide a great opportunity for us to promote the sultanate at a world stage and it will give the team a platform to perform and compete against the best. As we celebrate the occasion, we are also looking forward to an incredibly busy period of sailing events that will open the eyes of the international sailing community to Oman.”

The coming winter season will see Oman Sail host three world championships with the 2021 World Youth Sailing Championships, 2021 49er, 49er FX & Nacra 17 World Championships, and the 2021 ICLA Radial World Championships. 

Oman Sail will also organise the 2021 49er, 49er FX & Nacra 17 Asian Championships, 2021 Asian Windsurfing Championships, along with regular fixtures in the calendar the Mussanah Race Week and Sailing Arabia–The Tour (SATT) 2021 to close out the year.

Oman Sail is also extending its expertise to bring additional high-profile sporting events to the country with the recent announcement that the World Race Walking Team Championships is headed to Muscat in March 2022. Oman Sail also had a key role in Oman’s successful bid to host the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup in 2024.


Oman squad: 

Nasser al Mashari (captain), Haitham al Wahaibi, Yassir al Rahbi, Waleed al Kindi, Musab al Hadi, Hussain al Jabri, Ahmed al Hasani, Abdulrahman al Mashari, Akram al Wahaibi, Ali al Balushi, Raad al Hadi.  Hashim al Rashdi (manager).

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