Muscat – Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 took the honours on a dramatic final day of the 44Cup Oman. Going into the last day of racing, Nico Poons’ Team Charisma of Monaco held a seven-point lead over Team Ceeref from Slovenia, but that lead evaporated after Charisma faltered in the first two races while Ceeref posted two second placed finishes to take the lead by just one point.
Igor Lah and his crew received the trophy from Sheikh Nasser Sulaiman Al Harthy, Deputy President for Operations at the Oman Investment Authority, guest of honour, in front of an ecstatic crowd at Al Mouj Muscat Marina.
The final race saw neither team triumph as Huges Lepic’s Aleph Racing from France crossed the line first, Team Aqua from Great Britain second and Team Nika from Monaco third. Ceeref struggled, ending the race in sixth, but Charisma also encountered difficulty and finished just behind in seventh.
This left Ceeref in first place, two points ahead of Charisma in second and Aleph Racing five points back in third. The battle for third and fourth was equally tight but John Bassadone’s Team Peninsula Racing of Great Britain missed out by a single point even after winning the first race of the day.
Team Oman Sail struggled all weekend in challenging conditions on board a new boat but will learn from this weekend and take the positives from this experience into the forthcoming season.
Igor Lah, owner-driver of Team Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860, said, “Last year we didn’t finish well in Oman, and I am really happy that we were able to claim victory. It was tough until the last metre but we managed to do it. We have changed the crew, adding two time European Champion Tina Mrak, and it was a little different but everything is brilliant, and I am looking forward to take our chances this season.”
The 44Cup is unique international sailing circuit where ‘owner-drivers’ compete alongside and against the world’s best sailors in some of the most beautiful and diverse sailing venues around the world. The multi-city yacht racing series gives business owners the opportunity to network with global businesses, C-class executives, group founders, entrepreneurs and investors during a weekend of spectacular offshore action and VIP onshore hospitality.
Lah added, “While I am in Oman I am going to explore several business opportunities here. From the outside it looks extremely promising, and I am sure this is the right location to be in this part of the world.”
The 44Cup Oman was presented by official partners Oman Sail, organisers of the event, and host venue Al Mouj Muscat, in association with Automotive partner Mercedes-EQ, and official supporters TRANSOM Catering and Tanuf Water.
The 44Cup continues in Marstrand, Sweden, from 28 June-2 July, and then Cowes, UK, from 9-13 August. The fourth event of the season will be at the Alcaidesa Marina in Spain, next to the border with Gibraltar, before heading to Calero Marinas in the Canary Islands for the season finale.