The Oman on the Al Thuraya Bank Muscat Team team honed their racing skills at the J80 World Championships in Marseilles, France recently.
A milestone event for the young Omani crew, who have only been racing together for four months, the J80 Worlds were always going to be a challenge, with a massive fleet of 118 teams, including Iker Martinez, the Olympic 49er gold medallist and Volvo Ocean Race skipper, reports Times of Oman. But the crew adjusted to the frenetic starts and melees around the marks to work their way up the rankings to finish in 31st place in the 59-strong silver fleet.
The final day of racing at the Roucas Blanc Stade Nautique on France's south coast turned out to be their best, with a consistent 18-14-16 score line in the three races.
The step up from the regional contests to the world championships had posed a major challenge for the women, according to Liz Rushall, the British keelboat specialist who has been coaching the Al Thuraya Bank Muscat Team since March.
The girls return to Oman before Raya Al Habsi starts her preparations for the Rolex Fastnet Race in August, where she will sail with British yachtswoman Dee Caffari as a member of Sidney Gavignet's crew, stepping up the momentum for Oman Sail's Women's Sailing Programme.
Source: Times of Oman