The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long heritage of sailing. With an average summer temperature of 45°C, warm water and good winds the conditions are perfect for sailing.
The traditional forms of sailing are still prevalent, but now modern forms are starting to develop in the region with an overall aim to send sailors to the Summer Olympic Games and International competitions.
And to aid their development the Saudi Arabian Maritime Sports Federation has become the newest member of the International Sailing Federation.
President of SAMSF, Rear Admiral Awwad Eid Al-Balawi helped form the federation in April 2008.
"After establishment we focused on establishing relationships with international organizations involved in Marine Sports activities,"
said Awwad Eid Al-Balawi. "In this regard we contacted ISAF to get the membership of the sailing federation to help us promote the sport of sailing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
Established on 6 April 2008 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, SAMSF provide a solid organizational base for all maritime sports in Saudi Arabia. As well as sailing SAMSF support rowing, angling, beach handball, wakeboarding, wake skating, kite surfing and more.
Optimist, Laser, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 are the most popular boats sailed and since establishment SAMSF are trying to attract Saudi youth to participate in sailing.
Awwad Eid-Balawi said, "The Beautiful Dammam and Jeddah Corrniche offers protected water for youth sailors. And more experienced sailors have access to sailing areas on the open sea so we have some perfect locations to host sailing activities and events.
"The first Open Kingdom Competition for Sailing was held at Half Moon beach last year from 4 - 9 July. A selected group of those interested in Sailing from Saudi Arabia took part as well as sailing lovers.
"There were also many maritime related activities for families to keep the public familiar and interested in the event."
The objectives of SAMSF are to promote sailing to all age groups of their citizens and to train them to a standard that they can compete in both National and International events.
And now they have become an ISAF member the future of sailing in Saudi Arabia looks bright. Awwad Eid-Balawi added, "A number of local clubs have been established since SAMSF's creation and they have actively participated in different competitions."
"Everyone at SAMSF would like to thank the ISAF Council, Jerome Pels and everybody who supported SAMSF in becoming an ISAF member."
The main clubs of Saudi Arabia are the Distinctive Sailor Club, Jeddah Marine Sports, Al-Ahlam Marine Club and Saudi Sea Club and Marina Club. The sailing season runs from July to September.
Visit the Saudi Arabian Maritime Sports Federation website here.
For more information about becoming an ISAF Member National Authority, please click here to contact the ISAF Secretariat.
ISAF MNA Microsite