Sail the Gulf - Qatar International Regatta concluded on Saturday 23 February at Doha Sailing Club after a mixed week of light to strong breeze that tested the sailors across eight classes.
With variation in conditions throughout the course of the regatta the more experienced competitors shone in the sun with no major upsets.
Laser favourite Hussain Al Jabri (OMA) made it two consecutive 50-point regatta victories in a row following his success at the Singapore Laser Open in June last year. The Omani faced stiff competition from Indian duo Gajender Singh and Dharmender Singh Chauhan as a three way fight ensued over the 12 race series.
Despite waiting until the 11th race to secure his first race win Al Jabri had been consistent across the week to take the gold medal by four points. The outcome could have been different with the Indians taking the top honours but a non discardable disqualification in Race 10 scuppered their chances.
On Al Jabri, Rashid Al Kindi, Chairman of Oman's Sailing Committee and National Team Manager at Oman Sail said, "His fitness level and determination are the main strengths that qualified him to be selected in the National squad.
"Hussain has developed very fast and has shown promising skills to excel in the sport. There are some great sailing talents in the region, and competitions like Sail the Gulf and Mussanah Race Week showcase and develop these talents by pitting them against international experts.
"Our objective is to engage Hussain and our other National sailors in the Olympic classes at both regional and international training camps and regattas to intensify their development and raise their level to prepare them for major international competition, including the Laser World Championships at the end of the year in Oman. Our overriding goal is to see our sailors at the 2020 Olympics Games."
Sailors from Algeria, Bahrain, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Myanmar, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Qatar, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, United Arabs Emirates & United Kingdom competed in the regatta and the honours were well spread.
Young Optimist sailor Vishnu Saravanana brought his winning mentality to Qatar to take the Optimist title and helping India to the team title, "It is a nice feeling to win here in Qatar. This is my second major win of my career at the international level. I also won in Langkawi International Regatta 2012 in Optimist Class, last month at Malaysia,"
revealed the 11-yr-old, who has set his sights on the 2014 Asian Games.
"I dream of winning India's first Optimist gold at the Asian Games in 2014. That's my goal,"
The Race Officers managed a good racing throughout the week. Mr. Khalifa M. Al Sewaidi, President Qatar Sailing & Rowing Federation, while addressing the Closing Ceremony, expressed his gratitude to Participants, Race Officers, Judges, Volunteers and Media who made this event a success. He further emphasised over the sportsman spirit, friendship and mutual cooperation for promotion of Sailing and hoped for another successful event in the future.
He thanked HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani the Heir Apparent President Qatar Olympic Committee and HE Sheikh Soud Bin Abdul Rehman Al Thani, Secretary General, Qatar Olympic Committee for Their support & guidance to Qatar Sailing & Rowing Federation.
Optimist Team Racing
1. IND Team
2. NOR-1 Team
3. CZE Team
1. Vishnu Saravanan (IND)
2. Torstein Erlendsoenn Tenstad (NOR)
3. Mahesh Balachander (IND)
1.Ruben Heard (RSA)
2.Jacob Farren Price (GBR)
3. Ebrahim Showaiter (BRN)
1. Ahmed Ragab (EGY)
2. Ali Bohamad (KUW)
3. Daoud Abdulla (BRN)
1. Hussain Said Al Jabri (OMA)
2. Gajender Singh (IND)
3. Dharmender Singh Chauhan (IND)
1. Wai Pwint Wabo/ Theingi Win Shwe (MYA)
2. Moekhant Thadin Hlamyint / Thurein Tun Oo (MYA)
3. Abdelrahman Al Jinah/ Yousef Al Baker (QAT)
1. Darren Choy/ Nathan Tang (SIN)
2. Ayaz Shaikh/Sandip Jain (IND)
3. Aung Myin Thu/ Naing Latt Tun (MYA)
1. Chaabane Khemaies Mahdi/ Abdulaziz Almahmeed (BRN)
2. Galymzhan Darigul / Zhanserik Kuanyshov (KAZ)
3. Anuar Kaldykozhaev/ Magomet Dalakov (KAZ)
1. Ganapathy K. Chengappa/ Varun Ashok Thakkar (IND)
2. Varsha Gautham/ Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan (IND)
3. Rasmus Andreas W. Munter/ Astrid Hylen Klippenberg (NOR)