Mussanah Race Week kicked off with a light wind start, making it particularly challenging for the competitors, with 6-8kts of breeze and small chop, their focus and concentration was continually being tested, leaving them with no room for error.
After a tricky first two races Oman Sail's very own F18 sailors Musab Al Hadi and Ahmed Al Balushi put together a winning plan and secured firsts in both the third and fourth races, but still couldn't snatch the overall lead by French pair Gurven Bontemp and Benjamin Amiot who won the first two races of the day. Musab commented, "It was a pretty good day, after a bad start, we decided to push hard and our plan came together, it's great that we finished the day in the second place and we're looking forward to racing tomorrow."
For the F18 class, the conditions were perfect, with them occasionally able to fly one hull, some of the French competitors were particularly relieved to be sailing in the warm waters of Oman, as back home in Europe there is snow on the ground.
There was close racing at the front of the Laser Standard fleet withy Andy Maloney (NZL) dominating the first two races, and Tom Burton (AUS), currently ranked number one in the world in the Laser Standard, winning races three and four. Burton said, "The conditions were pretty shifty, and the course was tough to read, it was all about the pre-start, and winning the start proved crucial, up the beat it was about committing to one side of the course. Good to see some pretty strong competition out here."
In the Radial class, the Singapore team dominating the first two races, whilst Volvo Ocean sailor Adel Khalid of Abu Dhabi, sat in fourth place for the first lap of the third race, made an impressive come back on the final downwind leg to claim first position. Adel said, "I made the gains by surfing the waves downwind. It was tough for me because I am a keelboat sailor, and no used to radials, also I'm 82kg, much heavier than the Singapore team, who are really good and have clearly practiced a lot harder than me, so I have to work really hard. Hopefully the wind will pick up over the next few days."
Radial Sailor, Amos Lim of Singapore and winner of the final race of the day added, "The conditions were alright, a bit light for me, but the racing was fair and close."
On the RSX Windsurf course the competitors were forced to work extra hard, with light winds, and rely on strength and fitness to get them round the course. Adam Holm of Sweden, winner of all of the days races commented, "I feel like I have just run a marathon!"
On Thursday and Friday, we will see the number of competitors grow, as the Optimist and Q'ba fleet take to the water. Youth sailors are representing six different nations including Oman. Racing starts at 11am each day, and with competition being so close, we're guaranteed a spectacle until the very end, with the final day of racing on Saturday 16 March.