From great opportunities, come great moments. Raiya Al Habsi was given the chance to join Oman Sail Women's Programme in 2011 and ground-breaking moments were the result. Al Habsi is part of a steadily emerging all-female Omani sailing team competing in the Farr 30 and J/80 classes and at the same time promoting sport, fitness health and lifestyle to women in Oman. In August 2013 Al Habsi stepped into the history books when she became the first Omani woman to compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race sailing the Omani flagship MOD70 Oman Air-Musandam.
Achievements between 31 September 2012 and 31 August 2013
Rolex Fastnet Race - (Oman Air-Musandam) - the first Omani woman to compete
91 - J/80 Worlds, Marselle, FRA - July 2013
100 - Spi Ouest (J/80), FRA - July 2013
7 - Sail Arabia Tour - February 2013 (Farr 30 - bow)
What inspired you to take up sailing?
I always dreamed to achieve something unique in my life. Sailing changed my life, I learned more about myself, my strengths, explored my areas of development, how to enhance my communications and meet other people form around the world. Sailing has long been part of our country's maritime heritage and today sailing gave me a chance to achieve my dream and contribute to the development of women sports in Oman..
What was the first boat you ever sailed and how old were you?
I first sailed on a dinghy, I was 21 years old
Name your first sailing club
Mussanah Sailing School, Oman
What was the first event you competed in and in what year?
Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2012
What are you personal sailing career highlights?
In October 2011, was selected as the first batch of Oman Sail's Women's Sailing Programme. In February 2012, was selected for the first entry of an all women crew on board team Al Thuraya bank muscat (Farr30 class) in the offshore race: Sailing Arabia-The Tour. In July 2013, was selected for an all women crew on board team Al Thuraya bank muscat (J80 class) to participate in the J/80 worlds in Marselle, France In August 2013, was selected as crew member on board MOD70 - Oman Air Musandam and became the first Omani woman to ever compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race
What are your future sailing goals?
To be in top golden fleet of J80 Worlds. To sail with more Omani women internationally. To be the first Omani woman to sail around the world.
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing and career and why?
My family and friends who supported be to join Oman Sail's Women Sailing Program. My colleage and team mated in Oman Sail and my mentor Dee Caffari.
Who is your sailing hero?
Dee Caffari, she always trusted my sailing skills and pushed me to achieve more
What other sports do you enjoy?
I love swimming, volleyball and squash
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you and how would you feel if you were voted the winner?
It is a huge honor. I'm very humbled to be nominated for such a prestigious award. I'm not sure if I will be able to win it considering there are other amazing sailors in the same category, but just to be nominated itself is a great recognition I would like thank ISAF for nominating me. Its a matter of pride to be representing my country.