The waiting is over, the teams have gathered, and it’s all systems go for the all-new 2018 EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour.
Sunday, February 4, will see the opening skirmishes in a highly competitive fleet of eight Diam 24 teams with a series of stadium races at Salalah in the south of Oman.
It marks the start of an intensive 14-day campaign which will take the international fleet along hundreds of miles of Oman’s striking coastline before the final, deciding encounters in the capital Muscat.
The teams face a demanding schedule of intense inshore stadium racing and challenging coastal raid courses, interspersed with road trips between some of the six coastal venues:
4 February – Salalah – Stadium Racing
5 February – Salalah – Coastal Raid
7 February – Duqm – Stadium Racing
8 February – Duqm – Coastal Raid
10 February – Masirah – Coastal Raid
11 February – Masirah – Stadium Racing
13 February – Ras Al Hadd – Coastal Raid
14 February – Sur – Stadium Racing
16 February – Mutrah – Coastal Raid
17 February – Mutrah – Stadium Racing
The variety of venues will also allow the event to highlight Oman’s great natural beauty and welcoming culture to a new audience, which is part of organiser Oman Sail’s mission to promote the Sultanate as a high end and adventure tourism destination, alongside reigniting the country’s maritime heritage.
Now in its eighth edition, the Gulf region’s highest-profile yacht racing event has attracted a multinational field eager to take advantage of Oman’s ideal wind, sea and mid-20°C temperature conditions.
And with EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour now sharing the high-speed Diam 24 one-design trimaran with the classic Tour Voile in France, the fleet includes several of the multihull’s leading exponents keen to get their season off to an early start.
Boat name TBC (OMA) – Skipper: Stevie Morrison (GBR) – Crew: Abdulrahman Al Mashari, Quentin Ponroy Beijaflore (FRA) – Skipper: Valentin Bellet (FRA) – Crew: Julien Villion, Guillaume Piroulle, Valentin Sipan, Jason Saunders
DB Schenker (GER) – Skipper: Elodie-Jane Mettraux (SUI) – Crew: Sophie de Turckheim, Mathilde Geron, Marwa Al Khaifi
EFG Bank Monaco (MON) – Skipper: Thierry Douillard (FRA) – Crew: Mathieu Richard, Ali Al Balushi
Team Lorina Golfe du Morbihan (FRA) – Skipper: Solune Robert (FRA) – Crew: Louis Flament, Riwan Perron, Charles Dorange
Poujoulat (FRA) – Skipper: Bernard Stamm (SUI) – Crew: Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Gwen Riou Renaissance (OMA) – Skipper: Cedric Pouligny (FRA) – Crew: Yasser Al Rhabi, Sami Al Shukaili, Haitham Al Wahaibi, Hussein Al Mansoori
VIVACAR (FRA) – Skipper: Matthieu Souben (FRA) – Crew: Didier Le Vourch, Fred Moreau