Six America’s Cup teams from France, Sweden, America, Great Britain, Japan and New Zealand hit the water this weekend in Muscat, all aiming to get their 2016 America’s Cup campaigns off to a flying start.
Salma Al Hashmi, Oman Sail Events and Marketing Director, said the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman is set to be the biggest event ever staged by Oman Sail and the biggest sporting event ever hosted in Oman.
“The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is a major international sporting event and we are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to host the opening stage of 2016 here in Oman,” she said. “It is a big challenge for everyone involved with its organisation but the rewards will be huge because pictures of our glorious country will be seen in all the major cities and regions around the world. It is impossible to overestimate the value and power that this exposure will have for Oman.
“We very much look forward to welcoming the America’s Cup family to our country.”
The event marks the first time that the one-design AC45 foiling catamarans – which can reach speeds near 40 knots – will compete in the region. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman Event Village is located at the adjacent Al Mouj Golf Course, with special vantage points established along its seaside fairways and shoreline for spectators keen to follow the high octane racing just off the beach.
At the Al Mouj Race Village, visitors can expect a range of traditional Omani foods, kids’ zones and attractions that reflect Oman’s rich seafaring heritage as well as some new sporting experiences, organised by sponsors Red Bull and Oman Air.
James Spithill, the Australian skipper of defending champion Oracle Team USA said, “Everyone wants to start the first event of the year well. We want to kick it off with a win. But every single team has been out training since the last event in Bermuda in October, so it won’t be easy. Muscat is an awesome venue, we’re looking forward to it.”
“The eyes of the sporting world will be fixed firmly on Muscat this weekend, and the dedicated team from Oman Sail should be immensely proud to have secured this iconic and prestigious event. We look forward to showcasing the country's diverse beauty to a global audience, and to welcoming more travellers from Australia and New Zealand who will be inspired by this landmark event. Oman has made its mark on the elite sport of sailing through the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, the Extreme Sailing Series, and also EFG Sailing Arabia which concludes immediately after”, commented Mona Tannous, Country Manager Australia & New Zealand, Sultanate of Oman Tourism.
The six teams are scheduled to compete in six races over two days broadcast live in Australia and New Zealand as follows:
- Australia FOX Sports 5 from 9.00pm EDST on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th February.
- New Zealand SKY Sport (Pop-up Channel 055) from 11.00pm on both nights.