across the globe. Oman Sail may present ‘opportunity’ and ‘inspiration’ for the nation’s young people but equally important is the ‘opportunity’ and ‘inspiration’ the project presents for the country. Ahmed Al Ma’amari completed both Oman Sail’s Tour de France à la Voile race campaigns in 2010 and 2011. He explains: “Our main objective has always been to represent our country and tell everyone about home, Oman’s nature, culture and hospitality. But I’m not going to lie, winning was also at the forefront of our thoughts!”
The launch of a sailing programme aimed exclusively at Oman’s female population in July 2011 was another major milestone for Oman Sail. At the heart of the Women’s Programme is instilling confidence and teaching valuable, transferable life skills while also creating jobs and unique opportunities for the nation’s women. From Oman Sail’s national grassroots community programme to its 2020 Olympic ambitions, Omani women are being trained, coached, qualified, employed, developed and nurtured every step of the way, equipping them with all the necessary skills to excel. Double Olympic gold medalist, Shirley Robertson, and round-the-world yachtswoman, Samantha Davies, are Project Ambassadors. Meanwhile record-breaking round-the-world skipper Dee Caffari led the project’s history-making all female crew in the second edition of Oman Sail’s Sailing Arabia – The Tour (SATT) in February 2012.
SATT enjoyed a successful test run the previous year, created as an Arabian Peninsula equivalent of the iconic Tour de France à la Voile. SATT 2011 was the first time the Gulf countries had welcomed an international sailing event on this scale and Bahrain’s Layla Mohsin made history as the region’s first female to take part in an offshore yacht race. The 2012 Tour saw Layla’s legacy built on as four Omani women - Intisar Al Tobi, Raya Al Habsi, Tahira Al Yahyai and Khulood Al Kindi - were selected from 30 participants of Oman Sail’s Women’s Sailing Programme to join Caffari’s team aboard Al Thuraya Bank Muscat. 160 | PQ
The English Polo Magazine