Muscat: Oman Sail's Mussanah Race Week offers a unique approach to sailing events, with two days of bespoke training sessions, allowing participants to develop and improve their sailing skills in the lead-up to the event, gaining top tips from the masters themselves.
Experts, Olympians, and professional coaches in the Laser Standard, Radial 4.7, F18, Optimist, and RSX Windsurfing classes from all around the world are on site to give the sailors specifically tailored training.
Issa Al Ismaili, Oman Sail event director, stated, "We are very grateful to the coaches for agreeing to give their time to the competitors of this event; it provides a unique platform for participants to develop and improve their sailing skills, which has always been one of the main objectives of Mussanah Race Week: to develop skills, increase awareness of the sport, and eventually create new heroes and world champions."
Faisal Al Qutaiti, Oman Sail's up and coming windsurfer, commented on his experience in attending the coaching sessions: "It was great; the low wind made sailing difficult, but it picked up towards the end. I managed to win some of the training races."
Issues being addressed by the coaches include making upwind and downwind speed runs; allowing the sailors' time to see how their overall boat speed matched up against each other; studying the local tides and currents; adapting to the wind strength, so the sailors can feel confident that they understand the waters in which they are racing; and arranging starting practice. The start is one of the most important parts of the race, and it is of key importance that the competitors feel comfortable with the length of the start line and the size of the fleet. With the coaching sessions underway, the sailors will be able to begin the regatta feeling fully prepared and confident.
Olympic sailor turned professional coach Hugh Styles remarked, "It's fantastic to see the variety of people involved in the regatta. There was lots of enthusiasm from the sailors, especially in such tricky, light conditions."
The Olympic Windsurf class, known as RSX, is growing in popularity, and with competitors representing four nations, Mussanah Race Week's coaching sessions will offer the windsurfers the rare opportunity to compare notes. Koray Ezer, Turkish National Champion and RSX Windsurf coach, stated, "The sessions act as a great arena for sharing ideas and techniques in this rapidly developing class. We're also working on shaping up the sailors with water training and fitness strategies.