Muscat: The Mussanah Race Week kicked off in light winds, making it particularly challenging for the competitors, with their focus and concentration being continually tested, leaving them with no room for error.
After a tricky first two races Oman Sail's F18 sailors Musab Al Hadi and Ahmed Al Balushi put together a winning plan and secured firsts in both the third and fourth race, but still couldn't snatch the overall lead by French pair Gurven Bontemp and Benjamin Amiot who won the first two races of the day.
For the F18 class, conditions were just perfect, with them occasionally able to fly one hull, some of the French competitors were particularly relieved to be sailing in the warm waters of Oman, as back home in Europe there is snow on the ground.
There was close racing at the front of the Laser Standard fleet, with ex-Oman Air (Extreme 40) sailor Andy Maloney dominating the first two races, and Tom Burton, winning races three and four.
In the Radial class, the Singapore team dominated the first two races, whilst Volvo Ocean sailor Adel Khalid of Abu Dhabi, sat in fourth place for the first lap of the third race, he made an impressive come back on the final downwind leg to claim first position.
On the RSX Windsurf course the competitors were forced to work extra hard, with light winds, as they must rely on strength and fitness to get them round the course. Adam Holm of Sweden, was the winner of yesterday's races.
Thursday and Friday, we will see the number of competitors grow, as the Optimist and Q'ba fleet take to the water. In the lead up to their race days, world renowned Optimist coach Chris Atkins will be putting the young sailors through their paces.
Racing starts at 11am each day, and with competition being so close, we're guaranteed a spectacle until the very end, with the final day of racing on March 16. Antonio La Madrid, ISAF Sailing World Cup manager who is in Mussanah paid a visit to the venue that will be hosting the ISAF Youth Worlds 2016.
Recognition from ISAF officials cements the fact that the Laser World Championships, which will be held in Mussanah from November 2013 - January 2014, are sure to be a success.