Muscat: EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2013, the Gulf region's only long-distance offshore race, will now include an additional stopover at Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC), event organiser Oman Sail announced today.
Dubai joins Manama, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Ras al Khaimah, Dibba, Mussanah and Muscat as another world-class sailing destination in the roster of ports of call for the race.
DOSC's general manager Gareth Lloyd outlined the importance of the club's inclusion in the itinerary: "EFG Bank Sailing Arabia–The Tour 2013 was established to encourage sailing across the GCC by showcasing local role models and motivating youngsters to try something new. The inclusion of Dubai as a stopover means that this mission will be more visible across the region, especially in Dubai, and this can only benefit the competitiveness of the sport here and attract new sailors to take part in Dubai Offshore Sailing Club's training programmes."
Issa Al Ismaili, events director at Oman Sail, added: "Oman Sail's vision to develop the region's sailing talent and reignite its rich maritime heritage has become a reality with EFG Bank Sailing Arabia–The Tour. To unite the countries in the Gulf in this mission, this flagship event needs to have a truly regional presence. We are thrilled to be able to include Dubai on the itinerary for the competition, as not only one of the most exciting destinations in the gulf, but also one of its most important water-sports venues."
The level of competitiveness of EFG Bank Sailing Arabia–The Tour was also enhanced with a further announcement from Dubai – the entry into the race of 2011 champion Bertrand Pacé with a new team from the Emirates, Team AISM.
Sponsored by international wealth manager and investment adviser AISM, the team will benefit from Pacé's extensive experience of sailing the Farr 30 One Design, in which he also won the prestigious 2010 Tour de France à la Voile event.
Bertrand Pacé, who has also been deeply involved with America's Cup teams since 1985, underlines the growing prestige of EFG Bank Sailing Arabia–The Tour in the international circuit.
"EFG Bank Sailing Arabia–The Tour is a great showcase that takes advantage of the wonderful sailing conditions here in the Gulf. In what is traditionally a slow time for competitive sailing, the competition pits some of the best sailors in the world against each other, on a great course between some of the world's best ports. I am excited to be taking part again, and am looking to take Team AISM to the top of the podium this year."
With nearly all competition slots full and containing an all-Emirati team from Abu Dhabi, two round-the-world veterans, a former champion of the competition, an all-female team and two student crews, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia–The Tour is sure to be a fierce contest between some of the sport's best role models – one that can only be enhanced by the contribution of Dubai.