SAILING ARABIA – The February 2013 edition of Sailing Arabia-The Tour looks set for a bumper event following this week’s announcement of a new title sponsor and some good early entries from the Gulf region and from the UK for the premier annual 760 nautical mile race down the Arabian Sea from Bahrain to Oman.
The classic event which features 15 days of intense racing and stop-over’s at seven beautiful marinas in four Gulf coast countries will be named “EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2013” following the announcement of a sponsorship partnership with the leading global private banking group EFG International.
Starting in Bahrain on 10 February and finishing in Oman’s capital city Muscat on 25 February, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – the Tour 2013 is expected to attract a good sized fleet. The event is campaigned in identical Farr 30s.
EFG International will also participate directly in the race with its team EFG Bank Monaco, named to reflect the “EFG Bank Sailing Academy” partnership with the Monaco Yacht Club, and pointing to the bank’s business presence in 30 locations around the world.
Team Messe Frankfurt, a group of talented young sailors from the United Kingdom’s University of Plymouth skippered by Marcel Herrera, a Moth sailor, also announced their entry in the race this week.
The Royal Navy of Oman has also entered the race, representing one of the Gulf countries.
“The Tour continues to attract the best teams from across the region and top echelons of the international keelboat circuit. The warm winter climate of the Middle East and superb sailing conditions of the GCC has made it a sought after fixture on the world racing calendar,” said David Graham, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Sail who launched the event in 2011.
Graham said it was an honour to welcome EFG International as title sponsor of the third edition of the Tour. The company was renowned for its sponsorship of high profile sporting events, with sailing as one of its focal points.
“From the start in Bahrain to Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, Dibba on the Musandam Peninsula, Mussanah and the finish at The Wave, Muscat, the race will provide regional sports fans with a window into the excitement of the physically demanding and highly strategic sport of offshore sailing,” he said.
George Catsiapis, Managing Director, commented: “EFG International has a strong commitment to sailing, and is pleased to be the title sponsor of Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2013. Thanks to the success of the previous editions of the race, and Oman Sail’s commitment to youth mentoring and sail training, we felt that the sponsorship was a good fit with our sponsorship goals, and we are confident that EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2013 will go a long way to establishing the sport in the hearts of the Gulf’s people.”
HH Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed bin Saqr Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation explained “Sailing Arabia – The Tour is designed not only to showcase sailing talent in the region but also to encourage friendly rivalry between GCC nations.
“This healthy competition not only inspires a new generation of young sailors but also puts us on the international sporting map. The conditions here in the Gulf are perfect for racing and the in-port facilities are first class, I hope to see the same exciting race to the finish as last year.”
Issa Al Ismaili, Oman Sail Director of Events said the GCC is an exceptional sailing destination complete with unbeatable sailing conditions, local talent and decades of sailing heritage.
“We are expecting a bumper 2013 edition of the tour with at least 12 competing teams. The number of teams participating in the event has grown year on year from six in 2011 to nine in 2012 and the event is fast establishing the Middle East as an international yacht racing destination that is considered part of the international sailing agenda. “
EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2013 runs from the 10-25 February 2013.
About EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour
EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2013 will feature high-profile teams from across the GCC region and abroad competing in a fleet of identical Farr 30s, one of yacht racing’s most exciting platforms. With 15 days of intense racing along the Gulf coast, from Bahrain to Qatar, through Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Dibba, and Mussanah to the finish line at Muscat, the race will provide regional sports fans with a window into the excitement of the physically demanding and highly strategic sport of offshore sailing.
In addition to Sailing Arabia – The Tour, EFG also sponsors: EFG Bank Mandrake (competing in leading regattas across Asia); EFG Bank Sailing Team (competing in the Melges 24 class, Europe); EFG Bank Sailing Academy, Monaco Yacht Club; BACARDI Sailing Week, Miami and Newport; The EFG Bank Viper 640 Pan-American Championships; The Star Winter Series, Florida; and The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.
Sailing Arabia – The Tour takes place from 10-25 February 2013 travelling across the gulf between Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and finally Oman.