Thursday, 20 May 2010

Extreme 40s: Reigning Extreme Sailing Series Champions Announce Crew Line-Up

Oman Sail's Masirah and The Wave, Muscat, training in the Solent, UK. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/Oman Sail.

by Nicky Moore

Oman Sail’s Masirah, current European and Asian Extreme Sailing Series champions, have announced a new line-up for the 2010 European Series. Two Extreme 40 teams will represent the Sultanate of Oman in the European series and both begin the series confident after The Wave, Muscat finished second only to Masirah in the Asian series.

Masirah proudly displays the new national brand of Oman, following the recently announced collaboration between Oman Sail and Brand Oman Management Unit, in order to promote Oman as a high-end tourist destination. With the French superstar Loick Peyron, also known as ‘Mr Multihull’, joining the current champions on the helm, the team have their eyes firmly fixed on taking the trophy back to Oman again this year.

The crews have trained extensively in Oman. Paul Campbell-James, skipper on The Wave, Muscat, said of their training, “We did 40 days sailing in Oman and only missed one morning due to the wind. In England you would lose maybe two, three days a week! We train out of The Wave, Muscat and it is a great facility. We also have the advantage of training as a ’two boat’ campaign. There are going to be a lot of good guys in Sète. If we can match our second place finish from the Asian Series I will be very happy!”

Khamis Al Anbouri, one of the stars of the Oman National Squad has been chosen to represent the Sultanate on the international circuit. He will join The Wave, Muscat on bow for his first season as a full time crew member.

After proving himself to be an invaluable member of the winning team last year, Khamis said, “I am really looking forward to the first event of the European Series. We have been training hard in Muscat this winter and the team looks good and we are focused on another great result”.

Crew of The Wave, Muscat. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/Oman Sail.

On competing against Masirah, Khamis continued, “Outside of the race we are friends, but on the water both teams want their boat to win”.

Oman Sail is a national initiative to reignite the country’s maritime heritage and inspire Omani youth. At the heart of Oman Sail is the Oman Sailing School project, which encourages young Omanis to try sailing for themselves. Peyron, who grew up in a country where, in his own words, “sailing is in the blood”, is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge with young Omani’s.

“A year ago I discovered Oman and it is a very impressive country. I discovered a spirit and desire from a nation that wants to get back to its exceptional maritime history. With my little white hairs it’s time for me to share what I know with them! These sailors are the future of their country and we are tools for them to use to get them to where they want to be. We share this passion”.

This first generation of Omani sailors will mentor and support the next.. Khamis, who fought off tough competition from 40 recruits for his position on the team, said, “I have become a role model for the kids in Oman– I can now tell them stories of the Extreme 40 and how exciting it is. They now aspire to follow in our footsteps and the Oman Sail School is the first step for that. They are all motivated to work harder to get to the position they want to be.”

About competing in Sète, Peyron commented, “The pressure to win is great, not because it is in France, my home country, but because we are a new team and we want to do well. Of course I would really like to win, but not at all costs. I have great respect for the other teams. There is a lot of competition between us on Masirah and the team on The Wave, Muscat, but ultimately we all represent Oman Sail”.

A total of nine teams have signed up for the five-stop European Extreme 40 circuit which begins in Sète, France, on May 27th. The region provides a spectacular backdrop in the Mediterranean for what is set to be an action-packed competition.

The Crew - Masirah
Loick Peyron – Helm (FRA)
Mark Bulkeley – Tactician (GBR)
Pete Cumming – Trimmer (GBR)
David Carr – Bowman (GBR)
Simon Hiscocks – Bowman (GBR) Simon will join Masirah in Sète in place of David Carr

The Crew - The Wave, Muscat
Paul Campbell-James – Helm (GBR)
Alister Richardson – Tactician (GBR)
Nick Hutton – Trimmer (GBR)
Khamis Al Anbouri – Bowman (OMA)

2010 Extreme Sailing Series Europe Calendar
Sète, France 27-30 May
Cowes, UK 31 July - 5 August
Kiel, Germany - 26-29 August
Trapani, Italy 23-26 September
Almeria, Spain 9-12 October

Oman Sail
Extreme Sailing Series Europe