Omani Gold on National Day
Mussanah, OMAN – Musab Al Hadi with Waleed Al Kindi (OMA) moved into 25th place and qualified for Gold fleet in a first for Oman at a 49er World Championship. The pair have been sailing 49er for almost a decade, and became quite emotional upon realizing their effort had secured them this milestone.
The achievement was even sweeter to occur on Oman National Day, a celebration of the founding of modern Oman on the Sultan’s birthday. Considering it was Sultan Qaboos that drove the formation of Oman Sail, an effort to rekindle the Omani spirit of seamanship, it was as if the Sultan was looking down from overhead in the final race of qualifying.
The Omani pair were emotional after being told on shore. “Oh really? First gold fleet? Oh finally!,” said Al Hadi. Laughing and shaking his head he raised his hands to the sky and said, “First time in history. Give thanks, god.”
Al Hadi and Al Kindi were aiming at Tokyo qualification, but only managed a third place finish at the Asian qualifier in 2021.
At the front of the 49er fleet, Bart Labriex with Lars wan de Werken (NED) had a solid day of all top fives to move into the lead. They are chased by a pair of German boats.
American’s Ian Barrows and Hans Henken managed to wind the final two races of yellow fleet to move up the standings nicely.
Day 4 marks the beginning of gold fleet, where the top 25 49er teams will race off for the championship. Gold fleet racing is likely to make a big impact on the overall results due to the larger number of boats in the fleet, and the higher quality. Join us to watch live as the championship unfolds.