Connect to Sailing is committed to broadening our sport - getting new sailors onto the water and retaining them after they've been sailing for a while. The Oman Sail programme embodies this and starts from the very beginning with sailing schools that are literally introducing hundreds of Omani children and adults to sailing - a sport that most of them have barely seen before, let alone tried.
This weekend Oman Sail are running a big fun racing event in RS Q'BA dinghies, right off a popular beach close to the centre of Muscat. Forty RS Q'BAs will be lined up for a Le Mans start from the beach, race around a couple of marks offshore and finish back on the beach in front of a big crowd. This would be quite a spectacle in just about any popular sailing venue - but in Muscat, where sailing is still relatively new, it will be a revelation.
Oman Sail selected the RS Q'BA (pronounced Cuba) as their principle multi purpose training boat and after eighteen months of use Director of Training Neil Coxon says "We think the Q'BAs are absolutely brilliant - we use them for one or two kids or an adult and there is no better training dinghy with this versatility. They're strong, stable, easy to handle and can be reefed quickly, even on the water by an instructor in a RIB. They sail so well that we use our Q'BAs as key training boats for sailors on the way to racing bigger single-handers such as the Laser."
Oman Sail's programme truly covers the sailing spectrum - from introducing complete beginners, right through to grand prix trans-ocean racing in giant multihulls. "It is great to be involved with projects such as Oman Sail" says Martin Wadhams, MD of RS Sailing. "We genuinely get a kick from hearing about RS boats being used successfully to inspire a whole new generation of sailors in far flung parts of the world. Our All Purpose boat range, the Tera, Q'BA, Feva and Vision has been all about creating modern sailboats that are not only perfect to get new sailors started, but that are also fun and exciting to sail so they want to do more and more. They seem to be working and that is brilliant for the sport…and for us!"