Arab women are being encouraged to go sailing by the enlightened state of Oman, and will this year compete in the iconic Fastnet Race. The UK’s Dee Caffari, will be sailing with them by joining Sidney Gavignet’s team on Oman Air-Musandam.
As part of Oman Sail’s continued efforts to develop women’s sailing in the sultanate, Omani sailor Raya Al Habsi will also be competing on board. She has previously competed in Sailing Arabia-The Tour in 2012 and 2013, and is currently part of the all-female Oman Sail entry at the J/80 Worlds.
‘Raya has been with us from the beginning of the girls’ offshore sailing,’ said Dee. ‘She has been working the bow on the Farr 30 and has been cold, wet and beaten up and still continues to smile, which is a good characteristic to have for a tough environment, which the Fastnet is. This is big deal for Oman Sail and for Arab women in sport.’
The 45th edition of the biennial race will start off the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes, Isle of Wight on Sunday 11th August 2013. It is the largest offshore race in the world and attracts the most diverse fleet of a record 380 yachts ranging from just over 30ft to 131ft, and 3,500 crews from 22 countries and five continents.