#rorc – An Irish sailor is racing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Dubai to Muscat Yacht Race organised by the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation and hosted by the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club writes Louay Habib. Kieran Walsh is racing on board Doug Worrell's First 36.7, Sharazad.
Kieran hails from East Cork and is a Graduate from the University College Cork. Kieran has been working as a business analyst for the Jumeirah Group in Dubia for the last four years. "I love to sail and when the opportunity came up I was so excited. I used to do a lot of sailing back at home but the weather is just fantastic here. Doug has spent a lot of time preparing the boat and we have a good crew. We have won a few regattas out here and we hope to do the same for the Dubai to Muscat."
HH Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Bin Saqr Al Nehayan, Chairman of the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation was the guest of honour for the start.
The 21st edition of the historic race got off to a fantastic start on Saturday 17th November 2012 with the Rally Class first to go and enjoying near perfect sailing conditions with blazing sunshine, good breeze and flat blue water. Competitors relished 12 knots of wind from the northwest providing a fast reaching start along the glittering shoreline of Dubai. The wind held through the night and by dawn on the second day, the leading yachts had safely sailed through the Arabian Gulf and The Straits of Hormuz.
24 hours into the race, the leaders were experiencing the fresher conditions in the Gulf of Oman, enjoying sublime air temperatures and ocean swell. By Sunday 18th November 1100 local time, Ric Schotte's First 36.7, Southern Cross and Eric Laing's Beneteau 57, Yours Truly were leading the fleet, virtually side by side. The two yachts had enjoyed an exciting duel through the first day and night, swapping the lead on several occasions.
The IRC Racing division started, Sunday 18th November. An international fleet of performance cruisers set off from Dubai for the 360 nautical mile race to Muscat. By dawn on Monday 19th November. The IRC Racing Division was approaching one of the trickiest parts of the course; the complex tides of The Straits of Hormuz. Doug Hassell's First 44.7, Diablo was leading the fleet and contacted the media team via Thuraya satellite:
"We chose an inshore route to make the best of breeze coming from land, whilst our closest competition Sharazad went further offshore and it looks like the decision paid off for us." Reported Paul Spencer, on board Diablo. "But there were fishing boats everywhere and at one point we had to do a crash tack to miss a fishing line. It was probably only 3 meters away from us, that was a little bit exciting to say the least."
The international fleet of sailors from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa are expected to arrive in Muscat over the next two days to participate in the Muscat Regatta. Barrie Harmsworth's Bin Toak has four Emirate crew on board including Adil Khalid, who competed in the last Volvo Ocean Race with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
"This race is an important part of the development of offshore racing in the GCC. The United Arab Emirates was the first nation to compete in the round the world race and it is important that we continue that. The UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation is determined to promote all types of yacht racing in our country." Commented Adil.