#rorc – After three and a half days of racing the prestigious Dubai to Muscat Race came to a conclusion with all yachts accounted for on the morning of Thursday, 22nd November. Racing under the RORC'S IRC Rule, the overall winner of the race was announced as Doug Worrall's First 36.7, Shahrazad, with Cork sailor Kieran Walsh on board, which also claimed line honours. Listen to podcast with Walsh below.
Recognised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the 2012 Dubai to Muscat Yacht Race is organised by the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation and hosted by the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. HH Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Bin Saqr Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Sailing & Rowing Federation was the guest of honour for the start.
"We stayed out of trouble and kept going, it was as simple as that." Suggested Doug Worral "We stayed offshore at the start in the Arabian Gulf, to keep away from fishing nets and we got the added bonus of more wind than the yachts that chose the inshore option. Later in the race, after we rounded Khasab, we could see a terrific storm ahead and we prepared to reef and eased sheets to avoid it, this good seamanship was rewarded as we managed to skirt around the edge of the storm and in control, we had excellent boat speed.
I have always maintained that the last 12 hours of an offshore race is crucial; you are tired and that is when the mistakes can creep in but we kept focused and finished off the job. I am now looking forward to race to Khasab."
Vice Commodore of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Calum McKie racing his Grand Soleil 37, Boracic was second and commented shortly after mooring up in Bandar Al Rowdha Marina: "This was a very competitive race and we experienced a huge range of conditions, probably the most bizarre was a series of water spouts, which caused very confused winds. I wouldn't say there was one particular tactical decision that went against us but after we passed Fujairah, we went inshore and got the wrong side of a big shift. At that stage we were looking like leading the race but fell behind Shahrazad and we never made up the lost ground. All credit to Doug's team they sailed extremely well and deserve their victory. Veterans back at DOSC have told me that this is a hard enough race just to finish and Boracic has a 100% record, so I am happy with that."
Matt Britton's J/92 Privateer was the smallest yacht in the class and claimed third overall, short-handed it would have been tough going on the 30-foot yacht.
Barrie Harmsworth's custom 43, Bin Toak had four Emerati crew on board. Abdul Aziz Alobaidli, Ahmed Qubasi and Ahmed al Marzooqi and Adil Khalid. All four are experienced laser sailors and Adil was part of the Volvo Ocean Race crew on board Azzam, the first Arabic entry in the prestigious round the world race.
"We lost out by going inshore on approach to The Straits of Hormuz." Admitted Barry. "We ran out of wind and managed to get tangled in a fishing net, which was not exactly what we intended but that's just how it goes sometimes. However, I will never forget the first night, passing through the Strait of Hormuz. Adil (Khalid) was on the tiller and he has really become a top class sailor after competing in the Volvo. On a tight reach, the boat was doing 12 knots over the ground with the crew on the rail grinning from ear to ear. I have done this race a few times and just sailing through the strait is a magical moment but to be going at that speed at night with exceptional sailors on board was just magic."
With all of the yachts in the Dubai Muscat Race finished, attention in Muscat has turned to two days of inshore racing. Hundreds of sailors from Oman and overseas are taking part in the reatta. However, next Saturday, 24th November marks the return to offshore action with start of 230-mile Bank of Beirut Chairman's Cup Race to Khasab with a prize fund of $50,000, generously donated by the title sponsor.