Oman’s young sailors continued to make waves at the regional level when they bagged four medals at the GCC Championship held in Abu Dhabi, UAE recently.

Oman won gold in the girls’ individual Optimist class, gold and silver medals in the boys’ category and also a silver medal in the Optimist team event.

In the boys’ individual Optimist class, Marwan al Jabri and Oman’s first national Optimist champion, Zakariya al Wahaibi, were involved in a duel for the regional title.

As Oman Sail’s most consistent young performer in recent events, Jabri claimed the gold, benefitting from a Wahabi error in race six, which earned him a disqualification and meant he dropped to second place overall for the silver medal.

Meanwhile, Oman’s promising sailor, Samiha al Riyami, became the first GCC Optimist girls’ champion after taking gold in the Optimist class.

The 12 year old came out on top with a clean sweep of victories in a field containing opposition from Bahrain, Kuwait and UAE.

The Omani squad also won silver in the Optimist team event, losing out in the final to UAE.

“It was disappointing we weren’t able to hold on to the Optimist team gold that we won in 2013 and 2014, but there are plenty of positives we can take from this event,” said Rashid al Kindi, Oman Sail’s national youth team manager.

“We are pleased to see the 2015 season start with such determination and passion for our sailors. We look forward to seeing more improvement as the season progresses.”

There will be further opportunities for medals in the Laser Standard, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 classes at the second GCC Beach Games starting in Doha, Qatar this week, where Oman will be one of six nations battling for top honours across 13 disciplines.

Khamis al Wahaibi will replace Ahmed al Wahaibi in the Laser 4.7 class and the same sailors who competed in the Optimist class at the GCC Championship will head to Doha, except for Samiha al Riyami and Moatesam al Farsi.

Oman Sail coaches have remained in Abu Dhabi for the ASAF Youth Cup taking place this week so that they can guide the 14 young Omani Optimist sailors during the tournament.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily