Over 2,000 people take part in sailing, water sports activities

(MENAFN – Muscat Daily) More than 2,000 people revelled in the carnival atmosphere of a gala end of year sailing and water sports festival held at Shatti al Qurm this weekend. The event marked a successful conclusion of the 2013 series of the community beach sailing events and youth programme campaigns supported by Omantel and Oman Shipping Company.

Scores of people lined up on Friday to learn about the sport of sailing on boats manned by Oman Sail sailing instructors and everyone enjoyed the windsurfing shows, banana boat, Ringo rides and fun beach games. Sailing was the biggest hit of the event, but popular too was the dedicated children’s area with a bouncy castle, face painting and a range of activities. The event was initially planned to be a two-day family affair that took place on both Friday and Saturday, but as a result of unforeseen wind conditions, the second day of the event was cancelled early in the morning.

Attendance numbers on Friday pushed the total number of people introduced to sailing through the popular grass roots initiative over the last three years to 14,000. This year alone over 3,700 attended the Sohar event at the Silver Jubilee Park beach in October and a crowd of 5,000 enjoyed the first ever beach sailing event in Sur.

Issa al Ismaili, Oman Sail Director of Events, said public participation in the beach sailing events, which promote sailing as a sport and the benefit of leading a healthy and active lifestyle, had gone way beyond all expectations. ”We thank Omantel and Oman Shipping Company for supporting us in rekindling Oman’s great maritime heritage by showcasing sailing as a fun and accessible sport. ”They have also helped us inspire a new generation of young Omanis to take up sailing as a competitive sport and enabled us to identify many talented youth with potential to join the Oman Sail Youth Programme.”

Tarik al Junaidi, acting CEO of Oman Shipping Company said it was great to support the successful series in Sohar, Sur and Muscat during the past three months. Junaidi’s sentiments were echoed by Dr Amer Awadh Al Rawas, CEO of Omantel, who said being involved with the popular 2013 series of Beach Sailing Events had made the company aware of just how widespread the enthusiasm is for learning how to sail. ”

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