2012 RORC Dubai to Muscat Race

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


The RORC Dubai to Muscat Yacht Race 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.

At noon local time on Monday 20th November, the Rally Class in the 21st Dubai to Muscat Race was all moored up in the safety of Bandar Al Rowdha Marina, except for Gordon Joyce’s Talitha and the smallest entry in the race; Sarah Baerschmidt’s Beneteau 30, Omnia. Talitha was just 25 miles from Muscat, whilst Omnia is expected to finish the 360-mile voyage later today or early tomorrow morning. The Rally Class had a feisty finish to the race, experiencing gusty squalls in excess of 30 knots during the last night.

The first Rally Class yacht to finish was Ric Schotte’s First 36.7, Southern Cross crewed by a mixture of Australians, South African and British Sailors, the team enjoyed a fantastic three days at sea.

“After some great sailing through the Arabian Gulf, the wind died and we motored through the calms. The Rally Class is all about getting to Muscat safely and in plenty of time.” Commented Eric Schotte. “We had the barbeque going on board with some great victualing from Debs Zyborski we ate extremely well but we did have to resort to the conventional oven when the breeze got above 20 knots! Some of the guys have got to get back to work but we have been made very welcome at Bandar Al Rowdha, maybe we will just stay here and enjoy ourselves instead!”

Whilst Southern Cross was the first yacht to finish in the Rally Class, the winner is far from decided until Omnia finish the race. Eric Laing’s Beneteau 75,Yours Truly was the first yacht to complete the Dubai to Muscat Race under sail alone in the Rally Class.

The IRC Class left Dubai on Sunday and is now through The Straits of Hormuz and into the Gulf of Oman. Last night there was solid pressure of over 20 knots with thunderstorms and squalls charging up the night sky. Doug Hassell’s First 44.7, Diablo has led the class from the start but sail damage has halted their progress. “We got knocked down by a big squall last night and damaged the mainsail.” Reported Hassell via Thuraya Satellite phone. “Everybody on board is fine but we are heading in to make repairs. We intend to motor back to our position and finish the race. We are all proud to be supporting the PSP Association to raise the profile of such a tragic disease and we are determined to finish, come what may.”

Team Diablo may well be out of the running for a win in the IRC Class, however Doug Worrall’s First 36.7, Sharazad and Calum McKie’s Grand Soleil 37, Boracic are very much in the running. The two yachts are having an epic battle in the Indian Ocean with 130 miles to go.

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. Two days of inshore racing are scheduled involving well over 100 dinghies and keelboats. Followed by the grand finale where 15 yachts are expected to take part in the Bank of Beirut Chairman’s Cup with a $50,000 cash prize fund.

Dubai based communications company, Xtra-Link has equipped the yachts with the latest satellite communications equipment. Including Thuraya XT satellite phones and hi-tech tracking devices. Allowing race fans, all over the world, to watch the race live. http://www.xtra-track.com/regatta

Louay Habib

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 November 2012 )