Oman has reconfirmed its position as a world-class venue for international sporting events with the announcement it will host the 2019 IODA Asian and Oceanian Championship. The Sultanate was awarded the prestigious regional event following a vote at the AGM of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA), held during the current Optimist World Championship in Thailand.
The IODA Asian and Oceanian Championship will be held at Al Mussanah Sports City from September 30 to October 8, 2019. The purpose-built Olympic standard venue offers outstanding facilities, including the Millennium Resort Mussanah, as well as ideal winter sailing conditions with blue skies, warm weather and reliable winds.
Since its completion in 2010 the venue has already hosted numerous international sailing events, including world championships for the RS:X Windsurfing and Laser Radial Women classes in 2015, and Laser Standard Men, Youth and Masters in 2013.
Oman Sail’s successful bid – which was selected ahead of a rival proposal by Yeosu, South Korea – will also allow the country to showcase its unique blend of natural beauty, rich culture and warm hospitality. Oman will follow Hong Kong, later this year, and Myanmar in 2018, as host of the championship.
“We are delighted to have been awarded the championship and very pleased that the IODA members who voted in our favour recognised the superb facilities and sailing conditions that we have to offer,” said Salma Al Hashmi, Chief Marketing Officer at Oman Sail
“We have the experience to run a large international event of this nature, and Oman Sail, Al Mussanah Sports City and indeed the whole of Oman look forward to welcoming the many young Optimist sailors from across Asia and Oceania who will be attending.”
The success of the championship bid following three previous attempts was also warmly welcomed by Oman Sail’s Rashid Al Kindi, chairman of the Oman Sailing Committee.
“It is a matter of great pride for all of us to have been awarded the Championship and I would like to thank all the countries that supported our bid,” he said.
“We are passionate about sailing, and hosting international events of this nature allows us to highlight our expertise and the many attractions that Oman has to offer visitors and competitors alike. It will also be a great platform for our young sailors to gain experience and compete against their counterparts”.
Following its selection during the Optimist World Championship, which concludes today (Friday, July 21), Oman will invite the top-five winning sailors at the event to attend next year’s annual Mussanah Race Week. Registration for Mussanah Race Week opens later this month.
About Oman Sail
Established in 2008, Oman Sail is a national initiative that uses the power of sport to contribute to the development of the Omani people. The equal opportunity project runs sailing programmes for thousands of young Omani men and women, inspiring a new generation to discover sailing. It encompasses a national sailing squad and high achieving inshore and offshore racing teams, all of which benefit from world-class coaching and whose ultimate objective is to win an Olympic medal for Oman. The goal is to rekindle Oman’s maritime heritage while raising the country’s regional and international profile as a high-end tourist and foreign investment destination, through competitive sailing at home and abroad. Oman Sail seeks to instil confidence and to teach valuable, transferable life skills to a generation of Omanis.