Published: Wednesday, 04 March 2015

The Volvo Ocean Race has launched an award for young sailors in the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour (SATT) race, a major competition in the Gulf.

The award is aimed at attracting offshore sailors that will follow in the footsteps of champions like Damien Foxall.

Volvo Ocean Race Introduces Young Sailor Award

(Photo of Damien Foxall by Yann Riou)

The race has introduced the Volvo Ocean Race Rookie Award for the two best under-30 sailors competing in SATT. This year’s event was held Feb 15-28.

Oman Sail first held the 760-nautical mile course in the Gulf of Arabia in 2011. Since then, many top-level competitors in the event have been drawn from the ranks of past and present Volvo Ocean Race sailors, including the 2015 winners, Damian Foxall (IRL) and Sidney Gavignet (FRA).

The first victors of the Volvo Ocean Race Rookie Award were Team Renaissance Omani sailor, Ali Al Balushi, and the British sailor from the University of Plymouth team, Richard Mason.

The prize is a trip to Newport, Rhode Island to see the Volvo Ocean Race fleet after it completes the sixth leg of the current 12th edition from Itajaí, Brazil.

“We are delighted to launch this award since the Volvo Ocean Race works hard to promote the development of young offshore sailors and also fully supports the initiatives and programmes that are being launched by emerging nations in the sport of sailing,” says Knut Frostad, CEO, Volvo Ocean Race.

Overall winner of the SATT was EFG Bank, Monaco, led by Gavignet, who has competed in four Volvo Ocean Races.

The fleet included 11 pro-am race teams with crews from 21 different countries, including GAC powered by Dongfeng, with three "resting" sailors from Dongfeng Race Team taking part: Cheng Ying Kit (Kit), Liu Ming (Leo) and Kong Chencheng (Kong). They finished eighth.