Oman To Host Opening Of America's Cup World Series
Published: Tuesday, 08 December 2015
The Sultanate of Oman will create sporting history when it becomes the first country in the Middle East to host America’s Cup racing by staging the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman (Feb 27-28).
(Photos: Mark Lloyd)
As a point-scoring event for the opening stages of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda, the Oman World Series event will take place in Muscat.
For many of the America’s Cup sailors, including Sir Ben Ainslie (Land Rover BAR), Dean Barker (SoftBank Team Japan) and Franck Cammas (Groupama Team France), the waters off the Sultanate of Oman will be familiar territory, since Muscat has been hosting high performance multihull racing every year since 2011.
The driving force behind the Sultanate’s sailing activity has been Oman Sail, which was established in 2008 to create a generation of sailors and raise the Sultanate’s profile as a high end tourism destination using its centuries old traditions with the sea as a platform to promote its sporting, cultural and economic potential.
“We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman here in Muscat for the first time and we are very proud and excited to welcome the America’s Cup community and its massive following to the Sultanate,” says Director General of Tourism Promotion for the Ministry of Tourism Salim Al Mamari.
The 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events in Portsmouth (UK), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Bermuda, with teams entered from the UK, USA, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan and France, attracted enormous crowds at the venues with live action followed on television by tens of millions around the world.
Oman Sail CEO David Graham believes that the wide reach of the America’s Cup will create new opportunities for the Sultanate and increase the country’s exposure around the globe.
“Oman Sail has worked hard since 2008 to reconnect the people of Oman with their sailing roots and to create a generation of sailors,” says Graham. “We have a very successful youth, women, national and international sailing programme and are actively generating socio-economic benefits for the country and contributing to the development of the Omani people through sailing. Hosting a Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event will provide huge inspiration to our sailors and take us closer to our aims.”