Nawras, a Qtel Group company, sponsored another exciting sailing event recently resulting in new names emerging as the winners of the Nawras 2010 RAHBC Oman Hobie 16 Sailing Championship. Overall 2010 Champions with just six points were Joost Bloemarts and Helen Morgan while Victoria Grainger and Susanne Solberg came in second with seven points and in third place, with eight points, were Tony van Thiel and Koen Linthorst.
There was a good turnout for the nine scheduled races, with 19 boats from Ras Al Hamra Recreation Centre, Casteways and Oman Sail. The first race got underway with many competitors being cautious and very quickly, light winds expert, Grainger, took the lead and showed the rest of the fleet the way home.
In the dwindling and shifting breeze, the course was shortened and reset. In race two it was Dave Clark leading but 20 minutes later with the rest of the fleet going nowhere, George Rice of Oman Sail and the officer of the day, decided to call the race off due to a lack of wind.
Although the following day, began with light north-westerly winds, the race starting sequence commenced as planned but with 10 seconds to go it had to be postponed as the wind died away completely. Several boats headed for the beach while others caught in the current were being pushed towards the cliff face at Sharky's Point. The club safety boat, skippered by Brett Hall, went to the rescue and towed them clear of danger.
Meanwhile with wind several kilometres further out towards Fahal Island a new course was set and race two started. This time Bloemarts took the lead with Clark and Grainger coming in second and third. Newcomer Simon Kay sailing with his son Dylan was temporarily up among the leaders before being disqualified.
By the third race the crews were becoming more confident and the start was very tight with all the boats jostling for position. Four of the hopeful champions were over the line, the individual recall flag was flown and one gun fired. Grainger and Bloemarts returned to the line to take their penalty and restart their race while the other two offenders continued, possibly oblivious of their error.
As the race ended Clark and van Thiel approached the line together, unaware that they did not get a finishing gun as a result of being the other two offenders at the start. This opened the door for Johannes Boersma and David Boeyinga to take first and second places followed by championship contenders Grainger and Bloemarts in third and fourth.
The fourth race saw van Thiel romp away from the pack and cross the finishing line some four minutes ahead of Simon Brissenden, Joost Bloemarts and Victoria Grainger. Having had four races each crew was allowed to discard their worst score and this produced one of the closest results in years with only three points between the top three boats.
Prizes were presented to the top eight finishers by chief commercial officer Tore Solberg and sponsorship and events specialist Anwar Al Habsi, from sponsors Nawras. Prizes were also given to the officer of the day and his wife Chloe as well as special awards for Louise and Les Taylor for their never ending support for the club and racing as well as to Tom Whittingham and Neville Hallet for their success.
Andrew Faulkner, Dave Clarke and Tony van Thiel thanked those in the committee boat for running the races in very difficult circumstances and expressed their appreciation for all the other helpers who made the event possible. They also thanked Nawras for their generous sponsorship and Chris Hayward of Nomad Tours for giving his time and providing the committee boat.
Nawras 2010 RAHBC Oman Open Hobie 16 Sailing Championship is one of many different community events that Nawras supports throughout the year to get closer to customers.