Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oman unveils Majan; the first Arabian 100 trimaran

After four months of assembly in Oman's southern most port of Salalah, skipper Paul Standbridge has been stretching the legs of Oman Sail's new Arabian 100 (A100) trimaran during sea-trials off the Omani coast. Now named Majan, after the ancient name for Oman, Oman Sail's new flagship is now operational and is heading into the Gulf and a tour of neighbouring countries.

Based on the proven design of another trimaran, Sodebo, which is the holder of the solo North Atlantic crossing record, the design has been tailored for the needs of Oman Sail and their objective of training and developing Omani sailors to compete on the international stage.

The launch of Majan is an ambitious addition to the project's mission to inspire a new generation of young Omanis. The first chapter was started when Mohsin Al Busaidi returned to the shores of Oman after successfully circumnavigating the world non-stop on Majan's 75ft sister ship, Musandam. From there, success has followed success as the two Oman teams took 1st and 3rd in the 2009 European iShares Cup and two Omanis are currently also sailing around the world in the Clipper Race. At the heart of all this success lies the Oman Sail Academy where young Omanis are now taking part in try sailing courses and looking to emulate their peers. Oman Sail's aims are ambitious: by 2015, the project aims to have seven academies running across the country enabling over 30,000 Omanis to try sailing.

Majan will sail with a crew of seven: 50% of the sailors will be Omani offshore trainees joined by three international professional crew and a cameraman providing the one-on-one training that the recruits require at this early stage of their career. The first chapter will be a 'Tour of Arabia' starting next week from Muscat, which will include stops in UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar before Majan joins the Dubai-Muscat race back to Muscat one month later.

The name Majan is used with pride within Oman and is a fitting name for a futuristic racing yacht for a country with a long maritime history. As Majan's newest crew member, Mohsin Al Busaidi, commented "The acceleration of Majan is incredible: we moved from 20 - 30 knots in one gust of wind. We now look forward to showing the world what she can do!"