Hussain Al Jabri and Intisar Al Toubi last night (Tuesday 14 May) became Oman’s first ever Sailors of the Year when the two sailors were voted the most outstanding male and female overall winners of the Sultanate’s prestigious new Sailor of the Year Awards presented by Renaissance Services SAOG and and co-sponsored by Rolls-Royce, Oman Air, Muscat Daily, Technogym, the wellness company, Nissan and Khimji Ramdas.
The announcement of the two most coveted Renaissance Services Sailor of the Year Awards was the grand finale to a magnificent awards function at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat which also celebrated individual and team winners for outstanding achievements in sailing, coaching and technical skills by men and women in seven categories. They were:
- Hussain Al Jabri: Oman Air Outstanding Male Race Team Member
- Intisar Al Toubi: Nissan Outstanding Female Race Team Member
- The Wave, Muscat (Extreme 40): Technogym, the wellness company Outstanding International Race Team
- Optimist Team - Marina Bandar Rowdha: Youth Team of the Year
- Abdualziz Al Shidi: Rolls-Royce Development Male Coach of the Year
- Nashwa Al Kindi: Rolls-Royce Development Female Coach of the Year
- Said Al Hatali - Khimji Ramdas Technical Support Award
- Al-Hayat Association: Special Recognition Award in recognition of their dedication to raising awareness about drug abuse
In terms of the award structure only Hussain Al Jabri as Oman Air Outstanding Male Race Team Member, Intisar Al Toubi as Nissan Female Race Team Member, Abdualziz Al Shidi and Nashwa Al Kindi as winners of the Rolls-Royce Male and Female Development Coaches awards could be nominated as candidates for the top Renaissance Services Sailor of the Year Award.
Twenty four year old Laser sailor, Hussain Al Jabri, only learnt to sail in June 2011 when he joined Oman Sail. Known for an excellent attitude both on and off the water his impressive results include a 2nd in 2012 Mussanah Race Week out of 21 boats and a first at the Laser Singapore Trophy out of 14 boats. A highly self motivated quiet character, he is always determined to improve himself and has consistently been the number one performer in the bike and rowing fitness tests of the entire Race Team.
Intisar Al Toubi, 24, only learnt to sail when she joined Oman Sail in November 2011. One of four Omani’s selected to crew with the all women team aboard the Farr 30 yacht “Al Thuraya Bank Muscat” that finished fourth in the 2012 Sailing Arabia - The Tour, Intisar is known as a natural leader and a good role model for other girls. Always very willing to learn, she understands the bigger picture of the Women’s Sailing Programme. During the 15 day 760 miles of intense racing on the Tour she was an active crew member showing a good understanding of trimming and displayed excellent skills with mainsheet trimming during the inshore races. She is also consistently first in the bike fitness test and holds the fastest test time for rowing.
Oman Sail CEO, David Graham, said every single nominee and category winner for Oman’s prestigious new Sailor of the Year Awards presented by Renaissance Services SAOG deserved congratulations as each of them was a winner in their own right.
“We thank all of you for your dedication and remarkable commitment that has ensured your individual pathways of excellence to the top of your respective disciplines. But extra special congratulations must go to our outstanding male and female overall winners of the coveted Renaissance Services Sailor of the Year Awards.
“Hussain Al Jabri and Intisar Al Toubi share the same exceptional performance record, leadership qualities, positive attitude, hard work, commitment and depth of character of all our nominees here tonight but they also display that extra little bit of magic that makes them worthy of this top award which establishes them as deserved role models for thousands of young sailors throughout Oman. We salute you both.”
Stephen R Thomas, chief executive officer of Renaissance Services SAOG the Muscat-based oil and gas multinational, said he was proud to congratulate all the outstanding sailors and coaches who had won awards but quite humbled when it came to congratulating the two overall winners.
“It is an honour for us to be associated with these two high achieving young Omanis who go the extra mile in everything they do. They are a credit to their families, to the sporting community and their country.”
Oman Air, CEO Wayne Pearce, said the company was proud to have their name associated with Hussain Al Jabri as winner of the Oman Air Outstanding Male Race Team Member.
“We congratulate him as our winner, and also his fellow nominees for qualifying for consideration in this highly competitive award category. We are proud to be part of the first ever Sailor of the Year Awards as efforts such as theirs go a long way to help us promote Oman globally as a must visit high profile tourist destination.
In congratulating Intisar Al Toubi as the winner of the Nissan Outstanding Female Race Team Member, the key spokesperson from Suhail Bahwan Automobiles said Intisar Al Toubi was a natural leader and great role model for other women.
“The Oman Sail Sailor of the Year Awards is a great platform to recognise and acknowledge the achievements of young Omani sailors and reward unsung heroes. We at Suhail Bahwan Automobiles feel honoured to have associated with such a noble cause. We applaud Intisar Al Toubi’s ability to understand the bigger picture of the Women’s Sailing Programme and her enthusiasm and willingness to learn. She is truly a role model for all young aspiring Omanis who would like to pursue a career in this exciting and adventurous profession. We would also like to thank Oman Sail for launching the Sailor of the Year Awards and identifying such high quality nominees as recipients of these awards.”
"Intisar has only been sailing since November 2011, yet she was selected as one of only four Omani female crew members for Sailing Arabia - The Tour. She was an active member of the Farr 30 crew for the entire race and finished 4th overall. She is one of the fittest women sailors coming top in the bike and rowing tests, has a good understanding of trimming and displays excellent skills with mainsheet trimming during inshore races. She does us proud and we wish her more success in her sailing career.”
James Allen, General Manager of Sports Solutions LLC, the exclusive distributor for Technogym the wellness company products and services in the Sultanate of Oman said the exceptional team spirit, drive and world class winning qualities displayed by individual team members of The Wave, Muscat ensured their repeated successes at the top of the leader board in the global Extreme 40 Sailing Series.
“Technogym the wellness company is proud to congratulate The Wave, Muscat as the Outstanding International Race Team. Theirs is a winning formula that clearly demonstrates how a union of fitness, health and a positive mind set can ensure success on many levels. As role models they display qualities we all aspire to and can learn from whether in our sporting, business or personal environments.”
Mr. Ian Lowe, Senior Vice President of Middle East & Africa of Rolls-Royce said the company was very impressed by the high standard of candidates nominated for the Sailor of the Year Awards, especially considering that competition sailing is a relatively new sport in Oman.
“Excellence is synonymous with Rolls-Royce and we especially congratulate Abdualziz Al Shidi and Nashwa Al Kindi who are playing such a selfless and important role as coaches to help direct Oman’s youth development on their own pathway to excellence through the sport of sailing. We congratulate you as our category winners but also as key role models and teachers with the ability to pass on vital skills that will enable youngsters to achieve their highest ambitions in the sport.”
In congratulating Said Al Hatali as the winner of the Khimji Ramdas Technical Support Award and other winners in the Oman Sail ‘Sailor of the Year Awards’, Pankaj Khimji, Director at Khimji Ramdas applauded their efforts. He also praised the organisers of Oman Sail and said:
“We are pleased to support Oman Sail in such a prestigious international event held locally. It will help raise awareness about the importance of sports in our daily lives and encourage the citizens and residents in Oman to choose a healthier lifestyle, especially since Oman is so well entrenched in the sea faring traditions as part of the silk route 13 centuries back”.
He said the sponsorship was in line with the Khimji Ramdas Group corporate social responsibility strategy and their corporate culture: “At Khimji Ramdas Group, we consider the health and wellbeing of our people as a core corporate value.”
The winners of each of the categories were decided by a world class external jury in a two stage voting process audited by international auditors KPMG. The panel of judges featured sailings world famous Sir Ben Ainslie, who as a four times British Olympic gold medallist is the most successful Olympic yachtsman of all time; Lijia Xu of China, 25, who won gold in the Laser Radial class at the 2012 Olympics and together with Sir Ainslie are the 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year; Oman’s most famous sportsman, professional football player Ali Al Habsi, Oman’s National Olympic Committee representative Hilal Al-Sinani and ISAF representative and sailing competition manager for the 2012 London Olympics, Rob Andrew.
The full list of candidates nominated for each of the seven categories was:
The three candidates nominated for the Oman Air Outstanding Male Race Team Member award were selected from the top individual performers in the 2012 Race Team based on quarterly performance in terms of fitness, performance and attitude. They were: Hussain Al Jabri, 24, (Laser; 2nd Musannah Race Week, 1st Laser Singapore Trophy); Nasser Al Mashari, 30, (bowman and international crew on Extreme 40, 2nd overall in Extreme Sailing Series); and Hashim Al Rashdi, 24, (bowman and international crew on Extreme 40, 1st overall in Extreme Sailing Series).
The three nominees for the Nissan Outstanding Female Race Team Member were selected from the best three individual Omani Race Team members according to quarterly performance in terms of fitness, performance and attitude. They were: Tahira Al-Yahae, 22, (reserve trimmer, Farr 30, one of the four Omani female members selected for Sailing Arabia - The Tour); Intisar Al-Toubi, 24, (trimmer, Farr 30, one of the four Omani female members to race in Sailing Arabia - The Tour and finish in 4th place); Rajaa Al-Owaisi, 22, (helmswoman, Farr 30, Bahrain Match Racing Event).
Of the five international sailing teams put forward for nomination only the top three were considered for the Technogym, The Wellness Company Outstanding International Race Team Award for racing performance and for providing exposure for the top teams and their sponsors. They were : The Wave, Muscat (Extreme 40,1st overall in Extreme Sailing Series); Oman Air (Extreme 40, 2nd overall in Extreme Sailing Series); Musandam Oman Sail (MOD 70 Series, 4th overall in the MOD70 European Tour), Al Thuraya, Bank Muscat (all female Farr 30, 4th Sailing Arabia - The Tour), BAE Systems (M34, 4th overall Tour de France a la Voile).
Nominees for the Youth Team of the Year were selected from the top teams from each sailing school in the Laser Radial, Laser 4.7 and Optimist classes according to outstanding performance during national ranking events, and for providing exposure to the champions of the future. They were: Optimist team - Marina Bandar Rowdha (14 sailors, placings in top 10 ranking 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9); Optimist team – Mussanah (7 sailors, Placings in the top 10 of the ranking: 2, 3, 10); Laser 4.7 team – Marina Bandar Rowdha (11 sailors, placing in top 10 of the national ranking: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
Nominees for the Rolls-Royce Male Development Coach of the Year were selected from the top male coaches from each sailing school based on quarterly evaluations and to provide exposure for the unsung heroes in the sport. They were Oman Sail Youth Programme Coordinator Abdul Aziz Salim Saif Al Shidi, 27; Chief Instructor at The Wave, Muscat Mus'ab Ameir Abdullah Al Balushi, 28; Chief Instructor Mussanah Adam Mohammed Ahmed Al Balushi, 41 and Instructor at Marina Bander Rhowdha Adil Salim Hamood Al Wahaibi, 36.
Nominees for the Rolls-Royce Female Development Coach of the Year were selected from the top female coaches from each sailing school based on quarterly evaluations and to provide exposure for the unsung heroes and the Women’s Sailing Programme. They were: Nashwa Mansoor Yahya Al Kindi, 31, Instructor at The Wave Muscat; Khair Nisa Imam Bakhsh Murad Al Balushi, 34, Instructor at The Wave Muscat; and Sheikha Saif Abdullah Al Mahroqi, 28, Instructor at Marina Bander Rhowdha.
Nominees for the Khimji Ramdas Technical Support Award were selected from shore crew technical team members according to annual appraisals and as a way to provide exposure for unsung heroes behind the scenes. They were: Said Ali Talib Al Hittali, 41 (M34 Shore Crew), Hilal Hashim Mohamed Al Zadjali, 23 (Extreme 40 The Wave, Muscat), Mohammed Abdullah Ali Al Shekaili, 27 (Boat Builder/Shore Crew on Oman Air Extreme 40).
Selection was based on individual 2012 performances and evaluations by their most direct managers. A key factor applicable to all categories was an attitude evaluation scored on behaviour, punctuality, listening to managers and a willingness to learn.
Race team members were also evaluated on fitness and sailing performance. The coaches on technical skills and the Technical Support nominees on electronic skills, sail repair, splicing halyards and sheets, engine mechanics and boat building.
Note to TV broadcasters:
The Sailor of the Year Awards TV footage will be available on the Oman Sail server media.qiusystem.com/omansail/en/video by approximately 20:00 GMT (Folder location: gallery>SOYA2013)