An epic journey is about to start from and to Omani waters. Oman Sail’s giant 75-foot trimaran “Musandam” will set sail around the world in an attempt to mark a first Omani Round the World circumnavigation of the globe.
Mohsin Al Busaidi, the first Omani attempting a round the world journey, along with four international sailors will attempt to circumnavigate the globe starting from Muscat and sailing non-stop all the way across the Indian Ocean, passing the Equator to Cape Leeuwin, then going through Cook Strait and heading towards the notorious Cape Horn, the Atlantic Ocean and pass by Cape of Good Hope when they head back to Muscat.
12 voyages have succeeded in circumnavigating the globe on fully crewed multihulls and Oman Sail’s trimaran had already succeeded in circumnavigating the globe in 2005 when it was sailed by Dame Ellen MacArthur who solo circumnavigated the globe in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds. Musandam’s goal is now focused on circumnavigating the globe in under 80 days, and set a new record reference time, Round the World, Muscat – Muscat via the three great capes.
Musandam’s departure from Muscat will be broadcasted in Al Jazeera, Oman TV and Oman FM when leaving Bander Al Rawdha escorted by two traditional Dhows and a Coast Guard boat.
Success as Round the World attempt arrives in Muscat
As part of a wider project to help reignite Oman’s maritime heritage and inspire youngsters to take up sailing, Mohsin Al Busaidi left Muscat, Oman on an attempt to sail non-stop around the world on January 8 2009. 76 days later, the Sultanate of Oman has welcomed him home as a hero.
‘This is an incredible achievement for Mohsin who a year ago had never stepped on board an offshore racing multihull before and now he is the first Arab to circumnavigate the globe. Mohsin and the entire Musandam crew are to be congratulated.’ said Dame Ellen MacArthur who previously set a new world record in the same boat when it sailed under the colours of B&Q/Castorama. As well as Mohsin, Musandam was crewed by an international crew of Skipper Loik Gallon (FR), Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent (FR), Charles Darbyshire (UK) and Nick Houchin (UK).
Up until 15 years ago, no one had ever completed a non-stop round the world journey onboard a racing multihull and still today it remains one of the hardest challenges a sailor can ever dream of tackling.
Musandam sailed over 24,000 nautical miles during which Mohsin sailed deep into the harsh and hostile Southern Ocean as he passed the legendary capes of Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope. Since the start day on 8th January, 2009 the crew have endured storms, freezing conditions, a diet of only freeze-dried food and, unless it rained, no showers and the tiny cramped conditions of a racing multihull.
Mohsin Al Busaidi, who grew up in Al Khoud, a village north of Muscat said: ‘I am so happy, so proud for my country, it has been the most amazing experience of my life. Although the voyage has only taken 76 days, I have loved sailing and the sea for a long time. This round the world journey has been the key focus for the newly formed Oman Sail project and we wanted to show quickly what could be achieved to inspire others. We’ll continue the voyage of our ancestors who sailed the seas and we’ll build boats and masts, so our children continue the journey after us.’
Before winning the adulation of the population of Oman, Mohsin first had to earn the respect of skipper Loik Gallon, Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent, Nick Houchin and Charles Darbyshire. The first stage of his selection began with several gruelling weeks of intensive physical and mental tests in the heat of the Oman desert: ‘It was harder than the Special Forces training’ said Mohsin, who had a career in the Oman’s Royal Navy prior to joining the Oman Sail project. Once he was selected he underwent summer training in the UKSA centre in Cowes before doing the delivery sail on Musandam from the UK to Oman.
The arrival of Musandam back into Muscat was a momentous occasion with thousands of fans, supporters, family and friends lining the waterfront straining for a sight of Oman’s new hero.
International, regional and local press were present and Mohsin was kept very busy with live interviews for television, internet, radio and print media from the very moment he set foot on dry land. The Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Dr Rajiha Bint Abdul Amir bin Ali, who attended the special celebrations in Port Sultan Qaboos said: ‘We are happy to see our crew and boat home safely. To have Mohsin accomplish this voyage and enter the history books is very exciting and I know young Omanis will be inspired by this. As Tourism Minister, I also see today as an opportunity for Oman to demonstrate how it is reigniting maritime heritage.’
Whats happening onboard Musandam today? well we are just a few hours from
darkness , and most of the daylight hours have been spent in mostly sunny
conditions – even able to get wet weather gear tops off for a while, which
was perfect for getting an airing to the lower layers
We won the rugby….. so all is well ( for 2/5ths of the crew) the other
(2/5ths say it’s early days etc.etc…all the usual excuses)
Anyway – a harsh reminder with the saturday rugby and football scores
that we are on the weekend, and away for the weekend – and no possiblility
of a lay in, a breakfast out, or an hour with the papers….
Since the last update we’ve been moving east as conditions have allowed-
the wind direction has been through every direction on the compass ( as
forecasted) and we have had fog, drizzle, sunshine, fairly flat seas, and a
building swell – so it’s been all change – every time you go below
something changes when you next appear on deck.
It’s so hard to know what to write at the moment – every day seems fairly
similar to the last. We are moving along in petty rough seas, not the giant
rolling swells that we were expecting, and some life onboard is reduced a
fair bit to eating and sleeping and sailing. much less reading or writing
Just as soon as the big swell arrived, the chop made an unwelcome return,
making all aspects of life uncomfortable again. Hooch and I were on deck
when a huge breaking quatering wave landed on the back beam and flooded the
cockpit, we had about 30cm of water across the whole cockpit floor, and the
small cuddy area rapidly filled up too – and sloshed from side to side
before the cockpit drains could clear it….