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.’