Dear Potential Muscat Skippers and Crew,

The most important change to recent years is that DOSC has agreed to take over the management of the race whilst the organising authority remains the Sailing and Rowing Federation (SARF). An initial DOSC race committee has been convened – see below.

The Oman Ministry of Sport has given formal written permission to continue with the race planning and we will continue to talk with all the Omani authorities to determine what procedures will be required.

The Notice of Race for the 29th edition of the Dubai to Muscat Race is under final preparation and will be issued shortly.

Clearly there will be Covid-19 restrictions regarding the race and as we will be leaving UAE waters, there may be a necessity to have Covid PCR tests prior to departure and again on arrival back in Dubai. There will likely be similar Covid testing requirements in Oman in addition to those in Dubai.

The intention is to run the race routing as normal and we are in discussion with the various authorities to make this happen. However, if Covid 19 regulations dictate, there may need to be alterations to the final finish point and we will accommodate as necessary.

We intend to start the race on Friday, Feb 26th and the time limit for arrival in Muscat will be Wednesday March 3rd at 18.00.

As with previous years we have formed a race committee of volunteers to spread the workload for race organization.

We will continue with the safety sub-committee to oversee the scrutineering and acceptance of yachts to race.

DOSC is seeking a volunteer to take over the role of Race Director, who will coordinate our race management team and take overall control of the race, ensuring  all time schedules are met with the various permission authorities.

If there are is anyone who could take on this vital role then please contact me immediately.

Our aim is to encourage as many boats to start as possible, subject to the entrants meeting the required Offshore Special Racing Regulations (OSR Cat 3 with life raft). We want to make the event attractive to all entrants from the UAE, the Gulf Region and even further overseas to provide positive benefits to potential sponsors. Increased start numbers means better photo coverage, press coverage, and TV coverage at a level commensurate with potential sponsorship expectations.

The organizing committee is encouraging all those wishing to enter the race to participate in at least one DOSC Offshore Race and/or one of the 24 hour races in this year’s DOSC calendar as that provides excellent exposure and experience. Skippers are reminded to purchase the necessary safety equipment well ahead of time, and for crew to become familiar with the procedures for sailing at night and for longer passages.

As with previous editions, to support more yachts making it to Muscat, we aim to have a RACE RESTART at the “Gap” in the Musandam for those who have been becalmed or fall behind. Prizes will be offered to the Restart race to encourage and reward boats that reach the finish line in Muscat. This may also suit the cruising fraternity who prefer to take a short break at anchor after completing the first race to the Corner, before resuming racing.

Marina Bandar al Rowhda in Muscat have confirmed we can use their marina for the finish. They will be offering free berthing again and the usual ‘refurbished’ bar and restaurant facilities.

Last year’s Professional Race Manager, Simon James has confirmed his availability as Race Officer and we are in discussion to finalise arrangements, subject to Covid travel restrictions.

We will send out regular emails from now until February 2019 that will help prompt potential competitors and keep them informed on a regular basis of all aspects of the race organisation and allow them to plan their participation in the race.

DOSC will host information nights at the club at various times prior to the race day , where all aspects of the race can be discussed in an open forum. The first information night will be Monday 14th December in the DOSC Loft at 19.00. This will assist less experienced offshore skippers in making a positive decision about entering the race.

The MAIN ADVICE IS TO PREPARE EARLY, PLAN AND PURCHASE THE REQUIRED SAFETY EQUIPMENT, MAINTAIN YOUR BOAT AND TRAIN YOUR CREW to give you the best possible chance of making it to the start line and the finish line.

If you need any help or advice then please feel free to contact Phil Ellerby at any time.

If any of the Skippers are in need of crew then please get in touch and we will try and marry you to available crew.

If you know of people in the area who are a little intimidated by the thought of racing to Muscat then please tell them to enter the race but join the cruising fleet and sail to Muscat. They will enjoy all the organizational benefits of the race management but with a more relaxed voyage. Any potential cruisers should contact Phil either by email or mobile; all details below.

Finally, if anyone knows of any other skippers in UAE, the region, or further afield, who might potentially be interested in entering the race, please forward them Phil’s contact details.

Kind regards,

Phil Ellerby
m: +971 (0) 50 6242750