x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

John Curran brings together an eclectic crew for Ras Al Khaimah

The RAK team are just happy to be competing, the crew ranges in age from 17 to 65 and they had never sailed together before.

Given that John Curran's task was to assemble a team at last moment, he has done well to have a crew sailing under the banner of Ras Al Khaimah in the Sailing Arabia - The Tour race.

They were the last of the nine boats to arrive in Abu Dhabi after a 36-hour journey from Doha, yet it was a triumph for the team skippered by Curran to complete the 290-kilometre trip as they were competing together for the first time.

"It was a very big struggle to get a team," said Curran, a Briton. "We had to recruit people with some kind of interest in sailing but they have never done this before. So it was a fantastic experience and a very big learning curve for them.

"We were thrown straight into the deep end … but they are all very keen to learn.

"The long journey from Doha to Abu Dhabi has been a tiring but an exciting one."

The race continues today with the leg to Ras Al Khaimah.

Curran's crew consisted of the youngest sailor, 17-year-old Sam Mason, and the oldest, Reg Furlong at 65,

The skipper said. "We entered the race in the very last minute. We were in the race straightaway without any preparation."

Curran, who joined the Royal Yacht Club of Ras Al Khaimah in September 2010, said the long-term plan for the team was to encourage more Emiratis to participate.

"Not just one boat [next year] but maybe two," he said.

"However, to do that, we need to do the training, and to do the training we need the boats, and to get the boats we need the sponsors."

Majed Sultan Al Bloushi, 22, an Emirati graduate from the Higher Colleges of Technology from Ras Al Khaimah, will be joining the crew for today's leg.

Bloushi, whose only experience was sailing in the traditional sail boats, said: "I was invited to join the team but couldn't because of my work schedules.

"I enjoy sailing and have trained with this team whenever they got together for a practice run but unfortunately had no time to take part in the race. I will join the team only for Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah leg but hope to be a full member for next year's race."

 

apassela@thenational.ae

 

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