Sailing: Oman’s Olympic hopeful masters difficult conditions in The Netherlands
Waleed Al Kindi in action.
Muscat: One of Oman’s leading Olympic hopefuls, Waleed Al Kindi, delivered a strong performance in sometimes difficult conditions at the Delta Lloyd Regatta, held in Medemblik, The Netherlands.
Campaigning in the RS:X Men windsurfer class to be part of Oman Sail’s first ever Olympic squad at the Tokyo 2020 Games, Al Kindi posted two top-20 finishes – including an 11th place – in a highly competitive fleet.
A steady competitor in the top half of a world-class fleet on the upwind legs, Al Kindi acknowledged that more work on his technique is needed to maintain his speed and position when racing downwind.
“It has been a great two weeks in Medemblik, though at the beginning I had to get used to the strong wind and cold conditions that we don’t get too much of in Oman,” Al Kindi, who is widely regarded as the Sultanate’s best windsurfer, said.
“Having the chance to race, work and train with bigger groups than I am used to at home will help me with my technique and speed.”
Racing on the very large Ijsselmeer artificial lake north of Amsterdam, Al Kindi finished the regatta in 28th place.
Al Rashdi injured
Also with an eye on qualifying for the 2020 Olympics, the 49er dinghy pairing of Musab Al Hadi and Hashim Al Rashdi saw their Medemblik regatta come to a premature end after an injury to Al Rashdi’s ankle meant they were unable to continue.
The injury appears to have initially resulted from a capsize two weeks ago when the Omani pair were practicing in the high-performance Olympic class skiff, which requires almost constant work while balanced on ‘wings’ and a trapeze wire.
Their regatta started well with a 19th place in the first race, held in conditions that saw the wind gusting up to 20 knots. In the second race they capsized while rounding a mark in 11th place. Further capsizes followed and the duo decided to call a halt before the…