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Oman Air Declares First Phase of Yachting Sponsorship a Success

>Date: 15 Aug 2010
Ahmad Al Harthy and Sidney Gavignet

Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has declared the first phase of its sponsorship of the 105-foot racing multihull, Majan, a huge success following the yacht’s visit to the UK’s annual Cowes Week regatta.

Majan’s imposing presence at the prestigious yachting event provided a major talking point and her skipper, Sidney Gavignet, invited many VIP guests and journalists to come aboard and experience some of the boat’s awesome power, as she sailed through the waters of the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the mainland.

Oman Air’s Chief Officer, Corporate Affairs, Philippe Georgiou, who was one of the first to join Sidney on the yacht after she arrived in Cowes, said:

“Majan’s visit to Cowes Week was the first phase of the airline’s sponsorship of this remarkable vessel. She is an imposing yacht and attracted a great deal of attention and admiration as she sailed through the waters off the Isle of Wight.

“Vitally, the yacht also raised awareness within one of our key markets of Oman Air as an airline that combines tradition with innovation and luxury with value. Majan’s presence at Cowes Week was a powerful one and gave us the opportunity to engage with a large number of opinion-formers and potential visitors to the Sultanate.”

Oman Air’s sponsorship of Majan aims not only to raise awareness of the airline, but also to support Oman Sail in its important work of revitalising Oman’s maritime tradition, celebrating Omani seamanship and increasing participation in sports sailing within the Sultanate. Earlier this year, Oman Air sponsored Jewel of Muscat, a re-creation of a 9th Century Arab Dhow which was hand-built in Oman before being sailed to Singapore and being presented to the country’s President as a gift to the nation.

Cowes Week is one of the world’s oldest and best-known yachting events, which sees crews from around the world participate in a week-long programme of races. Majan sailed into Cowes on 31st July with a full – largely Omani – crew and with her three hulls displaying Oman Air’s distinctive branding.

During Majan’s stay in Cowes, her skipper, world record holder Sidney Gavignet, welcomed aboard a number of VIPs, including His Highness Sayyid Tariq bin Shabib Al Said and Ahmad Al Harthy, the leading Omani racing driver, who brought his Oman Air-branded Porsche to the quayside.

Philippe Georgiou concluded:

“Following the success of Majan’s visit to Cowes, we are looking forward to the next phase of our sponsorship of Majan. This will see her sail into St Malo, in Northern France, to prepare for one of the greatest challenges any racing yacht can face – La Route Du Rhum. This single-handed transatlantic race will see Majan sail from St Malo to Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean, and it will be with a sense of enormous pride that we follow skipper Sidney Gavignet’s progress as he sails under Oman Air’s colours.

“We look forward to joining Sidney at St Malo in October and we wish him every success in La Route Du Rhum.”

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