Italians Beat the Russians!(March 22, 2010) - Bahrain Sailing Club hosted this years 44th edition of the World Military Sailing Championships. Imagine that! Just after Woodstock's famous rock and roll festival in New York that rocked the world, the boys in dress blue were chomping at the bit to determine who were the leaders in the Cold War World. After a period of time, contestants included ALL sailors in ALL militaries around the world who simply wanted to get together and have a great time sailing against one another. Without getting into too much detail (embarrassing perhaps to some countries), it's clear everyone has had a fantastic time at these events. J/Boats have been a significant sponsor and supporter of the World Military Sailing Championships over times, having supported them with J/22s, J/24s and, of course, the European Military Sailing de-facto one-design sailboat, the J/80 International Class.
This year's event was hosted by another one of the renowned United Arab Emirates, Bahrain. It was clear the kingdom was prepared to put on a remarkable show for ten days and no one was disappointed. With great sailing conditions (yes, Ernesto and Ed Baird we do believe you) the teams and spectators were treated to 100+ races on the Gulf. The week-long championship got underway with 21 teams, including six Arab countries - Oman, UAE, Tunisia, Qatar, Libya and hosts Bahrain. The remaining countries were Italy, France, Russia, Pakistan, Canada, India, Poland, US, Norway, Brazil, Turkey, Finland, Austria, Denmark and Spain.
Teams were divided into three groups of seven squads. The first stage featured round robin races and the top four teams from each group qualified for the second round. The second round also featured a single round robin battle, with the best four countries reaching the semi-final knock-out stage.
At the end of the amazingly civil proceedings (after all, this IS the military), ITALY defeated RUSSIA to clinch the 44th World Military Sailing Championship which concluded recently at the Bahrain Sailing Club premises near Al Jazayer Beach, Zallaq. It was a perfect finale to the 10-day event, organised for the first time in the Middle East with top sailing teams from across the world in the fray.
The final was held in strong winds starting from 15 to 20 knots and reaching up to 25 knots. But it was the ITALIANS who proved the better side in the final race. The ITALIANS were coached by Ercole Petraglia and comprised of Romolo Emiliani, Fabio Montefusco, Pierlulgi Fornelli, Paolo Emilio Ciam and Giancarlo Simeoli. RUSSIA, coached by Kanov Sergey, were spearheaded by Andrey Arbuzov, Sergey Budanov, Alexey Krylov, Vyacheslav Kaptyukhin and Petr Kochnev. TURKEY, comprising Kemal Mujlubas, Kaan Ozooneng, Metin Yasamali, Mert Koseoglu, Baris Bilge and coached by Kani Vardar, finished third. FRANCE were fourth, followed by NORWAY in fifth place, FINLAND sixth and DENMARK seventh.
Bahrain Maritime Sports Association (BMSA) president and organising committee member Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa witnessed the final day's action with Italian Ambassador Enrico Padola and his Russian counterpart Ambassador Victor Smirnov. Shaikh Khalifa thanked General Organisation for Youth and Sports president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa for his support to sailing activities in Bahrain. The BMSA chief also highlighted the significant role of companies and establishments which sponsored the event, adding that without their support it would have been difficult to have this championship here in Bahrain.
The event was sponsored by a star-studded group of regional supporters, including: LURSSEN YACHTS, Trafco, Abu Dhabi Ship Building, Alba, Bapco, Batelco, MBDA Missile Systems, Banagas, Bahrain International Travel, Dadabai Travel and Yateem Air-conditioning. Other sponsors included Jawad Group, Al Safeer Travel and Tours, Nadia Travel Agency, Turkish Airlines, AJM Kooheji Group, House of Travel, Bahrain Kuwait Insurance, GPIC and A A Bin Hindi. For more World Military Sailing information.