In a landmark agreement, Oman LNG and Oman Sail have committed to establish the first sailing school in Sharqiyah at Sur, the historic hub of Oman’s illustrious seafaring past. The building of the sailing school will begin shortly and will be ‘open for sailing’ in early 2013. The school will also offer local employment for up to 40 people who will be introducing the sport of sailing to Sur and Sharqiyah and support the Sultanate’s aspiration to build regional and national teams that will compete at all levels in the sport. Sur’s history is steeped in the sea and many of its families can boast forefathers who were masters of the oceans from India and further east as well as down the coast of Africa. They created an “empire” and businesses that were the backbone of Oman’s prosperity for centuries. “Today’s agreement today will help revive Sur’s fabulous seafaring traditions and allow the youth of Sur rediscover the challenges and thrills of mastering the seas through sail. It will be a source of sporting talent for national and international competitive sailing and heralds Sur’s re-entry into the global world of sailing. We are very happy to sign this agreement with ‘Oman Sail’ that will not only develop young sailing talent but also create new employment opportunities in the community,” said Dr Brian Buckley, CEO of Oman LNG, ahead of the signing ceremony during the ‘Extreme Sailing’ event hosted by Oman Sail at The Wave, Muscat. In the agreement, Oman LNG is committing RO 582,000) for the construction of the Sailing School, slipway and supply a boat and safety equipment for the School at Sur to be operated and maintained by Oman Sail. The project has been given the blessing and support of the Ministry of Tourism, which recognises the importance of sailing in promoting Oman internationally as well as the Ministry of Sports Affairs which welcomes the addition of this facility to promote sporting activities, particularly amongst the youth of Oman. “This partnership comes in line with Oman Sail\'s five year development plan to establish seven sailing schools throughout the country by 2015 to provide opportunities for the local communities to learn the sport of sailing whilst creating employment opportunities for the youth of Oman. We already have two sailing schools in Marina Bandar al Rowda and Al Musannah which are attracting a big number of young male and female Omanis amongst whom are our ambitious young female sailors in the all-women boat Al Thuraya BankMuscat who have just finished fourth in the Sailing Arabian — The Tour in their first participation and Musaab al Hadi and Ahmed al Balushi who took part in the Asian Sailing Championships in Malaysia and won a Bronze medal. The new LNG Sailing School will further allow us to expand our offering to another significant region of Oman,” said David Graham CEO of Oman Sail.