A100 Majan Passing a Container Ship (Photo by Mark Covell / Oman Sail)

A100 Majan Passing a Container Ship (Photo by Mark Covell / Oman Sail)

Just 97 days after Oman Sail’s A100 multihull Majan left her mooring in Muscat, the crew has completed tracing out the course of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race, crossing the longitude of cape Ras Al Hadd for the second time yesterday at 23:30 GMT.
Leg 5 has been a magical final journey between the Cape Piai (Malaysia) and Majan’s home, steeped in history and spirituality courtesy of India’s Cape Comorin – but also high on emotion for the crew: whilst en route towards home, Mohsin Al Busaidi received a phone call informing him of the birth of his daughter!

After an activity-packed stopover in Singapore, Majan set sail again and crossed the longitude of Cape Piai on the 27th of April, welcoming on board a new crew member, Ali Hamad Ambusaidi, who shared his enthusiasm with onboard reporter Mark Covell: “I have always wanted to sail in the Indian Ocean and see the long rolling waves”, he said. “I have also wished that one day I could sail on Majan. Now I get the chance to do both at once.”

Ali Hamad Ambusaidi (Photo by Mark Covell / Oman Sail)

Ali Hamad Ambusaidi (Photo by Mark Covell / Oman Sail)

After a slow start, day 2 brought speed back on the menu, and thanks to warm winds Majan was starting to stretch her legs on fabulously flat seas, which meant the crew could enjoy the trimaran’s power without any shaky movement, under a glorious full moon… “Hard to beat,” as Mark Covell put it! The next day brought even better news, as Mohsin became the father of a little girl named Thura, a happy event that Paul Standbrige, Majan’s skipper, had never had celebrated on board a boat before despite his packed racer’s career.

Mohsin’s patience was certainly put to the test since Majan soon became trapped in light airs like a “fly in a sticky web.” As Mark Covell reported: “There is so little wind and the sea lies so still and lifeless. It’s 40º on deck and 33º in the water. Eating a hot meal is the last thing you want and sleep is harder to achieve in your roasting bunk. Will we ever get to Muscat?” It certainly has been a long slog back home, and it eventually took 15 days and 19 hours to complete the fifth and final leg, cape to cape (Piai to Ras Al Hadd).

Majan Crew At Sunset (Photo by Mark Covell / Oman Sail)

Majan Crew At Sunset (Photo by Mark Covell / Oman Sail)

With the pressure of the ticking clock lifted, Mark Covell sat down at his keyboard one last time while Majan was making her way towards Muscat: “As is the same with so many ocean voyages, we’re happy to have finished safely, but sad that it’s all over. By the time we get to the dock 140 nm from here we will have logged 20,419 nm sailed. The sun is rising over us and more poignantly it’s rising over Oman. We are home!”

97 days after their departure, the crew will now be duly welcomed and celebrated by their team and the Omani public after tracing out this new and challenging course that links together the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia, ahead of the first official edition of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race planned for spring 2012. OC Events Asia, organisers of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race, would like to send Majan’s crew heartfelt congratulations for having superbly written the first chapter of a story bound to open new horizons!


Leg 5 in figures…

• Distance: 3,200 nm / 5,900 km

• Dock to dock:16 days 1 hours 00 minutes

• Cape to Cape: 15 days 19 hours 30 minutes


Mohammed and Sidney Helming Majan (Photo by Mark Covell / Oman Sail)

Mohammed and Sidney Helming Majan (Photo by Mark Covell / Oman Sail)


Majan (Photo Courtesy of Oman Sail)

For the crew on board Oman Sail’s A100 trimaran ‘Majan’ the departure from the penultimate stopover in Singapore, proved a poignant moment as they set out on the final leg to cover the final 3,200 miles (5,900km) of this new Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race course. Eager to reach their homeport of Muscat, Oman, but at the same time knowing this was the last stopover of the tour. The Oman Sail team, who have been promoting the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race ahead of the first official planned edition in 2012 as well as the new A100 class of boat, have been warmly received at every stopover from the Maldives, Cape Town to Fremantle and, lastly, Singapore.
‘Majan’ spent just over a week in Singapore showcasing Majan to the local media and VIP guests and left Keppel Bay Marina on Tuesday, 27th April to cross the start line of leg 5 south of Cape Piai: “On a beautiful day with 6 knots from a westerly direction we crossed the line to the south of Cape Piai at 04:00 UCT, midday local time,” reported media crew, Mark Covell. “Now, as we pick our way northwards up the course, we enter the Malacca Straits. With Malaysia to the East and Sumatra to the west, the straits get slowly wider, starting at 35nm and opening out to 145nm.” From an economic and strategic perspective the Strait of Malacca is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, being the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, linking major Asian economies such as India, China, Japan and South Korea. Over 50,000 vessels pass through the strait per year.

 Mark further explains the route to Muscat: “In about 600 miles we can turn to port and round Banda Aceh, northern Indonesia and head out to Sri Lanka. After passing Sri Lanka, we will carve around the bottom of Cape Cormorin [the final Cape on the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race course], the southern most tip of India, which will be the last sight of land before seeing Oman. We will then race as fast as we can to the finish line off Cape Ras Al Hadd to enter the Gulf of Oman and home to Muscat. By then we will have raced over 16,000 sailing miles.”

The international crew led by skipper Paul Standbridge includes Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, Mark Covell, Mohsin Al Busaidi, Mohammed al Ghailani and they will now be joined by fellow Omani and Oman Sail’s academy instructor, Ali Hamad Ambusaidi: “I wished that one day I could sail on Majan, now I have the chance to do it. It’s an honour to be one of the crew. I look forward to learning a lot and seeing things I have only dreamed of before.”

Majan Crew Start Out On Leg 5 (Photo Courtesy of Oman Sail)

Majan Crew Start Out On Leg 5 (Photo Courtesy of Oman Sail)


The Oman Sail Majan crew will be eager to reach home having left Muscat nearly three months ago on the 16th February. “We are all looking forward to reaching Muscat. Mohsin and Mohammed have not seen their family and friends since we left. Mohsin’s wife is expecting a new baby very soon after we get back, so the homecoming will be very special indeed,” said Mark. The final leg of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race is expected to arrive in the first week of May.

About Cape Comorin:

Today known under the name of Kanyakumari, that tip of the Tamil Nadu State is the southernmost one of the Indian Peninsula and sits at the confluence of the Gulf of Mannar, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Taking its name from the Kumari Amman Temple, this cape has been widely documented and is at the heart of numerous mythical episodes. Mentions of Comorin can be found in the works of Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy), the famous Greek geographer and mathematician, who notably produced a detailed – if not completely accurate – world description in his Geographia. Among the numerous legends linked with the place, one has it that the rocks scattered around the cape are grains that remained uncooked when the wedding between Hindu deity Shiva and Kanya Devi failed to happen: the husband-to-be never showed up, and the rice gradually turned to stone… But perhaps the most interesting story is that of Kumari Kandar, a mythical continent (or sunken landmass) which has long been believed to face the cape, its triangular shape pointing northwards taking up almost all of the Indian Ocean! Kanyakumari (Comorin) has always been an important commercial, cultural and spiritual centre, famous for its pearl fishing and beautiful temples which grant it today a special attraction power when it comes to tourism.
Coordinates: 8°07’ N – 77°54’ E

More on The Strait of Malacca:

From an economic and strategic perspective the Strait of Malacca is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, being the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, linking major Asian economies such as India, China, Japan and South Korea. Over 50,000 vessels pass through the strait per year, carrying about one-quarter of the world’s traded goods including oil, Chinese manufactures, and Indonesian coffee.
At Phillips Channel close to the south of Singapore, the Strait of Malacca narrows to 2.8 km (1.5 nautical miles) wide, creating one of the world’s most significant traffic choke points. There are 34 shipwrecks, some dating to the 1880s, in the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), the channel for commercial ships. These pose a collision hazard in the narrow and shallow parts of the Straits.

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow, 805 km (500 mile) stretch of water between Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is named after the Empire of Melaka that ruled over the archipelago between 1414 to 1511.

Sunrise from Majan  (Photo Courtesy of Majan Crew)

Sunrise from Majan (Photo Courtesy of Majan Crew)


The crew of Leg 4 Marc Lagesse, Mohammed al Ghailani, Mohsin Al Busaidi, Paul Standbridge, Sidney Gavignet, Yann Regniau (Photo by Mark Covell / Majan / Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race)

The crew of Leg 4 Marc Lagesse, Mohammed al Ghailani, Mohsin Al Busaidi, Paul Standbridge, Sidney Gavignet, Yann Regniau (Photo by Mark Covell / Majan / Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race)



Majan .

The international crew on board Oman Sail’s A100 trimaran ‘Majan’ have celebrated their arrival in Singapore on the penultimate leg of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race. Majan left Fremantle (Australia) on the 9th April for the 2,700-mile leg to Singapore which has proved to be a ‘mild affair’ compared to the storm-fuelled leg from Cape Town to Fremantle with Majan surviving 70-knot winds in the Southern Ocean. The high-performance A100 trimaran crossed the finish line off Cape Piai, the fourth great Cape of the course, at 14:47 GMT on Sunday (18th April) completing the fourth leg that started from the Fremantle ‘city’ start line in 9 days and 10 hours and a Cape Leeuwin-Cape Piai reference time of 8 days, 15 hours, 12 minutes, then reached Keppel Bay Marina late evening.

As Majan has traced out this inaugural Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race course via the Maldives, Cape Town, Fremantle and now Singapore – the first race to link together the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia – the 105-ft multihull has generated a huge amount of interest. Every effort has been made by the crew to share the stopover and promote this new race, ahead of the official edition in spring 2012, with the media, VIPs, school children and local government. The Majan crew have engaged with the locals at every stopover giving talks at the local yacht club, opening up Majan to the public with some enjoying the privilege of sailing on board.

Singapore in particular has close maritime ties with Oman and shortly after Majan departs, a second Oman ship will be arriving. The Jewel of Muscat is a recreation of a 9th century AD 60-ft trading vessel that was hand-built with 70,000 stitches and without one nail on a beach near Oman’s capital Muscat. Launched into the Oman Sea for the first time last November, the ship was named at a special ceremony in Muscat attended by an official delegation from the Republic of Singapore before setting sail on 16th February. The Jewel of Muscat has already stopped in India and will now stop in Sri Lanka and Malaysia before arriving in Singapore in July. As part of Oman’s programme to reignite its maritime eminence, the Sultanate will be giving the Jewel of Muscat to the People of Singapore as a gift to heighten the awareness of the old trading routes between the two countries.


Back on the high speed trimaran, Majan’s crew got off to good, albeit upwind, start to Leg 4 as they headed south to Cape Leeuwin – not easy when you’re next destination lies to the north! Omani crew, Mohammed al Ghailani, wrote: “I always find the first 48 hours at sea very hard. As soon as my body and sleep clock has become accustomed to the timing, I am happy again. When you have your sea legs you have stopped feeling sick. We had an upwind start again, and yes I was very ill!” After Cape Leeuwin the ride got easier as Majan pushed northwards, however, four days into the leg drama struck.


Media crew, Mark Covell, takes up the story: “Mohsin [Al Busaidi] was steering in around 15 knots of breeze and we were sailing downwind off the north-west corner of Australia, under our huge cuban-fibre gennaker, the G1. Suddenly, the halyard snapped about a foot below the top of the mast sending the sail tumbling over the side in the dark. Mohsin, Marc [Lagesse] and Sidney [Gavignet] were on watch at the time. Quick thinking by Mohsin, meant little damage was done as he turned the boat down, slowing us right down, and shouted for Paul to come up on deck. This was quickly followed by a call for ‘all hands on deck’. It took about twenty minutes to haul the sail back on board.”

Thankfully no lasting damage was done and two days later the cry of ‘Land Ahoy’ went out as Majan came within sight of Jawa and Sumatra: “We have sailed in open ocean most of the time since we left Oman so this feels a bit strange for us,” wrote Mohsin. “Now we are having to navigate round obstacles, instead of sailing for days on one heading. No more long and open ocean swells and weather systems. This is flat water, island-hopping, coastal racing!”


Close to land and getting ever closer to the Equator, the wind dissipated in the soaring temperatures but with the bad comes the good: “A multihull can handle very big waves but give Majan flat water and she purrs along like a happy cat stretched out in the sun.

So far, we have made better progress than expected. The forecast has been for very little wind by day and a touch more by night. We did have a hot and painful 4 hour stretch of under 3 knots – but last night we fed off the updraft of a large thunderstorm about 10 miles away. As the hot are was sucked up into the system, it drew air past us giving us a solid 15 knots for most of the night,” reported Ghailani.

Now the Majan crew can relax for a while ahead of their scheduled departure from Singapore on the 27th April on the final leg of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race, homeward bound to Oman.

About Cape Piai:

Marking the southernmost point of mainland Asia, Tanjung Piai (or Cape Piai) is located in the Johor district of Malaysia, that opens on the eponymous Strait, and across which the Singapore skyline is visible. The Cape itself, set in the preserved environment of the Johor Regional Park, is surrounded by spectacular mangrove forests and has become a touristic destination. Piai is also the point at which the Johor Strait joins the famous Strait of Malacca, which has made the headlines over the past decade due to piracy. Coordinates: 1°15’ N – 103°30’ E.

 Article Photos Courtesy Mark Covell / Majan / Oman Sail

The Nigel Irens Design Majan, Skippered by Paul Stanbridge Under Sail (Photo by)

The Nigel Irens Design Majan, Skippered by Paul Stanbridge Under Sail (Photo by)

Oman Sail’s A100 trimaran ‘Majan’ has reached their second stopover in Cape Town, South Africa, after another epic leg full of drama, myths and one legendary Cape. The Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race is a new race, conceived by OC Events, that links the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia, and Majan is tracing out the new course ahead of the first official edition planned for spring 2012.

French sailor Sidney Gavignet will be joining Majan’s crew in Cape Town and will sail onboard the new A100 for the final three stages of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race. A very experienced offshore sailor, Sidney has just been announced as the skipper of Majan for the next edition of the solo Route du Rhum, starting from Saint-Malo in France this November.


Paul Standbridge and his five crew on board Majan left the paradise of the Maldives on 16th February for the 4,200m second leg, taking 13 days and 6 hours to reach the longitude of Cape Aguhlas at 16:02:57 GMT on Monday (1.3.10) marking the finish of leg two.

The big dive South proved eventful aboard Majan, after thousands of miles at sea, a crossing of the Equator with due respects paid to Neptune, a grinding halt due to the threat of a hurricane, Cape Agulhas in her wake, and up to 50 knots on the final night speeding Majan to the dockside below Table Mountain with her ‘memories tank’ brimming.

storm gelane

A fierce Indian Ocean weather system – Hurricane Gelane, to be precise – played with the sailors’ nerves and forced them to take counter-intuitive measures. Paul Standbridge and his troops had no idea they would be forced to pull the handbrake on hard in order to avoid nature’s wrath on their way South. But their caution paid dividends as they avoided the worst of the hurricane until she was downgraded to a tropical storm.

A cry of liberation welcomed the weather report downloaded last Wednesday as the tropical storm was replaced by a perfect breeze under glorious skies. “With 20 knots under our wings, amidst deep blue ocean rollers and a bright sunny sky, we were back on the quest like Knights of the Round Table, going South,” wrote Covell. But Majan was entering a whole new world on this challenging Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race course, getting the first hints of the feared and revered Southern Ocean. As Mohsin described it: “The waves have changed from being those ‘bumps in the road’, to large show-jumps, and now they are looking more like the side of a stable block!” By Monday (1.3.10), the crew were only 150 miles away from Cape Agulhas – the southernmost tip of the African continent (read below), separating the Atlantic and Indian oceans that marked the end of the second leg. This cape is set in a famously treacherous part of the world navigation-wise, and one of the most significant landmarks of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race.


All weather considerations put aside, arguably the most important aspect of the second leg has been the “transformation”, witnessed by media crew Mark Covell, of Mohsin Al Busaidi whose metamorphosis into a pure offshore racer now seems complete. “I asked him how he was doing,” Mark reported, and Mohsin replied on behalf of the boat rather than himself, “thinking the language of a sailor and dealing in the international currency of boat speed – his conversion is almost complete.” This episode marks a real milestone in the life of the campaign – a year on since Mohsin became the first Arab to circumnavigate the globe non-stop, and earning his way into the great confederacy of wave chasers is a moment to be proud of! The new A100 multihull not only has a great pedigree – designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret, constructed by Boatspeed and assembled in Salalah, Oman, under the expertise of Offshore Challenges’ Neil Graham – she was created for fully crewed inshore and offshore races whilst providing a training platform for up and coming novice sailors, as well as the option to be campaigned single-handed, all within a one-design rule.


As Majan skipper Paul Standbridge commented: “This has also been a good sea trial for Majan. We have just safely completed ten thousand sea miles [Note to Editors: since the launch of Majan last year]. We have had some damage and some wear and tear but nothing we can’t fix on the water. Structurally she is sound, she has been a very good boat and we are very happy with her. I’m very pleased with the two trainees – Mohsin continues to steer the boat well and the most improved is Mohammed. Leg 3 will be a much tougher leg. We are moving into the Southern Ocean with consistently higher winds and consistently bigger waves. We’ll hopefully do more than 600-miles in a day. I’m looking forward to it!”

Oman Sail’s Majan will remain in Cape Town until 9th March, then depart on the 4,800-mile Leg 3 for Fremantle, Australia, via Cape Leeuwin. Unfortunately for Oman Sail’s 75-ft trimaran Musandam, a boat that took Oman Sail’s crew non-stop around the world a year ago, was forced to return to Muscat. The intention was for Musandam to complete the entire course but technical problems with the mainsail prompted the decision to return to their Muscat base early to undergo a refit before handing the multihull over to a new owner who will also be competing in the Route du Rhum.

Cape Agulhas, between two oceans
cape Lying 90 nautical miles southeast of Cape Town, Cape Aghulas (“Cape of the Needles”) is the official dividing point between the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean – whose eastern border is marked by the southern tip of Tasmania. The region is notorious for being extremely dangerous for ships, notably because the Agulhas current (flowing from east to west) opposes the prevailing winds, allowing for the sudden formation of massive and steep waves… The area is now known as one of the high-risk zones as far as rogue waves (that can seem to come out of the blue and reach 30 metres in height) are concerned. Geologically speaking, Cape Aghulas’ mountainous formations are part of the Table Mountain Group. Its lighthouse was the second one built in the country, following a long series of shipwrecks, and was erected in 1848.
Geographical Coordinates: 34° 50’ S – 20° 00’ E

Majan and Musandam in The Maldives Skippers Paul Standbridge and Loik Gallon (Photo courtesy of Oman Sail)

Majan and Musandam in The Maldives Skippers Paul Standbridge and Loik Gallon (Photo courtesy of Lloyd Images/Oman Sail)


One of the best things about the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race route is that each individual leg provides its own unique challenges whether it be extreme temperatures, strong currents or gale force winds.

Either way you can guarantee that Musandam and the crew on board are going to tackle these challenges head on and with a bit of old fashioned grit and determination and come out the other side as better people and sailors for it. The first leg from Muscat to the Maldives certainly did this. With an unpleasant first night at sea to the unpredictable high pressure dominating the northern stretches of the Indian Ocean we certainly had our fair share of varying challenges. “The first challenge for me was allowing my mind and body to adapt the routine at sea”, Haitham tells me, “Once I had got used to the three hours sleeping followed by three hours on deck it became a lot smoother for me”.

Hooch, Nawaf, Haythem and Nobi In The Maldives (Photo courtesy of Oman Sail)

Hooch, Nawaf, Haythem and Nobi In The Maldives (Photo courtesy of Oman Sail)

For Haitham and Nawaf this is all new to them. Six months ago they both knew very little about the sailing world and as their team mate I can vouch for the excellent way they are improving and learning new things about maintaining and sailing of these powerful trimarans. Upon arrival to the Maldives, Musandam was met by an armada of support boats waving and shouting their support as the crossed the finish line off the island of Male. “Seeing all the boats welcome us here all waving the Omani flag was overwhelming and it struck home how significant our role is”. It is clear chatting with Haitham and Nawaf that the tone in their voice is one of excitement and its evident that they are thriving in the ambassadorial role that they are playing.
Since arriving in the Maldives the past few days have been spent preparing and restocking Musandam whilst also allowing some time for some rest before the next leg. Although we would all love to stay in this beautiful place, we are all itching to get back out on the water and take on the challenges that they next leg will throw at us. Next stop….Cape Town!

Blog entry by Nick Houchin aboard Musandam

Majan On Her Maiden Voyage (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail)

Majan On Her Maiden Voyage (Photo by Mark Lloyd /Lloyd Images / Oman Sail)

Oman Sail’s new A100 ‘Majan’ left Muscat (Oman) last Saturday (6.2.10) to begin the journey of tracing out the route of the new Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race course that links together the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Central Asia, ahead of the first official edition planned for Spring 2012. Alongside the 105-ft A100 multihull was Oman Sail’s 75-ft multihull ‘Musandam’ – a boat that has already circumnavigated the globe under the Oman Sail banner.

Ras al hadd

It was a relatively short first leg, only 1400 miles from Oman to the Maldives, but included passing the first of the five great capes – Ras Al Hadd. Literally meaning ‘the cape’ in Arabic, it is the easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula and Oman is very proud that this is the point where the suns first rays touch land on rising. Just short of 5 days of sailing Majan’s crew, skippered by Paul Standbridge, and Musandam reached the island of Male, capital of the Maldives, on Thursday (10.2.10).

The Oman Sail multihulls received a great send off from Muscat and were rewarded on arrival in the Maldives by a small armada of boats flying Omani flags. The first leg of this challenging new course proved to be testing for both crew and boat: “Over the next six hours we sailed under eight different sail combinations to cope with the wind’s fickle mood. We saw as much as 26 knots and as little as zero. Why is it in so many races and crossings the first night at sea, Mother Nature and King Neptune gang up and tries to catch you out?” wrote Mark Covell after the first day at sea. Navigator Thierry Douillard commented: “The weather for this first leg was not really ideal with High Pressure on the direct course, but we managed to cross and for the last two days, we were downwind with full main and gennaker – good fun.”


As the 105-ft multihull sped towards its Leg 1 destination, Mark reported: “Like a fast train on a downhill run, we are coming in with pace! The boat hums and whistles to the key of “C”, it’s like she’s on that train but listening to her own iPod, nodding her head with the beat and smiling from hull to hull.” The brand new A100 trimaran designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret endured a bit of a shakedown in the difficult sea state: “We knew about a small crack in the deck just behind the mast rotate pad eye. There was also a small grub screw to hold it all together that was also dipped in Loctite. It just goes to show that our night of shaking, rocking and rolling took its toll. The shock loads that shudder through the hull and rig are huge. If the outriggers were solid the boat would break up, but like an aircrafts flexible wing, we bend and bow with the moving waves”.

The ‘Majan’ crew led by Paul Standbridge includes two Omanis – Mohsin Al Busaidi, who became the first Arab to sail non-stop round the world on ‘Musandam’ and Mohammed Al Ghailani, who as the pseudo-apprentice, continues to impress: “He wears the medal for best-improved crew. He has spent a lot of the time on the helm being coached by Michael Giles. As I type this, he is on the helm pushing consistently good speeds and making the most of the dropping wind pressure.”


The Oman Sail crews will look forward to some rest as the shore team get to work to ensure the A100 is ready to depart for the 4,200-mile second leg from the Maldives to Cape Town, starting on the 16th February – the next chapter in the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race and the infamous Cape Agulhas.


The Maldives or Maldive Islands is an island country in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of 26 atolls stretching in a north-south direction off India’s Lakshadweep islands. Winner of the ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination’ at the World Travel Awards 2008. The atolls of the Maldives encompass a territory spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres. It is also the smallest Asian country in both population and area and the lowest highest point in the world, at 2.3 metres (7 ft 7 in). Majan’s media crew, Mark Covell who stands at 2m tall, expects to be see most of the 1,190 coral Islands from standing on the deck of Majan!


Majan On Her Maiden Voyage (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail)

Majan On Her Maiden Voyage (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail)

The Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race will pass the Capes of Ras Al Hadd (Oman), down to Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), across the frozen wastes of the Southern Ocean to Cape Leeuwin (SW Australia), past Cape Piai on the tip of the Malaysian peninsula (the southernmost point of mainland Asia, just to the west of Singapore), and back underneath Cape Comorin (southern tip of India) to Oman on the Arabian Peninsula. As the class of large ocean going trimarans like Majan (sistership to Thomas Coville’s Sodebo) grows, it is planned for this to develop as a recurring event on the ocean racing calendar.

The entire region is steeped in maritime heritage and legend, and is criss-crossed by a multitude of ancient and historically significant ocean trading routes. Professional and competitive sailing is only just awakening, but development of pro circuits will probably happen faster than the decades it has taken in Europe

Oman Sail’s new A100 Majan, designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret, was built in Australia before being assembled locally in Salalah (Oman).

Internationally renowned sailor, Paul Standbridge, skipper’s Majan alongside Mohsin Al Busaidi who became the first Arab to ever sail non-stop around the world on board Majan’s stablemate, the 75-ft trimaran Musandam back in March this year, and have for company two professional crew and two Oman Sail trainees plus a media crewman, Mark Covell.

Mark Turner, CEO, OC Events: “The launch of the new A100 class with the first sea miles of Majan presents us with an opportunity to develop these two new fascinating racetracks. These courses have both historical and sporting credibility, and equally commercial interest for sponsors of future competing teams. Between the ‘Tour of Arabia’ and the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’, we’re visiting 10 Key markets, passing through all the corners of the Indian Ocean via five great Capes, and linking the Middle East with Central Asia. Professional yacht racing might have developed with an Atlantic flavour, but the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean remain great unchartered territory for future sailing events.”