The Gulf Daily News reports Andrew Pindar as saying that flying the Bahrain flag on Team Pindar’s Vendee Globe entry, was his gift to the country in return for all Labour Minister Dr Al Alawi had done for him over the years.
Skippered by Brian Thompson, the yacht that features the Bahrain’s national crest on its sails was named after His Majesty King Hamad during a ceremony in France last week.
Speaking at an event to mark the start of the race, Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi called for Bahrain’s private sector to take more of an interest in events that help promote the country abroad.
He said businessmen, the tourism sector and the Information Ministry should do more to support activities that draw in foreign investment and help to put the island on the map.
Dr Al Alawi made the comments during a Press conference at the Labour Ministry headquarters in Isa Town, attended by public relations head Subah Salem Al Dossari and the head of his office Fawzia Shehab.
“The Vendee Globe is held every four years and today the boats race from Les Sables d’Olonne in France and all the 30 yachts will race around the globe for three months,” he said.
“Bahrain has had the chance to be promoted by having one of the yachts promoting the country.”
Dr Al Alawi and Bahrain’s Ambassador to France Dr Nasser Al Balooshi attended the event to mark the naming of the vessel in Les Sables d’Olonne.
The yacht is backed by the UK-based Pindar Group, whose chairman Andrew Pindar is a long-standing friend of the minister.
“The initiative comes from Team Pindar and there is no money being given in return for it is based on my personal relationship with Mr Pindar,” said Dr Alawi.
“The race will be viewed by more than 500 million people worldwide and this is the first time Bahrain will be presented at the event.”
“Team Pindar also has plans to develop the shipping manufacturing and open a sailing school for youth in the kingdom.”