Yesterday, I watched a very interesting panel discussion featuring Stephen Fry and Twitter founder Biz Stone about whether social media was a force for good. It reminded me that not all sailing is about money and power and that the sport has the ability to change people’s lives.
As the bickering billionaires edged closer towards actually sailing an America’s Cup race, Andrew Pindar OBE and Team Pindar were launching the first phase of the Sail Bahrain project at Amwaj Marina.
Just as the Oman Sail project aims to use sailing as a nation building exercise, the main objectives of Sail Bahrain are to work with the BMSA on developing a best-in-class sailing and water sports academy; bring major international sailing and water sports events to Bahrain on a regular basis and create training and educational programmes targeted at young people from across society. Sail Bahrain aims to work with schools, polytechnics and universities to ensure that the right courses and teachers are in place and qualifications gained.
Andrew Pindar along with HE Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa, Chairman of the General Organisation of Sea Ports, officially welcomed the arrival of the two spectacular 60 foot Volvo ocean-racing yachts with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Operated by Team Pindar and offering unique sailing experiences, in Bahrain and throughout the Gulf, both Volvo 60s are available for training, corporate hospitality, team-building and yacht charter initiatives.
HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board commented:
“We are delighted to welcome the launch of Sail Bahrain and two of its magnificent 60 foot yachts to our Amwaj Marina. Bahrain’s 5000 year history and culture has always been closely linked to the sea and that tradition is very much alive today with the new Khalifa bin Salman Port and the growth of our maritime tourism infrastructure.
“Sail Bahrain will create a training school for young Bahrainis to help develop our sailing champions of the future, be it Olympians or round-the-world adventurers. Initiatives like Sail Bahrain nurture sporting heroes for the future and so create role models who can inspire every Bahraini to be proud of our nation’s achievements. We wish Sail Bahrain every success in becoming a world-class centre of excellence, enhancing the Kingdom’s ability to host world class sailing events, building on the success of Andrew Pindar and his team and of course Bahrain’s own sailing Olympian Sami Kooheji. Good luck everyone.”
The brainchild of Andrew Pindar, the Sail Bahrain project has been in development for well over a year and with the arrival of the highly visible and exciting Volvo 60’s the project is now a reality. Based in Amwaj Marina at Amwaj Islands, the boats are a platform for the Sail Bahrain project whilst offering bespoke marketing opportunities at key locations throughout the Gulf.
Chairman of the Pindar Group and founder of Sail Bahrain, Andrew Pindar OBE DL said:
“We are delighted to launch Sail Bahrain and welcome the arrival of the Volvo 60’s as the first stage in the Sail Bahrain project. The Kingdom of Bahrain has a rich maritime history and is a great country which is blessed with perfect sailing conditions. Sail Bahrain aims to create a new and exciting future for sailing and water sports in the Kingdom which will create many jobs and opportunities for the people of Bahrain. Having the Volvo 60’s here is the first step, with future plans including an intention to develop an iconic yacht club along with a youth education programme giving Bahrainis the chance to compete on the global sailing stage.”
Captain Peter Gronberg, Managing Director, GAC Bahrain stated:
“We are very proud to be involved and associated with the Sail Bahrain initiative. As the first phase of Sail Bahrain the two Volvo 60 racing yachts give locals and visitors alike a unique opportunity to get a taste of the very best of ocean racing. The Sail Bahrain project is extremely exciting and offers so much more than bringing these spectacular boats in the Kingdom. Here at GAC we are delighted to be involved in this exciting project which offers sailing and education as well as the chance for Bahrainis to engage from beginner level through to developing world championship sailing skills.”
The dynamic experience of being part of the Team Pindar crew and sailing on one of these incredible boats is available to individuals and corporate companies alike. Team Pindar Director, Nick Crabtree explains:
“What we’re offering in the first phase of Sail Bahrain is tailor made experiences that are not available anywhere else in the Gulf. The opportunity to helm and sail on the Formula 1 of offshore sailing vessels will truly be the experience of a lifetime. We have a full professional crew with exceptional international sailing experience and thousands of ocean miles under their belts. At Team Pindar we pride ourselves on operating at the very pinnacle of the sport whether that is in competing at the highest levels or through our bespoke sailing services. Sailing on one of our yachts whether it is with your colleagues, friends or as part of our crew, we guarantee you a memorable voyage.”