by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
A London PR firm has contacted Scuttlebutt’s global headquarters, wanting to spread information about how foiling and ocean racing boats and sailors are in Jeddah in May and June as part of the season’s celebrations. Jeddah organized by the National Events Center of Saudi Arabia.
Apparently, this is an initiative run by Jeddah Yacht Club in partnership with the Saudi Sailing Federation and is designed to inspire and encourage more people to participate in sailing in Saudi Arabia.
Thanks to the America’s Cup defender, who had considered Jeddah as a potential venue for the 37th America’s Cup, I was able to locate this port city on a map. Thanks to professional golfer Phil Mickelson, his vision for the government of their nation is well known.
“These are scary mothers to get involved with,” Mickelson said. “… They killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible human rights record. They execute people there for being gay.
While all of this has little to do with a sailing publication that focuses on North America, I found myself wondering how much money this PR firm was paid. These are tough times at HQ, and Scuttlebutt could use an angel, but I digress.
While Jeddah lost to Barcelona, Spain in the America’s Cup draw, they are now paying a team of sailors to be based at the Jeddah Yacht Club and hold test sessions and demonstrations in futuristic boats including a Persico 69F, Waszps and Nikki Foil Boats, as well as Wing Foils and E-Foils.
“These incredible boats and boards will inspire more young people to sail and practice water sports,” said Samia Bagdady, CEO of the Saudi Sailing Federation. “The offshore racing boats that are here provide a different but equally spectacular insight into the incredible potential that the sport of sailing has for the people of Saudi Arabia.”
The government seeks for sailing to reflect Jeddah’s rich culture and heritage as well as its growing status as a major regional tourist destination. They even organize a women’s day to show Saudi women and girls that sailing is a sport open to them. That’s pretty good for a country where women have historically been suppressed.
“We are building a destination and a sport, so it is fitting to welcome these great boats and talented sailors,” Jeddah Yacht Club spokesman Adrian Peet said. “We want people to come to Jeddah Yacht Club and experience sailing. It is a relatively unknown sport in Saudi Arabia and our goal is to encourage more people to practice it.
Sounds good to me, especially since the Jeddah Yacht Club includes a beach club, an exclusive five-star hotel, restaurants, berths for the superyacht crowd, and exciting entertainment for memories that will last a lifetime. life. Bring the Red Sea!