The Omani ship Shabab Oman has won the prestigious Sail Training International Friendship Trophy at the culmination of The Tall Ships' Races 2008 in Den Helder today. The Omani ship was an exceptionally popular winner, and a huge cheer rang around the port when the ship's name was announced.
The Sail Training International Friendship Trophy epitomises the objective of the races and is awarded to the vessel which, in the opinion of the entire race fleet, has done the most to help further international friendship and understanding during the races. The Omanis are always popular competitors in the races - always friendly, forever smiling and making their unique music.
The prize-giving followed a typically noisy and colourful crew parade through the streets of Den Helder, the final port in this year's race series. Altogether, some 85 vessels took part in the entire event, with around 5000 young people aged between 15 and 25 making up half of the crews.