MOD70 European Tour : Lack of wind decides fifth place for Musandam-Oman Sai
Thursday, 06 September 2012
Musandam-Oman Sail was fifth across the line in Dublin in the early hours of Thursday after three days, 12 hours and 24 minutes of tight racing that saw the fleet of five giant tri-marans finish within an hour and a half of each other after 1238 miles in Leg 1 of the MOD70 European Tour.
The Sultanate of Oman’s flagship skippered by Sidney Gavignet (FRA) was holding onto fourth place until 20 miles from the finish after a thrilling 36 hour duel with Race for Water but ultimately the lack of wind decided the final ranking.
“We were in sight of Race for Water all the way from Norfolk to just short of Dublin. We stayed ahead all day Wednesday in the beat up to Wales and across to Ireland. But just before nightfall we were separated laterally by about two miles with them further offshore, we simply ran out of wind,” said helmsman Brian Thompson (GBR).
“But it was a fantastic race and our crew worked really well together in variable and testing conditions. We have the boat speed but we were just unlucky at the end. If our luck had held the entire fleet would have finished within half an hour of each other. That’s pretty amazing.”
Omani crew Mohsin Al Busaidi who was the first Arab to sail non-stop around the world described the Leg 1 course from Kiel to Dublin as fascinating especially passing famous landmarks of so many different countries.
“We had a patch of rough weather for about seven hours off Denmark’s famed Skagen Punt, we dodged the giant oil and gas platforms in the North Sea, saw impressive wind generator blades off the Thames Estuary and had a super fast downwind chase to England’s Land’s End in just over three days,” said Al Busaidi.
Thompson said that besides sending navigator Jeff Cuzons up the mast twice in rough upwind conditions to fix the lazy jack, they had no problems on Musandam-Oman Sail.
“The boat was fabulous. She is a fantastic machine, really well designed, well built and capable of being pushed really hard and fast in all wind speeds and angles. We hit 36 knots shooting down England and comfortably did 18 knots upwind.”
Thompson said a highlight was discovering that Omani Fahad Al Hasni is not only a talented helmsman and tactician but also has a great knack for photography.
“He took such awesome shots that he’s definitely created an extra job for himself on board.”
Skipper Sidney Gavinet said the crew had improved a lot as a team.
“The close in-port races last week before the start of Leg 1 start in Kiel, Germany were like racing dinghies in a canal and helped us enormously. Our crew work is getting slicker. The results will come and we are really looking forward to the next race,” said Gavignet.
MOD70 European Tour, Leg 1 Kiel to Dun Laoghaire, 1238 miles (times inGMT)
1-Michel Desjoyeaux (FONCIA) 23h 19 '09 Sept. 5 in 3d 10h 49' 09
2-Yann Guichard (Spindrift racing) at 23h 19 '40 in 3d 10h 49' 40 (+31secs)
3-Sébastien Josse (Groupe Edmond de Rothschild) at 23h 20 '26 in 3d 10h 50' 26 (1min 17secs)
4-Steve Ravussin (Race for Water) at 23h 54 '25 in 3d 11h 24' 25 (+35min 16sec)
5-Sidney Gavignet (Musandam, Oman Sail) at 00h 54 '00 Sept. 6 in 3d 12h 24' 00 (1h 34m 51sec)
See MOD70 European Tour images
Oman Sail is a national initiative established in 2008 to contribute to the development of Oman and Omanis through the sport of sailing. The equal opportunity project runs sailing programmes for thousands of young Omani men and women, inspiring a new generation to discover sailing. It encompasses a national sailing squad and high achieving inshore and offshore racing teams, all of which benefit from world-class coaching and whose ultimate objective is to win an Olympic medal for Oman. The programme has pledged to teach 30,000 Omani children to sail by 2015 at seven sailing schools to be built along the coast. The goal is to rekindle Oman’s maritime heritage while raising the country’s regional and international profile as a high-end tourist and foreign investment destination, through competitive sailing at home and abroad. Oman Sail seeks to instil confidence and to teach valuable, transferable life skills to a generation of Omanis.
Daphne Morgan Barnicoat
Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 September 2012 )