MOD70 European Tour : Musandam-Oman Sail takes the lead on leg two
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Musandam-Oman Sail has moved into the lead as the tightly-packed fleet of MOD 70s pass the northern coast of Spain and plan their approach to the finish of the second leg of the European Tour in Cascais.
Latest position reports show the Omani flagship with a 1.2 mile advantage over former leaders Spindrift but with just eight miles separating all five trimarans, the celebrations are not likely to start just yet, according to helmsman Brian Thompson.
“We are not punching the air because you have to be in the lead at the finish so we are just concentrating on going fast and not making any mistakes but it feels good and is a pay off for all our hard work so far,” Thompson said.
“It shows you how close the MOD 70 racing is and we have seen on this leg with Race for Water how a small problem can set you back though they are back in sight now. We are in a good position but when things are this close, it’s important we stay focussed.”
The remaining 350 miles of the second leg from Dun Laoghaire in Ireland to Cascais are likely to present a few hours of frustration with the strong breeze likely to ease later on Tuesday when the fleet is set to grind to a halt with progress uncertain.
For the moment though, the temperatures are rising as they move south and, charging along at more than 27 knots, Sidney Gavignet’s crew on Musandam-Oman Sail are maintaining the highest speeds in the fleet.
Omani helm Fahad Al Hasni has made a significant contribution to their progress with some fast driving under gennaker while Moshin Al Busaidi has been key to the smooth sail changes and running all the systems on board.
Both crew members were excited by the current success of Musandam-Oman Sail though understood there was a lot of work to be done to protect their position until the finish line.
“I feel very happy and hope we can stay in the lead right to the end,” said Al Busaidi.
“The whole team is working very hard to hold our position – I think we are working together better than ever and we are seeing the results.
“It would mean so much to us if we could win this leg but we know there is not much wind ahead so we have to carry on working hard.”
Daphne Morgan Barnicoat
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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.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 September 2012 )