Oman Air-Musandam stepped up her speeds at the Grand Prix Guyader this week edging the team closer towards training targets in their preparations for the Route des Princes 2013 around Europe next month.
Oman Air-Musandam stepped up her speeds at the Grand Prix Guyader this week edging the team closer towards training targets in their preparations for the Route des Princes 2013 around Europe next month.
Over a challenging four day programme of coastal races and timed runs across Douarnenez Bay in Northern France, French skipper Sidney Gavignet and his Oman-backed MOD70 crew which includes four new faces, identified and achieved a range of training objectives ahead of the Ar men Race later this week and the round Europe event for the Multi One Design boats starting in Valencia in June.
Oman Air-Musandam was one of a fleet of high-speed multihulls racing at the annual regatta. Another MOD70 Virbac-Paprec campaigned by Jean-Pierre Dick and Armel Le Cleach’s Banque Populaire, the largest racing trimaran in the world, were also gunning for Maxi class honours along with Lionel Lemonchois’ Prince de Bretagne.
“We won the last coastal race by a long way and although it wasn’t enough to beat Virbac-Paprec overall which was a shame, it was all very positive mainly because it was a light wind race and as a team, we have had no light wind sailing so far in 2013,” Gavignet said.
“This was more about integrating the crew than getting results and our crew work improved a lot during the week. Overall it was very good, including the shore team who are working well so all in all I am very happy. The atmosphere in the team was really good – good focus and good concentration which makes me confident for the future. I think we will do a good job together.”
Oman Air-Musandam was racing with three Omani sailors among its elite crew including MOD70 regulars Fahad Al Hasni and Mohsin Al Busaidi and young F18 professional Ahmed Al Hassani who was new to the boat.
“Mohsin had to go up the mast on the last day to make a repair and had to stay 25m up for the entire race – he did really well! Ahmed also did really well and fitted in nicely. He had very good input on tactics during the debriefs which was unusual and really helpful. Racing F18s means he is more aware about tactics and he made some very good points.”
The crew loved the timed run competition, which Oman Air-Musandam won. “The timed runs were good fun – they were new to us but it was a case of sheet off and away, sprinting over two and a half miles to see how fast we could go,” said British offshore sailor, Neil McDonald, helmsman onboard.
“We recorded a speed of 28.13 knots which was the fastest time for the maxis all week and of course the fastest in the entire fleet.”
Ahmed, one of the growing band of new talent emerging through Oman Sail’s unique sailing programme, gave his first experience of racing MOD70s the thumbs up after gaining an idea of what lies ahead for Oman Air-Musandam this summer.
‘’These boats are so fast and being new to the MOD70 it took me a while to get used to the speed but I really enjoyed it. The guys on the team especially Neal McDonald and Damian Foxall and of course Fahad Al Hasni from Oman have plenty of experience and already I have learned a lot from them.
‘’The next race will be a real test for them because it is almost 400 miles offshore. I won’t be joining them for that because they can only have six crew but I think they will do very well.’’
On Wednesday, a reduced six-strong Oman Air-Musandam crew take the boat 100 miles down the Brittany coast to La Trinite-sur-Mer where they will start the 360 nms Ar men Race on Thursday in competition with 120 other boats.
Testing weather conditions including gales have been forecast for the trip, which might force organisers to delay the start by 24 hours. The race is likely to take around 30 hours offering another chance for the team to bank some vital miles before the serious business of the Route des Princes gets underway.
Oman Air-Musandam’s crew for the Ar men Race is Sidney Gavignet, Neal McDonald, Damian Foxall, Fahad Al Hasni , Mohsin Al Busaidi and Thomas Le Breton.
Musandam-Oman Air MOD70 2013 race calendar
9-11 May: AR Men Race, La Trinité
6-30 June: La Route des Princes (Valencia-Spain, Lisbon-Portugal, Dun Laoghaire-Ireland, Plymouth-UK, Roscoff-France)
8 August: Cowes Week Artemis Challenge
11-13 August: The Rolex Fastnet Race
3 November: Transat Jacques Vabre
Musandam-Oman Air MOD70 2013 race squad
Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
Thomas Le Breton (FRA)
Fahad Al Hasni (OMA)
Mohsin Al Busaidi (OMA)
Neal McDonald (GBR)
Damian Foxall (IRE)
Ahmed Al Hassani (OMA)
Gilles Favennec (FRA)
Overall standings: Team AISM 1st, BAE Systems 2nd, EFG Bank (Monaco) 3rd – Short race leg brings drama in the dark for crews -
Dubai-based Team AISM has maintained the overall lead by claiming the fourth leg of the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour following a night of drama for the world-class crews from around the world and the Gulf region competing between Dubai and northern Emirate Ras Al Khaimah.At only 53 miles up the coast from Dubai to Al Hamra is the second shortest leg on the bruising 15 day and 760 nautical mile EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour and should have been routine. But due to Custom’s procedures in Dubai taking longer than anticipated, the scheduled mid-morning start was delayed until 14:50, forcing crews to re-equip themselves and their boats ready for a night time finish.The result was a race of intense fighting in darkness with the wind ranging from zero to as much as 17 knots, with the boats reaching or sailing downwind with Bertrand Pace’s overall leader, AISM, continually a nose ahead. Following AISM into Al Hamra were the youthful Team Messe Frankfurt led by Marcel Herrera and in third team BAE Systems.Yet the finishing order does little to tell of the drama that unfolded for the teams at around 20 miles out from the finish and an hour and a half after it turned dark. Just at a time when the boats were being pushed to limit sailing high under their big spinnakers, the fleet came across an area densely populated with fishing boats and their nets.
As Cedric Pouligny, skipper of BAE Systems described the high jump manoeuvre they had to perform each time they ran into a net: “Basically you went from 10 knots of speed to zero, then you had to broach and make even more heel before the boat could get off again.” Broaching normally occurs when a boat is overpowered in a gust, the rudder loses control and the boat is forced over on its side, but was necessary on this occasion effectively to lift the keel over the net.Unfortunately the result on this leg was determined by those who got through the fishing nets the fastest.
Speaking following another action-packed leg and night of drama Issa Al Ismaili, Director of Events at the race’s organiser Oman Sail said:“Firstly congratulations to team ASIM who continue to prove best equipped to deal with every challenge the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour offers including on this occasion fishing nets. Obviously such a test at night was not planned for. But that is sailing and this world-class regatta is having to overcome unique challenges on every single leg. Even this leg to Al Hamra at only 53 miles, the second shortest on the race schedules has pushed crews to face the unknown. We’re delighted all have made it safely to Ras Al Khaimah and our preparing themselves for the next round of in-port racing.” After their disappointing result on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai leg yesterday, Marcel Herrera’s University of Plymouth team on Messe Frankfurt had managed to get back in with the lead trio and were into fourth place when they encountered the nets. “I think we hit eight fishing nets – along with every other boat, but the other boats seemed to broach a bit more when they hit them,” said Herrera. “We ploughed through them and managed to get a good technique going so that we didn’t get caught.”Because of this Messe Frankfurt emerged in second place and as the wind dropped subsequently they were closing on first placed AISM as they crossed the finish line at 21:49 (local time), three and a half minutes after Pace’s team. “It makes up for yesterday,” said Herrera.AISM crewman Benoit Briand said that through the day their speed was good and being ahead they had been able to control their opponents before they encountered the fishing nets. “We were lucky that we got over them quite easily, our keel seemed to pass over the nets.”
The AISM team was also pleased that Messe Frankfurt came home second as it puts more distance between themselves and second placed BAE Systems in the overall results. “Bertrand is going to be even more difficult to beat. He is going to be hard to catch,” admitted BAE Systems skipper Cedric Pouligny.One of the most dramatic moments occurred when team BAE Systems and EFG Bank (Monaco) got caught on the same fishing net at the same time and started to get drawn into the middle of the net so that at one point they came very close to colliding, only 2m apart.
Mohsin al Busaidi’s Renaissance came home in fifth place. The Omani skipper, the first sailor from the Middle East to sail non-stop around the world, reckoned that his team had hit maybe seven nets. “We got stuck in the first one. It was a surprise because we were all together and only two boats got stuck and other boats got through.” Al Busaidi’s solution was speed: “If you are going more than 10 knots you can pass it. We stopped once for three or four minutes and at other times we were slowed down from 10 knots to 5 and then we were off again. Fortunately Mohammed in our team is a fisherman…”
Most disappointed last night when they got in was Dee Caffari’s women’s team on Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat and Kay Heemskerk’s Dutch team on TU Delft. Having been caught in nets and then further suffering after the wind went light, they finished outside of the time limit and have been scored ‘TLE’ (time limit expired) or seven points for this leg.“It was disappointing that we didn’t get to start until five hours late and then to sail through miles of fishing nets in the dark,” said Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat’s Liz Bayliss, one of two Americans in the all-female team that also includes four Omanis.Their race effectively came to a grinding halt when they got entangled in a fishing net and remained that way for more than an hour. “We hit something and then we got stuck – the fishing boat finally came over to us and cut the net but retrieved both ends of it. There were nets everywhere,” Bayliss continued.
After the late finish the two in-port races are being held today off Al Hamra with the first start attended by H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown prince of RAK and commencing at 11.00am.
Competing aboard identical Farr 30 yachts, the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour has attracted nine crews representing five different nations, led locally by Oman’s Team Renaissance, Royal Navy of Oman, Team BAE Systems and the all – female Team Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat. Two teams will compete on behalf of the UAE, Team Abu Dhabi and Team AISM. International crews include EFG Bank (Monaco), Team Delft Challenge – TU Delft (Holland) and the Team Messe Frankfurt (EU).
Taking in four countries and eight ports of call, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour is a showcase of everything that the Gulf has to offer in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and idyllic sailing conditions Leaving Manama on February 10th, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour calls at Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Dibba and Mussanah and ends February 25th in Muscat. The racing will include in-port racing at selected locations
Yann Guichard and Léo Lucet appreciate the results all the more because a year and a half ago, the Spindrift racing project was a sporting, technical and logistical idea jotted down on a blank sheet of paper. The boat is solid and reliable, the technical team is competent and expert, and the pure talent of the heavyweight sailing team are the ingredients of certain success. The sleek black and white trimaran showed its mettle throughout the different exercises, from the transatlantic race to the long coastal races, through speed runs and inshore courses. Léo Lucet, executive director of Spindrift racing and Yann Guichard are more than satisfied with this resoundingly successful entry into a class that they sincerely hope will develop and grow internationally.
Victors of two of the five legs, two City Race victories, Speed Match victories and bonus points at the departure of each leg, as well as a New York-Brest transatlantic crossing that was achieved in a record time… the whole team on sea and land can be complimented on a remarkable job. “The human aspect of the project is amazing,” states Yann Guichard. “It was a collective adventure, gathering together competencies on the water and logistical talent on land, and it all worked according to the high standards I set. No individual egos or guest stars in this group. I have built a story with people who are engaged and committed to the project, who share my drive and motivation and way of working.”
The program for this first MOD70 season was ambitious, with the Krys Ocean Race and the European tour, made to measure for the international potential of a new class of boats that must seduce a host of new partners. “This format is fantastic,” claims Léo Lucet. “It’s an exceptional international communications tool which worked wonderfully in New York and at every European tour city stopover. VIPs and journalists alike were able to sail with us, and the general public, a stone’s throw away from the boats, really enjoyed the show. The objective, which we reached, was to make the discipline spectacular to demonstrate the excellent visibility it offers to sponsors and partners.”
“It was a real sporting pleasure,” adds Guichard. “Exhausting, demanding – exactly what we, sailors, want.” Guichard, Lucet and the whole sailing team on the black and white catamaran, Pascal Bidégorry, Yann Eliès, Erwan Tabarly, Jacques Guichard, Sébastien Marsset, Jean-Baptiste Levaillant, Devan Le Bihan, Thierry Douillard, Kévin Escoffier, Christophe André, Frédéric Brousse, Nicolas Charbonnier as well as the team on land, Philippe Echassoux, Tim Carrie, Florent Le Gal, Nicolas Débordès and Astrid van den Hove rose to the 2012 challenge.
With its solid team, proven knowhow and indisputable talent on the water, Spindrift racing has climbed the charts in record time. The most immediate next challenge for the young company is to find a partner for MOD70 Nr 05, in order to share strong and motivating values. “Given our results, our media successes and the public’s enthusiasm for this new class, we hope to succeed in this too,” comments an optimistic Guichard.
The five trimarans all finished the races brilliantly, with no more serious incidents than the usual encounters with unidentified floating objects. This year Spindrift racing will have sailed some 15,000 miles, with an astounding mean speed of 28 knots last summer. No small feat and quite a reference in terms of dependability.
“We still aim to progress further”, concludes Guichard, “in all areas – sports, technical, human. We are optimistically and impatiently looking forward to 2013.”
General classification Multi One Championship 2012
1 – Spindrift racing EUR (Yann Guichard, FRA)
2 – FONCIA, FRA, (Michel Desjoyeaux, FRA)
3 – Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, FRA (Sébastien Josse, FRA)
4 – Race For Water, SUI (Stève Ravussin, SUI)
5 – Musandam, Oman Sail OMA (Sidney Gavignet FRA)
Rank Krys Ocean Race 2012
1- Spindrift racing (Yann Guichard)
2- Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse)
3- FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux)
4- Musandam, Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) a
5- Race For Water (Steve Ravussin)
Rank MOD70 European Tour 2012
1- FONCIA avec 284 points
2- Spindrift racing avec 282 points
3- Race For Water avec 244 points
4- Musandam-Oman Sail avec 242 points
5- Groupe Edmond de Rothschild avec 228 points
man Sail’s flagship boat Musandam-Oman Sail hurtled across the finish line in Marseilles today to celebrate their first win of an offshore leg in the MOD70 European Tour and lift them to third overall in the rankings.After battling with light winds from the start of the leg in Cascais on Thursday, the final few hours saw an altogether different struggle as Sidney Gavignet’s triumphant Omani and European crew encountered 35 knot winds which almost caused them to capsize just ten minutes from the finish.“We were going very fast – sometimes too fast,” said an emotional Gavignet.
“It was a bit scary going at those speeds in the black night. We almost capsized in the bay. The wind was dropping but we were caught by a 40 knot gust. The boat reared up – it was so sudden.”
This jolt came on top of discovering as they approached the finish that another 40 mile upwind stage had been added to the 1030 nm course making it an action-packed closing stage to a dramatic leg.
They completed the course from Cascais to Marseilles in 3 days 16 hours 11 minutes and 34 seconds, crossing the line two hours and 23 minutes ahead of second placed Steve Ravussin’s Race for Water and two hours and 45 minutes ahead of sailing legend Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia.
The result was a great testament to the developing skills of the Musandam-Oman Sail crew, Gavignet said, making special mention of Omani helmsman and trimmer Fahad Al Hasni, Khamis Al Anbouri also from Oman and navigator Jeff Cuzon from France.
“Fahad is a great example of what we are trying to do at Oman Sail. He has grabbed the opportunity of being part of Oman Sail and is running with it.
“He still has a lot to learn but he is becoming a serious offshore sailor, both technically and in terms of his energy. He is very positive and contributes to the team, which for me is almost more important than whether they are good or bad sailors.
“Being part of Oman Sail is a platform for doing something great and he is really making the most of his opportunity.
“We are all making progress especially Jeff Cuzon who has been doing a great job in the nav station. He understands better and better what these boats can do and what is and isn’t dangerous from a navigation point of view.
“Khamis came in and replaced Mohsin Al Busaidi for this leg but Mohsin took it the right way and although Khamis was seasick, his energy was impressive. I think he may have been our lucky charm.”
“I am so happy for the team – very proud of them and of our flag,” added Al Hasni.
“I always felt we could win because each time we finished a leg, we discovered something new and added to our experience. In this leg, we discovered we were very fast in the light winds, which has given us a lot of confidence.
“We have beaten some of the best sailors in the world by a long distance and that makes us proud,” said a tired Al Hasni who was planning on a big 24 hour sleep, waking up only when he needed to eat.
For Khamis al Anbouri, it was his first experience of sailing offshore after a career spent mainly racing inshore, during which time, he has posted a win against MOD70 European Tour rival Yann Guichard in the Extreme 40s
“It was my first offshore race and winning the stage was amazing. It shows we are competitive. I was seasick just for an hour but I was able to keep on working because I was so happy to be on board for the leg.
“I love to compete and win especially against these sailors because they are the best. I have now beaten Yann Guichard twice – one in the Extreme 40s and now this.
“It would be nice one day to see an Omani sailor skippering one of these boats and I shall be working very hard towards that aim.”
In Cascais last week, Michel Desjoyeaux, one of most admired and respected offshore sailors in the world commended the Musandam-Oman Sail crew on their progress in the European Tour.
“Sidney (Gavignet) and Oman Sail has improved fast as a team,” he said.
“It’s a very hard job to win because the delivery is very high on all the boats, and because the boats are one design it is difficult to be first.
“My advice for the young Omanis back home is that they have the opportunity today for some of them to sail on the MOD70 but it is the highest they can achieve at the moment. They have to consider that it is a real chance for them but to learn sailing they must sail as much as possible.
“They must sail every kind of boat they can, every race they can and don’t hesitate to take the chance to change boats and sail all kinds of boat, small boats, big boats, boats with full crew, short crew, offshore, inshore to get more experience.”
The Musandam-Oman Sail team will now get some rest ahead of the Marseille City Race which starts on Friday.
Leg 4 Cascais to Marseille
1. Musandam Oman Sail finish time: 07h 11m 34s (3 days 16 hours 11 minutes and 34 2 seconds)
2. Race for Water: 2h 23m 7s from winner
3. FONCIA: 2h 45m 32s from winner
28/09: Marseille City Race
29/09: Marseille City Race
30/09: Start of Leg 5 Marseille – Genoa
|Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet with his international crew became the third different team to win City Race series in successive stops of the MOD70 European Tour when they triumphed in the sixth race in Cascais, Portugal.|
|Musandam-Oman Sail won three of the six races sailed over three days, almost all in light breeze, which proved somewhat contrary to Cascais reputation for reliable strong winds. Smarting after losing second place to FONCIA in the final half mile to the finish of the offshore stage from Dun Laoghaire at dawn in very light airs early on Wednesday morning, Gavignet and his crew realised then they had a small deficit in speed to Michel Desjoyeaux’s crew. They made changes accordingly and, aligned to steady starting and some strong tactics from Jean Francois Cuzon, have remained very consistent, complementing their three wins with two thirds and a fifth to win ahead of Yann Guichard’s Spindrift racing.
Musandam-Oman Sail collect 12 precious points in the chase for the MOD70 European Tour while second place for Spindrift racing ensures they increase their overall lead in the general classification.
Spindrift racing and FONCIA chose to stay closer to the Cascais shore where they found some localised acceleration of the wind and were able to round the top mark in first and second.
With the breeze fading and developing big holes, although the MOD70′s moved with impressive efficiency in the light winds, Race Direction chose to halt the race after one round of the triangle course. This time the triangle course was upwind-downwind as opposed to the downwind-upwind format of yesterday and Friday.
Three boats were called over the start line early, FONCIA, Race for Water and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.
Musandam-Oman Sail emerged from with the lead and were able to stay ahead around the two lap course.
Race for Water restarted smartly and made a smart good recovery at the top end of the first windward leg. In the end they were able to push Musandam-Oman Sail hard at the finish line.
Results after six City Races
MOD70 European Tour Standings. After two offshore stages and three City Race series.
Sidney Gavignet, FRA skipper Musandam-Oman Sail (OMA): “ We are happy, we won three races from six which is pretty good. It is great, just great. What is good is that we just work on making progress and we did not need to make big progress, but to just keeping making progress step by step all the time wherever you start from and we started pretty low. We lost crew on the first race in Kiel. We broke the daggerboard in Dublin, so we were starting from quite low, and had some problems. But we kept working. We kept the positive spirit and little by little we get more cards to play the game with. What we learned here, if we had those two cards on the way in, we would have been second from Dublin. One is easy we could not pass the battens across in the light winds and the other is speed with the gennaker. So for sure we are making progress and growing in confidence and that affects the others who lose in confidence, we need to keep progressing.
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Winds averaging 15 knots, with some stronger gusts, provided ideal conditions for competitors at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and for a record-breaking circuit of the Isle of Wight.
The start for the SB20 (formerly SB3) class was in relatively light winds, but the fleet encountered big gusts and lulls only a few hundred metres to the west. After the start it was the overall leader, Jerry Hill’s sportsboatworld.com, and Mark Devereux’s Tobias that emerged from the pack first, with the boats closest to shore Boysterous of Wembley and Paul Wood’s Ausis One also looking well placed.
Hill, a length ahead of the fleet, was the first to sail into the stronger pressure, accelerating a useful few lengths clear. However, it was Colin Simonds’ Doolalli, sailing with a family crew, that played the gusts and lulls to perfection. Four minutes after the start he was in a commanding position, a nose ahead and two or three lengths to windward of Hill.
With the wind increasing during the day, the class enjoyed some super-fast downwind legs, planing at speeds into the mid to upper teens. With Simonds having been forced to retire, on the long final run to the finish, the contest at the front of the fleet was between sportsboatworld.com and Space Docker, the second-placed boat overall.
The lead changed several times as the pair gybed downwind, staying as close to the shore as possible to escape the strongest of the adverse tide and delighting spectators on the Green. At the finish they were only nine seconds apart, with Sportsboatworld.com taking the winning cannon, nine seconds ahead. It was to be another eight minutes before the next boat, Dave and Zorana Bull’s Australian entry Jester 3, finished.
The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week started heading west from the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) line, with two IMOCA 60 monohulls and two giant MOD70 one-design trimarans racing anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight.
Michel Desjoyeaux’s Foncia and Mike Golding’s Gamesa were side by side at the gun, with both boats in the other team, Artemis Ocean Racing and Oman Sail, four to five lengths behind. The two IMOCA 60s had reefed mainsails, looking very under powered in the lee of the hill behind the RYS, but well heeled as they emerged into clearer wind and the stronger gusts.
Just before 1220 the giant rig of Foncia appeared from behind the headland at East Cowes and came storming past the RYS, flying two hulls, on the completion of her circuit of the Isle of Wight. Oman Sail was about one-third of a mile behind and finished 88 seconds later. Despite having to tack several times on the first leg to the Needles, both were more than 10 minutes inside the record time set by Playstation 11 years ago. Foncia’s new record stands at 2 hours, 21 minutes, 25 seconds.
Playing it safe
By the time of the later White Group starts, the ebb tide was running fast, with many competitors struggling to stay the correct side of the line. Tom Holbrook, Ed Glanville and Angus Mayhew’s Mermaid Naomi was one such casualty, but Chris Cotterell and Will Caws’ Adastra approached from behind with speed to make the best start at outer end of the line. However, it was the boats inshore Anthony Eaton’s Dragonfly and Kate Broxham’s Miranda that came out ahead, with Dragonfly to windward and with more speed building a big early lead.
Eaton retained this at the finish, but by the tightest of margins? three further boats finished within the following 36 seconds. Next was Terry and Matthew Kavanagh’s Scuttle, just one second ahead of Charles Glanville’s Rosemary. A few lengths later John Edwards’ Zara crossed the line to take fourth.
The next start was for the Victory class, with everyone staying well back from the line and almost every boat still pointing away from the first mark with only 20 seconds to go. Delphine Freeman and Andrew Terry’s Minx appeared to be best placed at the gun, but again it was the boats closest inshore Mark Dennington’s Ziva and Graham Stone’s Unity ? that came to the fore a few minutes after the start.
Unity sailed low and fast to come out just ahead of the main pack, while Ziva stayed high, building a considerable windward advantage. At the finish she was five and a half minutes ahead of Geoff and Sarah Dixon, Maxine Reeves and Hugh Winter’s Zelia, giving Dennington an unbroken run of first places this week. Kim and Sally Taylor’s Zest finished third, only six seconds behind Zelia.
A big win
The 83-strong XOD fleet started on a longer line than the other classes, with a bias that favoured the offshore end a little more strongly than the fixed line used for earlier classes. As with the Victorys, every skipper took a very conservative approach to the start with one minute to go all but a handful of boats were still pointing away from the line, with many as much as 200-300 metres away. When the line was called all clear at the start, a cheer went up on the RYS platform.
Jeremy Lear, John Tremlett, Richard Bullock and Richard Jord’s Lass started mid-line on starboard, tacking offshore onto port at the start, two and a half lengths astern of Alastair and Jackie Ashford and Richard Neall’s Foxglove, but ahead and to windward of Ado Jardine’s Lucrezia. Jardine’s brother Stuart’s Lone Star also looked good further inshore, while closest to shore were the two boats leading the fleet after the first four races: Steve & Peter Lawrence and Paddy Smart’s Catherine and Andy Shaw’s Phoenix, the latter a little to windward but two lengths further back.
After a couple of minutes, Foxglove emerged at the head of the fleet, but gradually fell back, with the advantage passing to Lass. There were many sharp gusts at this stage, with boats only a few lengths apart alternately heeling sharply and depowering in gusts at the same time as their neighbours were standing upright in a lull.
The inshore boats that had the benefit of relatively flat water, even though they were in a weaker tidal stream, again did well. Paul Kelsey’s Anitra was the first of the leaders to tack on to starboard, off Egypt Point, passing astern of Lass and Phoenix, but forcing Catherine into an expensive short tack inshore. Lass was able to continue to extend her lead, keeping out of the many close tussles between the boats in her wake, finishing more than three and a half minutes clear of the rest of the fleet. Fraser Graham and Tim Copsey’s Astralita just secured second place, three seconds ahead of Willy McNeill and Ted Tredrea’s Lara.
Catherine finished twenty seconds later to take fourth, a sufficiently good result to retain her place at the top of the leaderboard, three points ahead of Lass. With only four points separating the top three boats in this big fleet, the final two days of the regatta promises the most exciting racing to be found in any fleet.
Black Group yachts starting off the RYS headed to the east, with many boats hoisting spinnakers. Pavlova lll was first to go for the spinnaker at the start of the Sigma 38 class, with a very smooth hoist. However, Kevin Sussmilch’s Mefisto came out well and went on to win today’s race by a margin of more than four minutes over Pavlova lll.
Having now notched up three firsts and three second places, Sussmilch wins the class overall with a day to spare. Similarly, a fourth place today for Chris and Vanessa Choules With Alacrity was enough to secure second place overall, with total of 19 points. However, there?s still a tight battle for third place overall, with six boats in contention and separated by only a handful of points once the discard is applied.
Two other Black Group classes now have both first and second places sewn up. In the Contessa 32, where Ray Rouse’s Blanco has a total of eight points and Eldred Himsworth’s Drumbeat 11. A fifth win for Jonathan Calascione and Jonny Goodwin’s J/109 Harlequin puts them in an unassailable position at the head of the class?s overall standings, while a fifth place for Christopher Sharples and Richard Acland’s Jolene ll was sufficient to secure second overall. However, half a dozen boats are still in contention for third.
In IRC Class 0 a first place today for Peter Cunningham’s TP52 Powerplay his fourth of the week seals his overall victory. In the normally very competitive First 40.7 fleet, Calvin Reed’s Elandra won a sixth successive race, to win the class with a day to spare. There is, however, still intense competition for second and third places overall.
In IRC Class 3 Bernard Olesinski’s X-40 Xinska won her fifth race of the week to secure class victory with a day spare, while a third place did the same for Grant Gordon’s J/97 Fever Glenfiddich in IRC Class 5.
Today was also the regatta’s Ladies Day, with the trophy this year awarded to Annie O’Sullivan of Girls for Sail in recognition of her selfless contribution to women in sailing.
Report by Rupert Holmes
Michi Mueller, born in Kiel, Germany, joins Oman’s Multi One Design 70, Musandam-Oman Sail, as a member of the inshore race crew for the upcoming European Tour which kicks off in Kiel on 30 August.
The German sailor will bring additional offshore experience to the multi-national crew that selects its members as much for their knowledge as their ability to transfer it to the Omani team members onboard.
Skipper, Sidney Gavignet from France, has included fellow Frenchmen Jeff Cuzon and Thomas Lebreton, plus the fastest man around the world, Brian Thompson from the UK, in addition to Mohsin Al Busaidi and Fahad Al Asni from Oman. Michi Mueller will join Khamis Al Amburi, as inshore race crew for the European Tour inshore races.
Mueller grew up in one of the most popular areas for sailing in Germany and took up keelboat sailing in his youth, racing on IMS 30s and other big boats as he looked to build his experience. His break into professional sailing came in 2005 when he joined United Internet Team Germany for the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain. This was swiftly followed by a Volvo Ocean Race campaign on Puma in 2008/9 in which they finished runners-up. Next came the All4One Sailing Team, a French/German collaboration that competed in the Louis Vuitton Trophy in France, New Zealand, Italy and Dubai and also the Audi MedCup on TP52s. Michi has just finished his second VOR on Puma, finishing third.
Musandam-Oman Sail’s Sidney Gavignet first worked with Michi on Puma Racing in 2008 and believes the German will be a valuable addition to the crew. Having served his apprenticeship in offshore racing just a few years ago, Michi estimates he has since clocked up more than 100,000 nautical miles of hard racing across the world’s oceans.
Now he is looking forward to bringing his experience to Oman Sail and helping the up and coming Omani sailors learn more in this challenging but rewarding career. With a background in engineering, his technical knowledge will also be a useful asset to the team.
“I’m looking forward to joining Oman Sail as inshore race crew, I enjoy the in-port racing in particular,” says Michi, “and I like working on perfecting manoeuvres, developing systems and experimenting with new ways of doing things. The crew are already on a good learning curve, they had some problems on the transatlantic race after the boat suffered from foil damage, but these are all learning experiences. I hope to be able to bring something to the team and to be able to contribute to the Omani’s experience.”
Already some major milestones have been passed, not least that Omani crewmembers Fahad Al Hasni and Mohsin Al Busaidi became the first Omanis to complete a transatlantic race on board an Omani boat.
Gavignet describes their contribution as “immense”, and despite limited experience, their progress over the five action-packed days across the Atlantic, deeply impressive. “Since they left Lorient, the difference in Fahad and Mohsin has been huge in terms of attitude, work rate, knowledge of manoeuvres and what we should be doing next,” says Gavignet. “They have contributed hard work and good humour to our team. They have become excellent seamen and superb mariners. It’s been fantastic sailing with them.”
The Musandam-Oman Sail MOD 70 is heading to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, UK, for the Artemis Challenge on 16 August before sailing to Kiel to start the European Tour.
Multi One Design European Tour 2012 – calendar
30 August: media day
31 August: Speed Match
1 September: City Race
2-5 September: Kiel to Dublin offshore
7 September: Speed Match
8 September: City Race
9-12 September: Dublin-Cascais offshore
14 September: Speed Match
15 September: City Race
16 September: City Race
17-18 September: Around Portugal
20-23 September: Cascais-Marseille offshore
28 September: Speed Match and City Race
29 September: City Race
30 September-2 October: Marseille-Genoa offshore
3 October: Pro-Am racing
Musandam-Oman Sail Crew List
Mohsin Al Busaidi (OMA)
Fahad Al Asni (OMA)
Brian Thompson (GBR)
Jean François Cuzon (FRA)
Thomas Lebreton (FRA)
Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
Khamis Al Amburi (OMA)
Michi Muller (GER, from Kiel)
|Yann Guichard and his crew of five crossed the finish line on Thursday July 12 at 12hrs 08m 37s UTC (14hrs 08m 37s) to take overall victory in the inaugural KRYS OCEAN RACE transatlantic race in an elapsed time four days 21 hours 08 minutes 37s, an average of 25.03 kts on this 2950 miles race course.|
|In this first ocean race for the new MOD70 one design multihull class, Spindrift racing finished about an hour and a half ahead of Sébastien Josse’s Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and FONCIA, who were about a quarter of an hour behind second, after a great race across the Atlantic from New York to Brest in winds which is rarely dropped below twenty knots …This is the first great ocean racing victory for Yann Guichard.
At 38, this former Olympic Tornado catamaran sailor, who finished fourth in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, has amassed considerable multihull experience offshore with Marc Guillemot, Bruno Peyron and Franck Cammas, racing solo across the Atlantic in 2010, but also on the Swiss lakes in the D35 and M-2 multihulls.
He has also raced inshore as helm in the America’s Cup World Series and the Extreme 40 series.
Launched in January this year, Spindrift racing is MOD70 hull number 5, and has been taken on by his crew, which includes Pascal Bidégorry, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Jacques Guichard, Leo Lucet and Kevin Escoffier.
Bidégorry, Escoffier and Le Vaillant are among those who set the existing outright Atlantic record in 2009.
Spindrift racing sailed an actual 3284 miles on the water at an average of 28.04 knots.