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
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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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.
|For the leaders of the KRYS OCEAN RACE the frontal system that they have ridden since Saturday night continues to prove the gift, which keeps on giving.|
|Before leaving New York, initial predictions suggested that the five MOD70’s would benefit for at least three to four days, but as the leaders now contemplate negotiating the north east side of the Azores high pressure system, it now seems likely they will have every chance of curving progressively towards Ireland, the Scillies gate and then to the finish line in Brest with hardly any reduction in speed.Sébastien Col, tactician and helm from FONCIA, even suggested today that the most favourable weather files had them reaching the finish with no gybes.With the S-SW’ly winds still hitting over 30kts this afternoon, their fourth since leaving Manhattan, the speeds of the three leading MOD70’s continue to be impressive. Spindrift racing have clocked up another day of more than 700 miles on the mid afternoon rankings, holding their average speed just under 30kts.So far Spindrift racing’s remarkable 711.9 miles sailed over 24 hours, set Monday, is the highest run yet.Yann Guichard and his team, which has lead since Sunday night, still managed to increase their margin on the chasing duo today. With around 1300 miles to sail to the finish, Spindrift racing was holding an advance of 50 miles this afternoon ahead of Seb Josse and crew on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with FONCIA 13 miles behind them in third.Foncia’s Sébastien Col told the live radio call today that their best option should present itself as they pass over the Azores high pressure system. Depending on its evolution as the more southerly boat of the leading trio, FONCIA may find a better, reaching angle sooner whilst their two opponents may find themselves slowed, on a more downwind, open angle.
But patience has, to some extent, been part of the FONCIA strategy, Col acknowledging on today’s radio vacation with KRYS OCEAN RACE HQ in Brest, that both Spindrift racing and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild have continued with better wind strength and angle.
Col said: “ We are slightly slower than them and just have to try to sail the boat as fast as we can. With this little disadvantage we try to cross the high pressure not too far behind these two guys, and then try to catch places after.”
The mood remains stoic, mostly upbeat on fourth placed Musandam-Oman Sail. They have adapted well to their compromised predicament, managing to replace their damaged port foil with the starboard one, a delicate manoeuvre in 25-30kts of wind which required all the strength of three crew plus one helping the lift on a halyard. Though they had tried to sail without a foil, they had found the boat liable to nosediving. But in their new configuration they were making a decent 26 knots average this afternoon, but were some 122 miles behind FONCIA.
The leading boats are expected Friday, spearing right into the first day of the massive Tonneres de Brest maritime festival.
The 20th anniversary international gathering of mariners and craft of all shapes and sizes is expected to attract somewhere around 800,000 visitors to Brest’s seven kilometres of waterfront festivities and runs 13th to 19th July.
Sébastien Col, FONCIA, tactician, trimmer, helm: “Today FONCIA is sailing just above Spindrift and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, our target is the waypoint to the north of the high pressure which we will reach in approximately 24 hours. We are sailing a little slower than Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Spindrift because we are a bit more south than them and have a little bit less wind and they have a better angle and so that means we are slightly slower than them so just have to try to sail the boat as fast as we can. With this little disadvantage we try to cross the high pressure not too far behind these two guys, and then will try to catch places after. We are targeting only one gybe to approach the Scilly Islands. One of the best routages we have actually shows that we have no gybes, and so that even suggests it will be very fast for the end of the race.”
Ryan Breymaier, No 1, Musandam-Oman Sail: “We are going well at the moment – pretty much full speed. When the foil failed, we had to take it out because there was a lot of turbulence and drag and the boat was very slow – about 22 knots – though when it came out completely, the bow dug in a lot so we had to reduce sail. We didn’t feel comfortable trying to change the foil from one side to the other during the night but now we have the foil from the starboard side on the port side, which makes things normal again. The guys are getting tired as it weighs 100kgs and takes three crew plus one on the halyard every time we change it over, but hopefully we will only have to do it twice more during the race.”
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The Omanis on board Oman’s flagship, the Multi One Design 70, Musandam-Oman Sail made history today when they crossed the Krys Ocean Race start line in New York to race across the Atlantic to Brest, France.
The 70ft trimaran was first off the dock this morning and emotions were running high: “I am ready and very, very proud!” said Mohsin Al Busaidi, who was the first Arab to sail around the world. “It’s the first time an Omani boat with Omani crew has raced across the Atlantic and I am proud that Fahad and I are representing our country onboard and hope that in the future we will have more and more Omanis sailing with us.”
Major General (Retired) Albert Whitley, Oman Sail executive director, was in New York to watch the start in Manhattan: “It’s a remarkable day for Oman, a great day for the crew and a great day for the youngsters of Oman looking at this. The Omanis on board are transforming themselves from being extremely competent seamen to being offshore racers. We are in a fleet of five evenly matched boats and are competing against some of the best in the world – what could be better?” He added: “We have three priorities: to get the crew safely to Brest, to get the boat safely to Brest and to do as well as we can. I am very proud of them.”
French skipper Sidney Gavignet’s multinational crew includes the fastest man around the world Brian Thompson (GBR), who is 2nd in command and will also be the media man onboard: “This is a very challenging fleet to race against, we will be focussing on getting across safely and sailing well, we’ll be trying to get a good result in Brest,” he said.
There were no points on offer in the prologue race and New York Speed Match this week, but the 3,342 nm transatlantic race offers the first chance for the five crews on board their high speed trimarans to race for points and steal a march on opponents ahead of the rest of the MOD70 programme.
“It’s quite special to be skippering Musandam-Oman Sail on its first Atlantic race, the fleet is tough, the competition will be high, but I am proud to be leading the team on board in what is the Omani’s first major offshore race and our first proper adventure together,” said Sidney Gavignet (FRA), skipper.
As the only American in the fleet, Ryan Breymaier from Maryland said: “It’s pretty exciting for me to have the opportunity to represent my country on board such a multinational boat as this one with French, British and Omani sailors. The weather is looking good for the crossing, which should get us over pretty quickly which is always a good thing! Starting a boat race under the skyscrapers of Manhattan is pretty impressive.”
The five-strong MOD70 fleet crossed the start line positioned beneath the Statue of Liberty shortly after 1100.
Musandam-Oman Sail MOD 70 race crew
- Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
- Mohsin Al Busaidi (OMA)
- Fahad Al Hasni (OMA)
- Brian Thompson (GBR)
- Jeff Cuzon (FRA)
- Ryan Breymaier (USA) (stand-in for Loik Gallon (FRA), who is injured)