Please select your home edition
Edition
Doyle Sails New Zealand

Transat Jacques Vabre - Competition Stiffens towards the finals

by Oman Sail on 17 Nov 2013
The Oman Air MOD70 in action today, Skippered by Sidney Gavignet (FRA) with team mates Thomas LeBreton (FRA), Fahad Al Hasni (OMA), Neal McDonald (GBR),Damian Foxall (IRL), Philip Rivett (AUS), Ahmed Al Hassani (OMA) and Giles Favennec (FRA) Lloyd Images/Oman Sail© http://www.omansail.com
With just 700nms to go to the finish of the 5,450nm Transat Jacques Vabre, Oman Air-Musandam – the Sultanate of Oman’s flagship MOD70 campaign – has made significant inroads on Edmond de Roths child’s lead, sitting just 39nms behind on Sunday morning.

The Franco-Irish duo of skipper Sidney Gavignet and co skipper Damian Foxall has been taking it in turns to steer, not wanting to leave anything to chance in the closing stages of the Transat Jacques Vabre. 'Our hands are worn to tatters,' said Sidney this morning. 'But it will be worth it if we can make up these last few miles and cross the line ahead of Gitana!'

Averaging 25knots of boat speed in the past 24 hours, the duo is approaching the Bay of Rio and another weather system. Jean-Francois Cuzon the Oman Air-Musandam router has warned that the conditions over the next two days are very complicated.


Having completed a gybe and a sail change, Sidney picked up the Satellite phone to update us on the latest news from the boat:

'Damian is on the helm right now – we just swapped the jib with the gennaker and that took almost an hour! You have to prepare the sail, staggering around with the motion of the boat in the waves and then you have to slow down and engage the autopilot so that you can both deal with the sails and do it quicker, then you have to tidy up and put up the staysail – it’s quite a process!

'So that is how I spent my off watch time, but it doesn’t matter as I managed to get some good rest earlier on. We are getting close to the finish and are in good shape on board. For the first part of the race we were operating very much as a duo, but now we’re able to operate single-handedly more and more which helps a lot with getting enough rest in order to be sharp and fresh to keep the speed up during the next watch.


'We are helming a lot and our hands are suffering for it, not quite bleeding yet, but not far off – we’ve been on this tack almost exclusively since Cape Finisterre. Right now we are doing 21 knots of boat speed downwind.

'There are still some challenges to come before Itajaii; we have to get through a small front with very little wind behind it, there will be a little from the north and a little from the south. It will be pretty tricky for both boats.

'In the meantime, I am going to get dry and sleep for 20minutes before heading back up on deck and attacking for three hours! Over and Out.'

The duo on board Oman Air-Musandam has the pedal to the floor and the 11th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre promises a match race to the end.

The current ETA is conflicting, but the earliest the MOD70s are expected in Itajaii, Brasil, is Monday afternoon. More from Damian and Sidney then.

Hood SailsZhik ZKG 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Just make it all about the gold…
It was certainly the title that got me thinking about said precious metal. It was certainly the title that got me thinking about said precious metal. The email simply said, ‘Unlocking the potential of the Broadwater through sport.’ I had been in and out of the Gold Coast Seaway a few times in the last couple of months, with the last the most memorable. You see Maverick had decided to buzz the tower, so to speak.
Posted today at 8:09 am
PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds 2016 – Day 2
Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. A number of boats went into the day in much lower positions than expected for a variety of reasons. Could they make it up?
Posted today at 7:34 am
Airlie Beach Race Week - Sports boats help boost numbers
Entries for ABRW close in nine days, and boat owners continue to pledge their support for the popular Whitsundays event 2016 Airlie Beach Race Week - Entries for Airlie Beach Race Week close in nine days, and boat owners continue to pledge their support for the popular Whitsundays event, with 113 entered as of today, including a boost in sports boat numbers that have helped surpass last year’s 104 starters.
Posted today at 3:01 am
New French leader on Day 3 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Breakfast time today saw some furious adding up to resolve the winning team in the high scoring offshore race Initially France Blue, overall leaders after day one, looked strong with their two big boats, Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine, and the Prietz family's JND 39, GOA, in front. As boats started finishing the Flanders North Sea team edged ahead.
Posted on 26 Jul
Gstaad Yacht Club's Racing Team trio for Rio 2016
Pre-Olympic Brunch at the GYC clubhouse – members, guests and friends gave a Brazilian farewell to the GYC Racing Team. The Gstaad Yacht Clubs sport members are: the Nacra 17 team with Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger who qualified for Switzerland, the 470 sailor Will Ryan, who starts with his helmsman Matthew Belcher for Australia and Billy Besson, who starts in the Nacra 17 class too, together with his crew Marie Riou for France.
Posted on 26 Jul
J/111 Garmin World Championship less than a week away
Championship is less than a week away, fourteen teams from seven different countries will be taking part. Forming a truly international fleet, the teams come from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States of America. Racing on tight Solent courses the fleet will enjoy a five day racing programme and a lively social schedule, organised at the Island Sailing Club in the heart of Cowes.
Posted on 26 Jul
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
America's Cup World Series - Ian Roman's Images from Portsmouth
Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series and provided this first of two galleries from the event Top international photographer, Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series and provided this first of two galleries of the racing across the three days of the regatta.
Posted on 26 Jul
Owners work together on new 52fter project to kick-start SoCal fleet
Manouch Moshayedi owner and skipper of the Bakewell-White 100 Rio100 is behind establishing a 52fter fleet in California The 52fters will be based on the latest design by Judel/Vrolijk. “There are some improvements over the boats in the SuperSeries in the Med that we have made specifically for California sailing, including taller masts, larger mains, larger jibs, larger spinnakers and lighter displacement,” explains Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 26 Jul
Pacific Cup - Riding Rufless across the Pacific
The former Bronco was a well sailed class boat the ridden hard and put away wet. 2016 Pacific Cup - We begin this tale with the fundamental roots. The Melges 32 featured in this story is not a tock Melges 32' by any means. The former Bronco was a well sailed class boat the ridden hard and put away wet. When found a few years ago in a San Diego boat yard, she was in sad shape and in need of a good home.
Posted on 26 Jul