Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

Transat Jacques Vabre - Oman Air-Musandam ready to race

by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat on 1 Nov 2013
Oman Air MOD70 Lloyd Images
With only three days to go to the start of the 11th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre on Sunday, Oman Air-Musandam co skippers Sidney Gavignet (FRA) and Damian Foxall (IRL) are keen to get going!

'The atmosphere in the Transat Jacques Vabre village has been incredible all week, thousands of people have come out to look at the boats and visit our 'Discover Oman' tent and there will be even more people over the weekend,' said skipper Sidney Gavignet who has paired up with an old friend and rival in Ireland’s greatest offshore sailor, Damian Foxall, for this edition of the great French classic.

'We managed to go for a sail on Tuesday which helped us to stay focused. It is good to get cold and wet at least once in the week leading up to the start - we are really looking forward to getting started,' he added – speaking at the Oman Air-Musandam press conference on Thursday morning.

'We have had superb support from our sponsors Oman Air and Oman’s Ministry of Tourism and the whole team during our preparations, in particular Fahad Al Hasni, our best Omani MOD70 sailor who has been shadowing us and supporting us in order to learn as much as possible about two-handed sailing with a view to one day sailing his own campaign and also in order to take his experience back to Oman to continue to inspire the next generation of sailors,' he added.

Sunday’s start is a 40 nautical mile prologue for the MOD70 fleet of two, so Oman Air-Musandam, Edmond de Rothschild and the Multi50 fleet will return to the dock in Le Havre after the IMOCA 60s and the Class 40s have crossed the start line - destination Itajai, Brasil, 5,450nm across the Atlantic Ocean.

The official multihull start is scheduled for later the following week depending on the weather – the goal being to try and group all four classes’ arrival at the finish.

Between them, the two sailors have raced 38 transatlantics and seven Volvo Ocean Races, including a win each – with ABN AMRO for Sidney in 2005-06 and with Groupama for Damian in 2011-12. Both are candid in saying that racing the 70ft MOD trimaran across the ocean two-handed is going to be one of the biggest challenges of their careers: 'Racing two-handed is tough, very tough and this race has turned into more of a match race between Edmond de Rothschild and ourselves. It will be a question of balancing strategy with tactics and in basic terms keeping a very close eye on the competition,' said Damian.

'Sidney and I are both very familiar with our rivals in the MOD class and they with us, we all have very similar backgrounds so it will be very important to get the weather routing right and to maintain our energy levels.'

For the first time, weather routing is permitted on the TJV for the two MOD70 crews which means the three hour watches, with a 50 minute crossover each time, will be spent mainly on deck rather than down below at the chart table.

'We could get two good hours of sleep at one time if we are lucky but the great thing about weather routing is we will be able to keep track of the boats ahead and have a pretty good idea of what weather is to come,' said Gavignet.

'The shore-based weather routing will be a critical part of the race,' added Foxall.

Gavignet and Foxall are sure of a warm send off from Le Havre, not just by the hundreds of thousands of French spectators who will visit the race village in the run up to the start but also by Her Excellency the Undersecretary of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism and Chairwoman of Oman Sail, Maitha Al Mahrouqi, who is flying in to lend her support to the campaign.

Her presence demonstrates the importance of France to Oman’s tourism market (there is a direct Oman Air flight from Paris to Muscat) and during her stay she will visit the popular 'Discover Oman' Exhibition set up in the race village. The exhibition was last in France at Roscoff at the end of the Route des Princes in June and proved a big hit before it travelled to Cowes in England where Oman Air-Musandam competed in the Artemis Challenge in August and the Rolex Fastnet Race, winning the MOCRA class.

Serving traditional Omani coffee and dates and displaying an array of artefacts and stunning photography and videography of the Sultanate of Oman, the pavilion has proved a dynamic engine in driving Oman’s tourist plans forward around Oman Sail

Southern Spars - 100Protector - 660 x 82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

St. Thomas International Regatta - Day 2 action-shots by Dean Barnes
Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Dean Barnes was on water at St. Thomas International Regatta 2017 and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted on 26 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta – Day 1 – Wind was the word
Competitors in the Large Offshore Multihull Class especially reveled in the afternoon breeze. These polar-opposite conditions plus the challenge of round the islands rather than strictly buoy racing proved the talk of why some of the best sailors in the Caribbean, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand put STIR on their list of must-do’ regattas each year.
Posted on 26 Mar
Round the Rocks kick's off St. Thomas International Regatta
Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in St. Thomas International Regatta. Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from the Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta. Set for March 24 to 26, this three-day regatta known as the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’ will be prefaced by the second Round the Rocks Race on March 23, which features a circumnavigation of the 19-square-mile neighbouring U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.
Posted on 23 Mar
Extreme Sailing Series heads to Mexico for the first time in history
SAP has been Official Technical Partner to the Extreme Sailing Series™ since 2012, providing cutting edge insights Today the owner and organiser of the Series, OC Sport, is delighted to announce that the German software giant SAP – a longtime supporter of the world's leading Stadium Racing Series - will be the Host Venue Partner for the Mexican Act.
Posted on 20 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta’s Prize Timepieces by Cardow Jewelers
Timing means everything in yacht racing, organizers of Round the Rocks Race, set for March 23, and STIR, March 24 to 26 Timing means everything in yacht racing. Therefore, organizers of the Round the Rocks Race, set for March 23, and the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), March 24 to 26, are proud to welcome Cardow Jewelers aboard as sponsor of the precision timepieces that will be awarded to class winners.
Posted on 19 Mar
Team ENGIE leaves Oman in 6th place at the Extreme Sailing Series
As a preamble to his new season in GC32 Sébastien Rogues and the Team ENGIE crew benefited from very high-level training As a preamble to his new season in GC32, Sébastien Rogues and the Team ENGIE crew benefited from very high-level training during two major international events, the GC32 Championship and the first leg of the Extreme Sailing Series which took place in Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.
Posted on 14 Mar
SAP Extreme Sailing Team clinch opening win of Extreme Sailing Series
Clear blue skies combined with a north-easterly breeze gusting 25 knots as nine crews hit the choppy waters of Muscat After 26 races over four days three teams - SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Oman Air and Alinghi - went into the final race, worth double points, capable of taking the overall win.
Posted on 11 Mar
Strong start for Team Oman Air in Extreme Sailing Series opener
A wet and wild final day saw Oman Air's foiling GC32 catamaran blasting round the stadium racecourse. The crew, now with $1 million World Match Racing Tour winner Phil Robertson at the helm, scored 16 podium finishes in 27 races.
Posted on 11 Mar
Extreme Sailing Series™ offers perfect proving ground for youth teams
They don’t call it Extreme Sailing Series for nothing – that’s just what young guns have been finding out on their debut They don’t call it the Extreme Sailing Series™ for nothing – and that’s just what the young guns on Team Tilt and NZL Sailing Team have been finding out on their debuts on the global Stadium Racing tour.
Posted on 11 Mar
Extreme Sailing Series – SAP Extreme Sailing Team nudge ahead
SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Oman Air and Alinghi all held the top spot at some stage during the third thrilling day Danish crew SAP Extreme Sailing Team, home team Oman Air and champions Alinghi all held the top spot at some stage during the third thrilling day of racing at Muscat's Almouj Golf.
Posted on 10 Mar