Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

MOD70 European Tour Leg 4 – Omani crew extend lead

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson on 22 Sep 2012
Omani Sail - MOD70 European Tour 2012 Multi One Design © http://www.multionedesign.com
MOD70 European Tour Leg 4, from Cascais to Marseille, is currently underway. Since pulling into the lead around midnight last night when they were the first to gybe east to pass Cape St. Vincent, Musandam-Oman Sail has continued to make the best of the difficult conditions compared to her rivals today. As a result, while lying midway across the Bay of Cadiz at the 1230 UTC sched, the Omani crew had extended to 17.6 miles ahead of second placed Race for Water, by far the biggest lead a boat has managed pull out so far in the whole of the 2012 MOD70 European Tour.

'Last night at the tip of Cape St. Vincent, the breeze began to drop,' reported Gavignet. 'We tried to play the wind shifts, to find the right angle to go from puff to puff and that paid - we immediately pulled out a small gap on the other boats.'

For all five MOD70 crews, the early hours of this morning were taxing as they repeatedly gybed southeast to make the most of the shifts, while also attempting to extract themselves from the southeast corner of a ridge of high pressure converging with the west coast of Portugal.

But once again the Omani MOD70 crew made the boldest tactical move, carrying on east into the Bay of Cadiz and soon were being chased by their four rivals. At around midday with the breeze dying ahead of her, Musandam-Oman Sail was the only boat to put in a hitch south. At the time of the 1230 UTC sched, when Gavignet reported they were sailing upwind in 14 knot southeasterlies, Musandam-Oman Sail had not only pulled out her impressive lead, but was sailing at least five knots faster than the boats to her north, or consistently three knots faster than second placed Race for Water over the previous three hours.

While the Omani team’s performance is impressive there will be no opportunity to rest on their laurels for conditions ahead are set to get much more troublesome. At the 1230 UTC sched Musandam-Oman Sail had 66 miles to go before she entered the Strait of Gibraltar and conditions looked set to remain upwind all the way there. As Gavignet forecast: 'We should keep this easterly wind until the approach to Gibraltar early this evening, when it will become very light. And in the Alboran Sea, it will be even lighter!'

With Race For Water holding second, at present the two boats at the bottom of the MOD70 European Tour’s overall scoreboard are leading what seems likely to be a snakes and ladders leg to Marseille.

Behind the leaders the race for third remains as tight as we have come to expect in this anti-clockwise lap of the European coastline between the 70ft one design trimarans with just two miles separating overall leader Foncia in third from fifth placed Spindrift racing.

As Foncia skipper, double Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux, summarised this afternoon: 'At the moment, things are complicated, the wind is not as forecast, so we are very indecisive! Fortunately, we have two rivals to play with, and strong rivals at that, with Gitana [Groupe Edmond de Rothschild] ahead and Spindrift [racing] breathing down our neck... There is still a way to go with a number of transitions ahead to negotiate, which will deliver their share of surprises...'

As the boats reach the Strait of Gibraltar this evening, the southeast wind is forecast to drop off leaving the trimarans at the mercy of the currents as they attempt to avoid the traffic separation schemes and the heavy commercial maritime traffic passing through these restricted waters. And then into the Alboran Sea, to the east of the Strait, the wind is set to disappear altogether tomorrow.

17.6 miles is a useful cushion for Sidney Gavignet and his crew, but with this forecast it means little.

Jean-François Cuzon, navigator aboard Musandam, Oman Sail: 'Last night, off Cape St. Vincent, the breeze began to die. On board, we tried to play the shifts to find the right angle to go between the puffs and that paid - we immediately pulled out a small lead ahead of the other boats. After that, there was a choice that was not easy to take this morning with a depression coming from Morocco. Now we are the other side of the this on a route closer to Gibraltar. The wind is close to 14 knots, there is a slight swell, but we are progressing well. We should keep this easterly wind until we approach Gibraltar early this evening, when it will become very soft. And into the Alboran Sea, it will be even softer! Conclusion: those behind may catch us up. The conditions are mild, but it requires a lot of attention trimming the boat. All the time we are monitoring our tactics to find the right angle, and make sure we are on the right track. Last night I did not sleep much. I was pretty alert to try to make us of the slightest breeze. We are happy to be in front, but we know very well that the advantage can also come from behind and we might start afresh in Gibraltar. Of course we'd rather be where we are than behind! We will try to sail the best we can and see what comes of it.'

Michel Desjoyeaux, Skipper aboard Foncia reports: 'Whilst the start was not great, we got out quite well because the short inshore course gave us a valuable bonus point (always good to gain!) We headed offshore to pick up a nice westerly breeze. Then it was the fight with Race for Water, who we ended up overtaking to lead overall. The lead was short-lived as Race For Water and Musandam-Oman Sail took a more favourable tack to round Cape St. Vincent during the night (it's not very polite of them, is not it?) and as a result got away. For the moment, things are complicated, the wind is not that which was forecast, so, we are very indecisive! Fortunately, we have two rivals to play with, and strong rivals at that with Gitana ahead and Spindrift breathing down our neck... There is still a way to go with a number of transitions to negotiate ahead, which will deliver their share of surprises...

This fourth stage starts Multi One Design MOD70 European Tour website
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Etchells Europeans - Kiwis on top after Day 1 after long day in Cowes
For the first day of the 2016 Etchells Open Europeans, PRO Phil Lawrence, prophesied that it might be a long day The top Etchells team today was Feng Shui, from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Auckland, NZ. Helmed by Andrew Wills and owned by Anatole Masfen, Matthew Kelway completes the line up. The team has won several New Zealand National Titles and Wills was on Jud Smith's winning team for the 2006 Etchells Worlds.
Posted on 29 Aug
Hollandia wins 8 Metre World Cup
After nine race series, Netherlands' Hollandia wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions After a five day, nine race series, Hollandia of the Netherlands wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions and Hollandia managed to win every race.
Posted on 29 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club takes the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Trophy again
The yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water. Every August the biggest question for the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is whether this will be the year that Noroton Yacht Club's winning streak ends. Yet even after the age minimums were raised by five years and the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days to stiffen the competition, the yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water.
Posted on 29 Aug
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug
Michael Illbruck crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion
Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing.
Posted on 28 Aug
Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
Changing of the Guard at Melges 20 Worlds, Freides takes over
The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship featured two races under shifty conditions 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino featured two races under shifty conditions, shaking up the standings and making Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee the new leader with a one point advantage over Michael Illbruck on Pinta now seated in second place.
Posted on 27 Aug