| 'Leg one of the Route des Princes 2013' © Route des Princes |
Victory for Leg 1 of the 2013 Route des Princes has been claimed by Oman Air-Musandam skippered by Sidney Gavignet (FRA) - who crossed the finish line at 12h41'38' local time (11h41'38' TU/GMT).
Oman Air-Musandam took two days 23 hours 41mn 38secs for the 794 miles first leg which started from Valencia, Spain last Sunday afternoon.
With most of the course being upwind the winners sailed at an average of 11.08kts for the theoretical course but actually sailed 1024 miles on the water, so making a real average of 14.28kts.
Since the six man international crew established a small lead at the only turning mark of the course off Benicarlo, just to the north of Valencia, just before eight pm on Sunday evening, Oman Air-Musandam have been the most regular leaders of the race.
Over yesterday evening and this morning Gavignet’s crew had seen their steady margin of 20 miles shrink until their nearest rivals, Spindrift (Yann Guichard), passed them temporarily this morning. But Oman Air-Musandam found a new, favourable breeze to the west and were able to extend away from Spindrift, the team which won the MOD70’ class 2012 championship last year.
Oman Air-Musandam collect the maximum possible points for the stage, 40 pts for winning the leg as well as all the available bonus points, two points for leading at Benicarlo and two points for leading out of the Mediterranean at Gibraltar yesterday morning.
The Route des Princes course takes the fleet of grand prix multihulls from Valencia to Morlaix in France stopping in Lisbon, Dun Laoghaire-Dublin and Plymouth, finishing on 30th June in France.
Sidney Gavignet (FRA): 'We are happy, we did some good work and made only a couple of small mistakes but it is a good feeling. This just means we are working well together as a team. Last night it was a bit difficult. We had Spindrift and Prince de Bretagne inside us on the coast and they were catching, catching and the wind shift we were looking for was not coming, so that was tricky.'
Neal McDonald (GBR): 'It is good. I think the two days of inshore racing in Valencia did not really reflect our level and maybe this proves we are capable. It is a reward for all the hard work that we all put in before, it has paid off a dividend now.'
'Last night was a bit tense. There was no half measures when they were ten or 15 miles behind us because it would not have made sense to go back and try and cover them and you can’t see them so we had to do something different. We were pretty confident in our option.'
Route des Princes website
by Route des Princes
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12:36 PM Wed 12 Jun 2013GMT
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