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Sailing Arabia sailors welcomed by Ras Al Khaimah

by Oman Sail on 6 Feb 2011
Yousuf bin Lahej from Team Ras Al Khaimah - Sailing Arabia OmanSail ©
Sailing Arabia leg three's top three boats were separated by just 19 minutes after 12 hours of racing as they crossed the finish line.

Team New Caledonia, the only French team in the race, led the fleet into Ras Al Khaimah closely followed by Renaissance with His Highness Sayyid Tariq bin Shabib Al Said competing on board.

With GAC Team Pindar still undertaking repairs to their boat, five out of the six competing boats started leg three of Sailing Arabia–The Tour under blue skies with the backdrop of Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Strong winds and big seas meant the 232km leg to Ras Al Khaimah was to be the biggest challenge of The tour so far.

Team New Caledonia led the fleet out of Abu Dhabi, a position they would retain until the finish. It was a tired but jubilant crew on New Caledonia that crossed the line just before sunrise with Renaissance very close behind. Commercialbank Group had Renaissance close in their sights but didn’t have enough to claw back the 5 minutes they needed to overtake Renaissance. Team Ras Al Khaimah was hoping for a win into their homeport but finished 25 minutes later to take fourth place. The Royal Navy of Oman may have followed the fleet in almost three hours after New Caledonia but they crossed the line in typically high spirits, singing and cheering.

On stepping onto the dock in Al Hamra Marina Yousuf bin Lahej, the only Emirati sailor and sailing on Team Ras Al Khaimah, was in good spirits, ‘It was a tough leg with strong winds and big seas, but it was good to be going fast. We had a good tussle through the night with all the boats in sight pretty much most of the time. Al Hamra Marina was a welcome sight as the sun came up and it was a well-earned breakfast with the rest of the teams. Spirits were high and we’re looking forward to the rest of the race through the Straits of Hormuz and into Six Senses Zighy Bay.’

After three legs, and the half-way point of Sailing Arabia-The Tour, Team New Caledonia is now in the lead with Renaissance just 2 points behind in second place and Team Commercialbank Group in third. Team Ras Al Khaimah leads the Royal Navy of Oman with GAC Team Pindar who are expected to rejoin the race for the next leg after repairing damage to the boat.

Third Leg
New Caledonia 05:27am
Renaissance 05:41am
Commercialbank Group 05:46am
Ras Al Khaimah 06:09am
Royal Navy of Oman 08:05am
GAC Team Pindar DNF (Did not finish)

Provisional Results Overall
1. New Caledonia 12 pts
2. Renaissance 14pts
3. Commercialbank Group 22pts
4. Ras Al Khaimah 34pts
5. Royal Navy of Oman 42pts
6. GAC Team Pindar 50pts

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