Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

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.

Wildwind 2016 660x82Mackay BoatsNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

Armel Le Cléac'h wins the Vendée Globe in record time
Armel Le Cléac'h has today won the Vendée Globe, setting a new record for the solo non-stop round the world race French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has today won the Vendée Globe, setting a new record for the solo non-stop round the world race in the process.
Posted today at 4:58 pm
Clipper Race – Qingdao ambassadors selected after intensive trial
Qingdao has a rich history in the Clipper Race, the only event which trains amateur sailors to become ocean racers Qingdao has a rich history in the Clipper Race, the only event which trains amateur sailors to become ocean racers, and is the event’s longest standing Team Sponsor. The 2017-18 race edition will mark the seventh time Qingdao, also a Host Port, has entered a team in the biennial race across the world’s oceans.
Posted today at 4:31 pm
Armel Le Cléac'h due to finish Vendée Globe at 1530hrs UTC
The French skipper is currently 36nm from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, travelling at just over 12 knots. The French skipper is currently 36 nautical miles from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, travelling at just over 12 knots.
Posted today at 2:25 pm
RORC Caribbean 600 – Winning ways
American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler. American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic offshore race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler, starting and finishing in Antigua.
Posted today at 2:06 pm
Four years and counting – WIM Series going from strength to strength
Last month the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted an amazing conclusion to the fourth year of the WIM Series. Last month the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted an amazing conclusion to the fourth year of the WIM Series. Altogether 147 sailors in 28 teams from 17 countries battled it out in the 2016 season
Posted today at 2:00 pm
Quantum Key West Race Week reels off three races in fading winds
After a windy and wavy start to the regatta today's conditions were far more manageable. The Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day was awarded to J.D. Hill's (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) in the ORC Class.
Posted today at 12:55 pm
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Vendee Globe - Le Cleac'h flying home
Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. At the 0400UTC position report he had 145nm to sail to the finish at Les Sables D'Olonne and was expected to be greeted by a crowd of hundreds of thousands of French sailing fans on Thursday afternoon or early evening local time.
Posted today at 7:14 am
Le Cléac'h closes in on Vendée Globe finish line
French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. At the latest position update Le Cléac'h, skipper of Banque Populaire VIII, was 146 nautical miles from finishing the solo round the world race with a lead of 87nm over second-placed Alex Thomson.
Posted today at 6:05 am
Jules Verne Trophy - The charm of the tropics
IDEC Sport is less than 1000 miles from entering the Northern Hemisphere. IDEC Sport is less than 1000 miles from entering the Northern Hemisphere. At 17°S this morning, the big red and grey trimaran is climbing back up the Atlantic pushed along by the Brazilian trade winds, which are allowing Francis Joyon and his men to keep up an average of 25 knots as they continue in their attempt to grab the Jules Verne Trophy.
Posted today at 5:13 am