Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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.

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Southern Spars - 100Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

A Few Rays - When you think of sunscreen as a filter....
If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? Where the skin is exposed and a sunscreen is working for you, it is filtering UV rays. Some of those rays always get through. The percentage of the high energy UVB rays (said to cause sunburn) that get through to cells in the skin can be determined by the claimed SPF of the product you are using.
Posted today at 10:26 am
Charleston Race Week - Overall report
Charleston Race Week 2017 took place in April 20-23 2017. ORC rule was implemented as the principal handicap rule Charleston Race Week 2017 took place in April 20-23 2017. ORC rule was implemented as the principal handicap rule for the Charleston Race Week 2017, it was the first time this system was used in a major North American regatta. Thirty boats raced in four separate ORC Classes at this event.
Posted today at 8:22 am
World Cup Series in Hyères – Racing needs to be fast, not the food
Spanish sisters, Carla and Marta Munté Carrasco, sail together in the 49erFX and know they have a problem. Many sailors will be brimming with confidence after browsing the weather forecast and will be striving for gold in Hyères. But it is a team small in stature that know exactly where they stand in terms of performance that intrigues.
Posted on 24 Apr
New addition to North Sail for Volvo Ocean 65 racing machines
Their sails have powered eight out of nine Volvo Ocean Race winners since 1989-90, with Steinlager 2. Instead of assembling cloth panels into a particular sail shape, the Volvo Ocean Race sails are composites. This means that 3Di material 'tapes' are laid in a specific arrangement, offering stable structure to the sail where it is needed most.
Posted on 24 Apr
Masters Games - Paralympians perform well against Rockstars
Chris Sharp’s green machine is becoming well known on the sailing course at the World Masters Games Chris Sharp’s green machine is becoming well known on the sailing course at the World Masters Games, largely because it’s finishing ahead of most of his rivals. What makes that extraordinary is that Sharp is a paraplegic after a motorbike accident seven years ago. The 59-year-old is sitting eighth of 30 competitors in the single-handed Weta class after two days of racing
Posted on 24 Apr
Experience is key as Team Oman Air prepare for Extreme Sailing Series
Team Oman Air skipper Phil Robertson says his crew's unrivalled experience could prove vital to victory in second round Known worldwide for hosting sailing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Qingdao is notorious for its ability to catch crews off guard with a fickle breeze that can go from next to nothing to gale force in a matter of minutes.
Posted on 24 Apr
FAST40+ Spring Regatta - Preview
The second event in a busy FAST40+ season will be the FAST40+ Spring Regatta, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The second event in a busy FAST40+ season will be the FAST40+ Spring Regatta, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. FAST40+ Race Director, Stuart Childerley, sets the scene for the event.
Posted on 24 Apr
Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race crew Zuzana Vybiralova
A first for Clipper Race, Zuzana Vybiralova will make history this year as first Czech Republican to take part in race A first for the Clipper Race, crew member Zuzana Vybiralova will make history this year as the first Czech Republican to take part in the race in eleven editions.
Posted on 24 Apr
Melges 24 European Sailing Series - And the winners are…
Maximum number of races sailed in almost perfect conditions was a result of three-day Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta Maximum number of races sailed in almost perfect conditions was a result of three-day Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta - the season opener both for the 2017 Melges 24 European Sailing Series and Melges 24 Italian Sailing Series. Andrea Racchelli and his team on Altea ITA722, the winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, were showing their superiority since the beginning of the regatta
Posted on 24 Apr
Champions crowned after tricky finale at Sperry Charleston Race Week
Charleston is known for its reliable spring seabreeze, but the Holy City’s coast outdid itself this year Charleston is known for its reliable spring seabreeze, but the Holy City’s coast outdid itself this year during the 22nd edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week. It wasn’t just the three race days either; from the first team’s arrival for practice more than a week earlier until the lengthy awards ceremony on Sunday night, reliable southerly winds buffeted the region, ensuring maximum racing
Posted on 24 Apr