Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

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.

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearInSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Azzurra wins the second day of the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
The second day of racing at the classic regatta hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda saw a big shakeup in positions. The day’s very light breezes forced the Racing Committee to substitute the scheduled coastal race with a windward/leeward race that began at 2:00 PM in light and unstable breezes that tended to shift towards the right.
Posted today at 6:26 pm
Underdogs and top dogs sniff out the best breeze at 52 Super Series
In a shifting light-breeze which kept tacticians on their toes, home favourites Azzurra scored their first race win. The gentle breeze moved 50 degrees right over the duration of the race, requiring successive changes to the course axis on each leg of race three of the series. It proved a good day for the underdogs too as XIO and Paprec, two of the oldest boats in the fleet, scrapped over the early lead.
Posted today at 5:29 pm
2016 TP52 Super Series – Race three images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from race three Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from race three
Posted today at 4:51 pm
My Road to Rio – Part 5 – Maria Erdi
Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Following nervously back in Balatonfured, Hungary was father Gabor, mother Gabriella and siblings Julia, Anna, Gabriella and Janos.
Posted today at 4:36 pm
Three extra places for the Vendée Globe 2016
At a meeting held today with the organisers and skippers, President of the SAEM Vendée made an unexpected announcement. At a meeting held today (Wednesday 29th June) in Les Sables d'Olonne with the organisers and skippers competing in the eighth edition, Yves Auvinet, President of the SAEM Vendée made an unexpected announcement.
Posted today at 4:14 pm
Volvo Ocean Race - Change to Leg 3 and Asian stopovers announced
Volvo Ocean Race organisers have announced a change to the route posted on the Official Noticeboard Volvo Ocean Race organisers have announced a change to the route posted on the Official Noticeboard, and the effect is to have the fleet sail the almost the complete length of the Southern Ocean from Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn. The fleet will now spend three times the amount of time in the Southern Ocean than enjoyed in the previous two editions of the race.
Posted today at 2:07 pm
Volvo Ocean Race to be contested over longest distance in history
Tough, intense, and featuring almost three times as much Southern Ocean sailing as the previous edition The 43-year-old race around the world – the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors, against each other across the world’s toughest oceans – will start from Alicante in late 2017 with a 700nm sprint to Lisbon, Portugal that will provide the first test of the form guide.
Posted today at 12:48 pm
Rio 2016 - Southern Spars makes move into sports composite engineering
Cycling New Zealand has partnered with a world-leading composite design and construction specialist, Southern Spars. Cycling New Zealand has partnered with a world-leading composite design and construction specialist, Southern Spars. Southern Spars is better known for designing and manufacturing masts and rigging for the world's fastest race yachts and most luxurious superyachts. The North Technology company will be providing wheels to the 2016 New Zealand track cyclists at the Rio Olympics in August.
Posted today at 12:41 pm
Brakes off as strong westerly propels the Clipper Race fleet forward
LMAX Exchange is in second place with Derry~Londonderry~Doirechasing hard now just 10 nautical miles behind in third. ClipperTelemed+ is leading the fleet again after emerging from its Stealth Mode cloak of invisibility last night; and boat speeds have been high throughout the fleet as the teams enjoy steady trade wind conditions with spinnakers flying in building winds.
Posted today at 11:52 am
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted today at 7:42 am