Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Transat Jacques Vabre - Oman Air-Musandam approaches the Doldrums

by Oman Sail on 13 Nov 2013
The Oman Air MOD70. Skippered by Sidney Gavignet (FRA) with team mates Thomas LeBreton (FRA), Fahad Al Hasni (OMA), Neal McDonald (GBR),Damian Foxall (IRL), Mohsin Al Busaidi (OMA), Ahmed Al Hassani (OMA) and Giles Favennec (FRA) © Jean-Marie Liot
In the Transat Jacques Vabre, as Sidney Gavignet, Oman Air-Musandam’s French skipper and Damian Foxall, his co skipper from Ireland, reach the Doldrums and the halfway mark of this epic 5,450nm race after just six days at sea; they face some big decisions.

Sitting just 70nm behind the other MOD70, Edmond de Rothschild, the pair is dedicated to maintaining boat speed and making up the distance. They are taking turns on the helm to keep the boat ‘flying’ as Sidney describes: 'We don’t have capsize concerns at the moment, nor much adrenaline, the current conditions mean we are completely engaged in the pursuit of speed, we need to keep the boat flying at all times and to keep the centre hull out of the water to reduce drag and increase speed. It takes a lot of concentration,' he described via an email sent overnight.


When we spoke to Damian Foxall at dawn, the boat speed was high at 25 knots in 20-25 knots of wind and the pair had 200nm to go until the Doldrums.

'We have beautiful conditions out here, we are in a bit less wind than our rivals, but we decided to gybe a bit earlier than Edmond de Rothschild to reduce the gap so our options approaching the Equator are a bit different to theirs.

'For the last couple of days we have had perfect conditions for these boats, we are flying along!' said Damian.

With some big decisions ahead on the passage through the high pressure convergence zone, shore-based router Jeff Cuzon is supporting them with the strategy, but right now, as Damian points out the plan is to go as fast as possible and get as much rest as possible.

'The next phase is never easy, Jeff is supporting us with the right passage through, but it can be very tricky.


'We decided to make the approach to the Doldrums further east than Sebastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier and gybed accordingly. Within the next 36 to 48 hours, we will know whether that has paid off.

'The race is far from finished, there are still three or four major phases remaining where anything can happen. We are focussed and determined. Plus there is still plenty of Nutella left to keep us going!'

Oman Air-Musandam will sail out of the trade winds later today and the wind speed will drop significantly as the Sultanate of Oman’s flagship campaign approaches the Doldrums and the challenges that the 300nm-wide high-pressure convergence zone guarantees!

upffront 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Colligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

Alinghi pull off incredible comeback to take Act 6 in Madeira
Swiss team Alinghi came back from a dismasting to win Act 6 of Extreme Sailing Series™ in extraordinary circumstances Swiss team Alinghi came back from a dismasting to win Act 6 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in extraordinary circumstances on the waters of Portugal’s Madeira Islands.
Posted today at 3:39 am
It’s Chuck’s fault!
The blame rests squarely with the much venerated, and truly celebrated US sports photographer, Chuck Lantz The blame rests squarely with the much venerated, and truly celebrated US sports photographer, Chuck Lantz. Had he not shown me this image he took during the recent Rolex Big Boat Series on San Francisco Bay, then this editorial would not have come to pass.
Posted today at 2:36 am
Roepers leads Plenty to victory in Zadar, captures circuit crown
Alex Roepers began his sailing season by scoring a major victory in Australia, stopped in Italy Alex Roepers began his sailing season by scoring a major victory in Australia, stopped in Italy a few months later to secure another significant achievement then capped an extremely successful 2016 campaign by closing the deal in Croatia.
Posted on 25 Sep
Oman Air stay top of Extreme Sailing Series table with podium place
Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six and shifted focus to the next Act. Oman Air stayed top of the overall leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six in Madeira and immediately shifted their focus to the next Act in Lisbon, Portugal, in two weeks.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Norauto foils to victory at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
Racing in a light wind Minoprio’s desire to win the leeward position on the start line put Norauto in front in all races Racing in a light westerly Levante wind, Adam Minoprio’s desire to win the leeward position on the start line put Norauto in front in all three races, and he went on to win two of them.
Posted on 25 Sep
Team Tilt finish second at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup
Team Tilt added a second place to scoreboard this weekend at the penultimate event of what has been a successful season The seven crew members on board the 32-foot flying catamaran posted three outright wins from 15 races to finish second overall after Adam Minoprio on Norauto. Team Engie, skippered by Sebastien Rogues finished in third place.
Posted on 25 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - Images from Régates Royales
The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales. The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales with classic yachts and Dragons. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this gallery of images from the penultimate day of the regatta.
Posted on 25 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - More images from Régates Royales
Second gallery from the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge at Cannes The 38th Régates Royales, the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is underway at Cannes. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this second gallery of images from the penultimate day.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing - Henderson sets out foundations of his President bid
Paul Henderson is standing for another term as President to get some significant and vital issues facing Sailing address Paul Henderson is standing for another term as President to get some significant and vital issues facing Sailing addressed by sailors with their input both individually and via their International Class Associations. Henderson sets out below what he believes will be the foundations of his next Presidency.
Posted on 25 Sep