Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

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 660x82T Clewring One DesignNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug
Reading Australia’s Rio 2016 Sailing Report Card
Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. So Tom Burton's Gold in the Laser, and then Silver for the 470 Men’s sailors, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan, London 49er Gold Medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and then lastly Nacra 17 first time campaigners, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, was a good result.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 U.S. National Championship - Argo advance
The Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course 2016 U.S. National Championship - As the breeze remained in the ESE direction overnight and began bucking an outgoing tide in the morning hours, the Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course, rewarding those teams that started clean and minimized maneuvers.
Posted on 21 Aug