Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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!

Southern Spars - 100T Clewring AC72Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy – 2 months to go to the 6th edition
The regatta is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition. The regatta, unique in its genre, is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition anniversary. Over the years, the Centenary trophy has gathered some of the most gorgeous and best performing classic yachts from the past century.
Posted today at 4:28 pm
Vendée Globe – Sébastien Destremau – Simplicity as a credo + Video
A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet. His credo is to keep it simple, inexpensive and effective. Interview with the skipper of faceOcean, winner of the Calero Solo Transat back in the spring.
Posted today at 4:05 pm
The Vendée Globe – 100 days and counting
With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever, since there are some twenty-eight skippers, registered and qualified, whilst ‘just’ twenty sailors took the start in 2012. As a result, we’re set to be close to or equal to the 2008 record (thirty skippers at the start)!
Posted today at 3:46 pm
Clipper Race – Constant trimming and little sleep in the North Sea
There is little opportunity for tactical moves and the timings of tacks are crucial if teams want to make vital gains. After a downwind start with spinnakers trimmed in light airs against the tide off Den Helder on the Dutch coast yesterday, the fleet has been match racing across the North Sea towards the Thames Estuary.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series– Oman Air sneak early lead despite bump on nose
Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today, with the narrow river, passing traffic, high walls, shifty light winds and strong currents challenging the fleet on the opening day
Posted on 28 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing top of the pops
Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the season after sailing to their fourth win today. The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec– favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling
Posted on 28 Jul