In the MOD70 European Tour, Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet with his international crew became the third different team to win a City Race series in successive stops of the Tour when they triumphed in the sixth race in Cascais, Portugal.
Musandam-Oman Sail won three of the six races sailed over three days, almost all in light breeze, which proved somewhat contrary to Cascais reputation for reliable strong winds. Smarting after losing second place to Foncia in the final half mile to the finish of the offshore stage from Dun Laoghaire at dawn in very light airs early on Wednesday morning, Gavignet and his crew realised then they had a small deficit in speed to Michel Desjoyeaux’s crew. They made changes accordingly and, aligned to steady starting and some strong tactics from Jean Francois Cuzon, have remained very consistent, complementing their three wins with two thirds and a fifth to win ahead of Yann Guichard’s Spindrift racing.
Musandam-Oman Sail collect 12 precious points in the chase for the MOD70 European Tour while second place for Spindrift racing ensures they increase their overall lead in the general classification.
From a race which was contested in only a very light and patchy SW'ly breeze that never topped more than 6kts and faded to almost nothing in areas, Yann Guichard's crew on Spindrift racing took the winning gun for Race 5 of the City Race series.
With Musandam-Oman Sail finishing fifth, Spindrift racing temporarily had the overall series lead by a single point. Although it was Sébastien Josse’s team on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who made the best start and lead to the first offset mark, on the upwind leg, they ran out of wind pressure in the middle right of the leg.
Spindrift racing and Foncia chose to stay closer to the Cascais shore where they found some localised acceleration of the wind and were able to round the top mark in first and second.
With the breeze fading and developing big holes, although the MOD70's moved with impressive efficiency in the light winds, Race Direction chose to halt the race after one round of the triangle course. This time the triangle course was upwind-downwind as opposed to the downwind-upwind format of yesterday and Friday.
It was in Race 6, the final inshore contest of Cascais, that cemented the overall Cascais City Race series for Musandam-Oman Sail, winning by two points ahead of Spindrift racing.
Three boats were called over the start line early, Foncia, Race for Water and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.
Musandam-Oman Sail emerged from with the lead and were able to stay ahead around the two lap course.
Race for Water restarted smartly and made a smart good recovery at the top end of the first windward leg. In the end they were able to push Musandam-Oman Sail hard at the finish line.
Results after six City Races
1- Musandam-Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) : 10+10+12+12+8+12 = 64 points
2- Spindrift racing (Yann Guichard) : 11+11+9+10+12+9 = 62 points
3- Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) : 12+9+10+9+9+10 = 59 points
4- Race for Water (Stève Ravussin) : 9+12+8+8+10+11 = 58 points
5- Foncia (Michel Desjoyeaux) : 8+8+11+11+11+8 = 57 points
MOD70 European Tour Standings. After two offshore stages and three City Race series.
1- Spindrift racing (Yann Guichard) 11+47+12+52+11 = 133 points
2- Foncai (Michel Desjoyeaux) 12+53+10+46+8 = 129 points
3-Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) 10+44+11+41+10 = 116 points
4- Musandam-Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) 9+34+8+42+12 = 105 points
5- Race for Water (Stève Ravussin) 8+38+9+35+9 = 99 points
Sidney Gavignet, FRA skipper Musandam-Oman Sail (OMA): 'We are happy, we won three races from six which is pretty good. It is great, just great. What is good is that we just work on making progress and we did not need to make big progress, but to just keeping making progress step by step all the time wherever you start from and we started pretty low. We lost crew on the first race in Kiel. We broke the daggerboard in Dublin, so we were starting from quite low, and had some problems. But we kept working. We kept the positive spirit and little by little we get more cards to play the game with. What we learned here, if we had those two cards on the way in, we would have been second from Dublin. One is easy we could not pass the battens across in the light winds and the other is speed with the gennaker. So for sure we are making progress and growing in confidence and that affects the others who lose in confidence, we need to keep progressing.
We have a contract with ourselves, we said our goal was to finish mid fleet, so a podium, and it is start. The points for winning here are not much compared to winning offshore, but it’s a step in the right direction. So we are kind of into our stride. We are better organised.
Jean Francois Cuzon is the tactician and does it all. I am just the helmsman. We are still not at 100% confidence and sometimes we are just looking at the others to see how to go fast. I think one thing we have done well is if you want the tactician-strategist to do the job well you have to leave them the space to do it well. For the Omani’s I am sometimes a bit hard on them, over their shoulders, and that is not good because I am not doing my job so well. And I am putting pressure on them, So on the first day we regrouped a little, and each one is doing their job well. Now I let everyone do their job.'
MOD70 European Tour website
by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson
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8:59 PM Sun 16 Sep 2012GMT
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