Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - LEADERBOARD

Oman Sail duo look forward to their biggest challenge yet

by Oman Sail on 28 Jun 2017
Oman Sail - Atlantic race to the Azores Vincent Curutchet
Oman Sail’s new Class 40 team are making final preparations for their biggest challenge yet, a 2,500-mile Atlantic race to the Azores and back.

In the process co-skipper Fahad Al Hasni will make maritime history in becoming the first Omani sailor to take part in a two-handed offshore event.

Al Hasni, a long-standing member of the pioneering Oman Sail national project, will start the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables race on 2 July alongside his mentor Sidney Gavignet. The Class 40 project is the latest chapter in a five-year relationship between Al Hasni and Gavignet, the two having previously raced together as part of the record-breaking MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail trimaran crew.

“Sidney and I have raced together a lot and this is an exciting new challenge for both of us,” said Al Hasni. “It is a new venture for Oman Sail as well, and I am proud to represent my country in a double-handed race for the first time.

“The Class 40 fleet is very competitive and they have had more experience than we have so far this season, but we are positive and will be aiming for a good result,” he added.

The highly experienced Gavignet recognises the scale of the task ahead, but highlights the solidity of the relationship with his trail-blazing co-skipper.

“The Les Sables-Horta race is a big step for sure for Fahad,” he said. “The biggest quality that we have is that we know each other very well. We have been sailing together for five years and have respect for each other. We have been through tough times together and we know how to help each other in difficult conditions.”

Starting from the French west coast port of Les Sables d’Olonne, the Azores race marks a new beginning for the Class 40 campaign and Gavignet is positive and enthusiastic about the virtues of the project. “Our goal was, and still is, to reach the podium on each race we do, but we have respect for the fleet and they have had more experience this year than we have. But we are motivated and we have been out training with other boats and that has been great.

“Another good thing is that it is shorthanded racing, so everyone has to have a full understanding of every aspect of the boat and sailing – tactics, trimming, steering, electrics, electronics – so that makes the sailors more rounded.

“The main quality of being a good shorthanded sailor is the ability to plan ahead, like when you play chess you have to think three or four moves ahead. It is very good training for the crew.”

The Oman Sail pairing will face an international fleet of 20 other Class 40s on the Horta course, with Briton Phil Sharp aboard Imerys, and Spanish ace Gonzalo Botin racing Tales II, among their main rivals.

Following the Azores race the Oman Sail pairing will take part in the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race in August, when the crew will expand to include Omani sailor Sami Al Shukaili, another MOD70 regular, and veteran Spanish sailor Alex Pella, who was one of Francis Joyon’s IDEC Sport crew which won the round-the-world record Jules Verne Trophy earlier this year.

All being well, the 2017 Class 40 campaign will culminate in November with the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre, the 3,000-mile race from Le Havre to Salvador in Brazil.
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 1Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer

Related Articles

Optimist Europeans at Portorož, Slovenia day 3
Qualifications completed, finals start Friday Today's third racing day concluded the qualifications of 2020 Optimist Europeans in Portorož, Slovenia. As scheduled, both girls' fleets successfully finished three races today, and the boys' fleets had two, so they're both finishing the qualifying series
Posted today at 5:35 am
2020 Australian Sailing Awards
Slingsby and Darmanin reprise top honours Tom Slingsby and Lisa Darmanin have taken out top honours at the 2020 Australian Sailing Awards, with the Olympic-medal winning athletes being crowned Male Sailor of the Year for the 4th time and Female Sailor of the Year for the 3rd time respectively.
Posted today at 5:18 am
Mirabaud Sailing Video of the Century
Vote for the best videos produced since 2000 The 2020 edition of the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award is officially launched and the votes are open! The public is invited to vote online for their favourite video of this special edition, rewarding the best videos produced since 2000.
Posted today at 5:07 am
iQFoil International Games at Lake Garda day 3
Getting close to the Finals Series Another picture perfect morning at Univela Sailing in Campione, Lake Garda, where almost 200 riders are gathered for the iQFOiL International Games, the first real global event for the next-to-be Olympic sail board at the Paris 2024 Games.
Posted today at 4:44 am
D-26 Vendée Globe: Kojiro Shiraishi
Dream of being first Asian skipper to complete the Vendée Globe I asked Kojiro Shiraishi what his biggest fear is, as a solo sailor setting out to take on the world alone in the Vendée Globe, and he gave me an answer that I was not expecting - one that indicates the mental strength required of a true single-hander.
Posted on 22 Oct
Elusive 2 wins the 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race
Victory for Maltese First 45 skippered by Aaron, Christoph and Maya Podesta At 15:00 CEST on Thursday, 22 October, 2020, the winner of the 41st edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race was announced as the Maltese First 45 Elusive 2, skippered by Aaron, Christoph and Maya Podesta.
Posted on 22 Oct
Dinghy Racing Channel: How to rig an RS Aero
Peter Barton from the RS Aero Class Association shows us some basic tips Peter Barton from the RS Aero Class Association shows us some basic tips for setting up your RS Aero before getting out on the water.
Posted on 22 Oct
Intro to Short-handed Racing - J/99 JEDI
The J/99 is perfect for us as she can be easily sailed by two We've been practicing two-handed racing in our 32.6' J/99 (JEDI) whilst joining in with fully crewed fleet from RPAYC SOPS series. Whilst Ray and I have sailed together for many years, we haven't seriously raced two-handed since 2008
Posted on 22 Oct
Trailblazing Gold
20 years on from Australia's first Paralympic sailing gold medal After Australia's Olympic sailors turned Sydney Harbour into a golden pond at the 2000 Games, the Australian Paralympic sailing team of Noel Robins OAM, Jamie Dunross OAM and Graeme Martin OAM were under pressure to perform.
Posted on 22 Oct
Optimist Europeans at Portorož, Slovenia day 2
Two races for all when the sea breeze fills in The sun greeted the participants of the Optimist Europeans Championship in Portorož early in the morning already, but the sailors had to wait almost until noon before the shore warmed up enough for the sea breeze to kick in.
Posted on 22 Oct