Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures

EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour holds first coastal raid off Muscat

by Oman Sail 4 Feb 08:39 PST 2-16 February 2019
2019 EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour in Muscat, Oman © Vincent Curutchet / Lloyd Images / Oman Sail

Only seconds separated the leading yachts on the first coastal raid of EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour as the international fleet took to the waters off Muscat, Muttrah and Bandar Al Khiran on Monday.

After almost two hours and 36 minutes of racing the French team of Cheminée Poujoulat took the win just 15 seconds ahead of the Oman Shipping Company entry, with EFG Bank taking the third spot on the podium.

Their impressive result in the opening coastal race of the two-week Oman challenge along with second place in the flurry of stadium races on Sunday moved Cheminée Poujoulat to the top of the overall EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour table, with the Oman team in second spot.

Skipper Robin Follin said: "On the raid we did not play any bad shots and at the finish we were in a one-on-one with Stevie Morrison on Oman Shipping.

"It was intense and we did not let go, and we kept focused right until the end to get ahead before the finish I did not expect to be at the top of the table in the first event."

In contrast to the strong winds and high-speed racing of Sunday, the 23 nautical mile coastal course started in a light and unstable breeze, the 10 teams working hard to get every bit of boatspeed out of their lightweight Diam 24 trimarans.

The opening legs favoured those who hugged the rocky coast on the way to Muttrah, with Oman Shipping Company and Cheminée Poujoulat hitting the front of the fleet after early leaders CER lost out after venturing too far offshore.

Oman Shipping Company's international crew of British skipper and helm Stevie Morrison, experienced Oman Sail instructor Raad Al Hadi and French tactician Quentin Ponroy held a narrow lead until almost the last mark of the course before being passed by their French rivals as the wind increased.

Morrison said: "The motto on our boat is that it's never over until the finish, and that counts whether you are leading in front or behind. With these boats things can change so quickly, they are so fast and there are too many things that can go wrong."

Speaking as he and his team dismantled the boat for the road trip on Tuesday to Sailing Arabia's next racing venue in Sur, he added: "We are a new team and we are still evolving the way we work on the boat. But we are very happy to have finished second, which is better than we could have hoped for in this fleet. We have got some lessons to learn and we will get better, but I am sure all the other teams will as well.

"The strange thing about this event is that we are still racing as we are packing the boat as we want to get finished and then get back to the hotel to rest this is a marathon not a sprint."

The coastal race also marked a return to expected form for pre-Sailing Arabia favourites EFG Bank, skippered by French star Franck Cammas with Oman Sail regular Thierry Douillard and Omani dinghy ace Hussein Al Jabri, who had finished the first day second from bottom of the table.

"It's better than yesterday!" said Cammas. "The first two got away at the start of the race and we were in the middle between two groups.

"There is a high standard here and, for my part, it has been a long time since I have raced these boats. In the maneuvers we still make too many mistakes and then we repeat them, it's very frustrating."

In another reversal of fortune, first day leaders Golfe du Morbihan finished the coastal raid down in eighth place, a result that drops the young French team to fourth overall behind Cheminée Poujoulat, Oman Shipping Company and the Swiss team on Mood.

Racing in EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour is scheduled to resume in Sur with a second coastal raid on Wednesday 6 February, followed by stadium racing the following day, before the fleet moves again to Masirah Island.

Overall standings after two days of racing:

    1. Cheminée Poujoulat
    2. Oman Shipping Company
    3. Mood
    4. Golfe du Morbihan
    5. Beijaflore
    6. Seaflotech
    7. EFG Bank
    8. CER Geneva
    9. Renaissance
    10. DB Schenker

Related Articles

Beijaflore wins EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
The French team produced a remarkably consistent performance Beijaflore have been crowned champions of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, repeating their success of last year to take back-to-back victories in the Middle East's premier yacht racing event. Posted on 16 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour: Beijaflore on the b
Beijaflore are on the brink of back-to-back titles The French defending champions have one hand firmly on the trophy having put on a masterclass of light wind racing in Salalah on the penultimate day of the two-week event, which also saw them add a further win in one of the two Stadium races held. Posted on 15 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour: Showdown in Salalah
Returning to the cut and thrust of intensive Stadium racing A solid breeze of up to 24 knots powered the Diam 24 trimarans around the tight courses, with four different winners again highlighting the competitive nature of the world-class fleet. Posted on 13 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour rolls a perfect six
Once again the island venue produced highly competitive racing The EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour fleet had a packed programme on the final day in Masirah, with no fewer than six Stadium races producing five different winners. Posted on 10 Feb
Dramatic changes to EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
Masirah Island was again the setting for an exhilarating day Ideal sailing conditions under blue skies saw a steady breeze of eight to 14 knots, but with plenty of big shifts in wind direction to keep the crews on their toes and keep race outcomes in doubt, often until the final leg. Posted on 9 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - Tour returns to action
After early relocation goes without a hitch EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour returned to racing on Friday after a flawless logistical operation saw the entire fleet and support organisation relocated 284 kilometres from Sur to Masirah Island in time for late afternoon racing. Posted on 9 Feb
Early start for EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour teams
Extra racing planned at Masirah Island venue All the 10 international crews taking part in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour are set to make an early start on Friday to get ready for extra racing at the Masirah Island venue. Posted on 8 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour fleet set to grow
Challenging young talent and the best of a remarkable generation of Omani sailors In a repeat of last year's successful new-look event featuring the high-performance Diam 24 trimaran, the event will take a 10-strong fleet on a course from Oman's capital Muscat to seven different venues. Posted on 29 Jan
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour fleet set to grow
Strong international interest is expected as entries officially open Building on the great success of the first new-look event in 2018, organisers are predicting a 50 per cent increase in teams with as many as 12 expected to line-up on the start line in February for the intensive 14-day marathon. Posted on 1 Dec 2018
French team Beijaflore crowned new champions
The new format demanded strength, skill and tenacity from the eight international crews French team Beijaflore were today crowned the new champions of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour ending a four-year winning streak for rivals EFG Bank Monaco as the regatta came to a climax in Muscat, Oman. Posted on 17 Feb 2018
Marine Resources 2019 - FooterSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomNaiad 660x82px_Superyacht