Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Leaderboard

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

by Oman Sail 4 Feb 2019 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

DB Schenker makes history at EFG Sailing Arabia
First all-female team to finish on the podium in ten years Team DB Schenker - spearheaded by Oman's Ibtisam al Salmi and Marwa al Kaifi - has made history, becoming the first all-female team to finish on the podium in ten years of the EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour. Posted on 9 Feb
Team EFG Bank wins Sailing Arabia
EFG Bank dominated from the very first stage in Salalah Team EFG Bank, made up of Olympian Sofian Bouvet, fellow Frenchman Gaulthier Germain, and rising Omani star Ali al Balushi, has taken a resounding win in the 2020 edition of the EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour in Oman. Posted on 9 Feb
All set for thrilling finish in Muscat
EFG Bank is yet to lose the overall top spot in EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour After 12 days and four locations along more than 1,500KM of pristine Omani coastline, the 2020 EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour will come down to the fifth and final stage in Muscat. Posted on 6 Feb
All-female team at EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour
DB Schenker is increasing the pressure on the top of the leaderboard After three stages and covering more than 1,000KM of the pristine and scenic Omani coastline, team EFG Bank remains the one to beat in the 2020 edition of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour and leads for a third consecutive stage. Posted on 4 Feb
2020 EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour, stage 2 wrap
A strong rivalry is developing amongst the top three teams Stage 2 of the 2020 EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour has wrapped in Oman's port city of Duqm, and the competition is tight as the race travels north to Masirah Island. Posted on 31 Jan
2020 EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour Stage 1
Diam24 trimarans race off the white sandy shore of Salalah, Oman The tenth edition of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour is under way, following a fast and competitive opening stage in Salalah, Oman. Posted on 27 Jan
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour begins in Oman
Speed and skill will be the order of the day Over 15 days, a strong international and local contingent will use the prime winter conditions in the Sultanate to push both speed and heartrates to the max in thrilling close quarter racing in five diverse locations along the coast of Oman. Posted on 26 Jan
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 2019
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 2019
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 2019
ETNZShop-SUPPORTERRANGE-728x90 HR BottomZhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - Cruising Confidence 728x90 BOTTOM