(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Experienced French sailor Sidney Gavignet will once again lead Oman Sail's MOD70 challenge on board Musandam-Oman Sail at the 2014 Route du Rhum race starting on November 2.
Oman Sail confirmed Gavignet's entry in the single-handed transatlantic contest at a ceremony in Paris, France on Tuesday. It will be Oman's second ever participation in the race, which will be from St Malo, France to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe.
Earlier, the sultanate's maiden attempt was made in 2010, which ended abruptly with a catastrophic mid-Atlantic breakage of Oman Air Majan, forcing Gavignet to retire from the race.
Gavignet now believes the Route du Rhum is 'unfinished business' for him. He said, ''The last race for me remains an amazing memory and to have a chance to do it again is a great honour. Growing up sailing in Annecy, France, the Route du Rhum was always the race I dreamed of doing someday.''
David Graham, Oman Sail's CEO, said, ''Musandam-Oman Sail's MOD70 campaign is the pinnacle of Oman Sail's sailing development programme.
''We are proud to be competing in the Route du Rhum, an important benchmark event in France, under Omani colours. While we do not have an Omani sailor on the boat, competing in such a prestigious offshore event will help us with our sailing awareness campaign in Oman.''
Graham added, ''Racing the Route du Rhum will encourage and inspire our young Omani sailors to aim high.''
The Route du Rhum will be the climax of what is set to be a busy season of training and racing for Gavignet as well as for the Omani and international race squad that will rotate on the M34 and MOD70 crews throughout the season.
The objectives are a podium place in the Tour de France a la Voile and a strong front-of-the-fleet performance in the Seven Star Round Britain and Ireland Race in August on the MOD70.
Gavignet said, ''My Omani teammates will live the Route du Rhum experience and preparations with me throughout the season.''
He added, ''We will race together on the M34 and the MOD70 ahead of the races.
Developing the Omani sailors as a squad that rotates on both the boats will give them deeper knowledge and understanding of the sport.''
In the tenth edition of the 4,471 nautical-mile Route du Rhum race, Musandam-Oman Sail will compete in the Ultimes class.
The contest is already fully subscribed, with 100 boats across five classes, including ten Ultimes, ten Multi 50s, 15 IMOCAs, 45 class 40s and 20 Rhum categ