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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 04/06/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Led by skipper Sidney Gavignet, Musandam-Oman Sail, claimed the top honours in the Ultime class at the fourth edition of the ArMen Race on Friday.

Gavignet and his mixed European and Omani crew crossed the finish line ahead of the only other competitor in the class, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Gitana), in La Trinite-sur-Mer, France.


The Musandam-Oman Sail crew members celebrate their win

Both the trimarans set sail from La Trinit-sur-Mer on a long coastal course around the Breton shoreline before finishing after racing across a distance of 310 nautical miles.

Musandam-Oman Sail and Gitana were involved in a close fight from the start but the Oman Sail team made a final push on Friday morning to win in a time of 25hr4m40s, a difference of nearly an hour from Gitana. Omani crew member Fahad al Hasni was delighted with the win.

''It was a great event that saw intense racing against Gitana. Our tactics and strategy were solid, which helped us.''

''My fellow Omani teammates, Ali al Balushi and Mohammed al Mujaini, did a great job onboard, despite being new to the boat. We all are racing the Tour de France a la Voile with Sidney [Gavignet] in July, so this was good team building exercise, which really helped with our communication and team spirit,'' Hasni said.

Gavignet used the ArMen Race as a training opportunity but also to test things like the autopilot at night and the general reliability of the flagship ahead of the Route de Rhum later in the year when he will be racing the trimaran solo across the Atlantic.

Next on the MOD70 agenda is the Kiel Week (June 21-29), which is one of the biggest sailing festivals in Europe while for the crew, the next event will be Normandy Sailing Week (June 9-15) on the M34 “ their last chance to train before the Tour de France a la Voile kicks off on the 4 July.

Women sailors impress on J80


Oman Sail's J80 team at the Grand Prix Ecole Navale in Finisterre in France

Meanwhile, just up the coast, off Finisterre, France, the team onboard Al Thuraya-Oman Sail impressed on their J80 in the Grand Prix Ecole Navale.

The predominantly all-women sailing team, which included British Olympic sailor Mary Rook, Raja'a al Owaisi, Ibtisam al Salmi and Nashwa al Kindi, were joined by M34 sailor Yassir al Rahbi and finished 22nd among a fleet of 56 after nine races.

The team had three top-ten results in the event and showed enormous progress since the Spi Ouest regatta in April.

''We have progressed a lot since our last event,'' said helmswoman Raja'a. ''We have a long way to go, but every time we go out, we get better. We have focussed on improving our communication during boat handling and in difficult situations. We are intent on staying focussed on this learning curve as we go into the next phase of training towards Normandy Sailing Week,'' she said.

After the Normandy Week, the J80 team will head to Barcelona for the J80 European Championships from June 27 to J


Muscat Daily

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