(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Musandam-Oman Sail set a world record for sailing around Britain and Ireland on Thursday when it shaved 16 minutes off the previous record to clinch the top honours in the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race (RBIR) after three days of action.
Sidney Gavignet and his crew of Damian Foxall Fahad al Hasni Sami al Shukaili Yassir al Rahbi and Jan Dekker crossed the Cowes finish line on Thursday afternoon. Their time for the 1956 nautical-mile course was three days three hours 32 minutes and 36 seconds - it was just 16m38s faster than the previous world record set by Banque Populaire 5 in 2011.
Musandam- Oman Sail averaged an impressive 23.8 knots all the way round the course. 'We didn't realise we had broken the record until we crossed the finish line' said Gavignet. 'We got to St Catherine's two hours before doing 30 knots but suddenly there was a cloud around and no wind. So we thought our chances had gone. But we kept working on it and finally we made it 16 minutes before the time limit.'
Musandam-Oman Sail also knocked a massive two days 17 hours and 52 minutes off the RBIR record of five days 21 hours 26 minutes and 55 seconds set by Franck Cammas' monohull Groupama in 2010. Musandam-Oman Sail was racing with three Omani sailors in a crew of six with Shukaili and Rahbi joining Oman Sail's flagship boat just one month prior to the race. 'It was my dream to race on the MOD70 when I joined Oman Sail' said Shukaili.
'I pushed myself hard to lose weight and to train hard every day to get into shape for the MOD70. Fahad gave me a big push to sail with him.' Gavignet paid tribute to his Omani crew members especially his two new recruits. 'They were not seasick which is impressive and did not get tired and showed fantastic attitude. They picked up a lot of things on this trip and gained valuable experience. We have found two new Omani sailors which is great for us great for them and great for Oman Sail."
David Graham CEO of Oman Sail said 'This record is a testament to hard work all around. Sidney and Damian have dedicated much of their time training our Omani squad in all aspects of offshore sailing. The Omani sailors have soaked that up over the last couple of seasons and worked hard in self-improvement. I am delighted for all the sailors.'
Foxall Musandam-Oman Sail's co-skipper said "The hard thing about a race record as opposed to a course record is that with a course record you can wait until the weather is perfect. But in the racing format you don't have that option - it is an amazing coincidence that we have had favourable tides and weather patterns when this race was taking place.'
Hasni who has been with Musandam-Oman Sail from 2012 said 'It was good fun and it is great to come back with the record and to have the boat in one piece.'