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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 07/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Musandam-Oman Sail finished fourth in the overall standings from a fleet of five trimarans in the MOD70 European Tour 2012. But the Oman Sail flagship team showed enough character in the course of its debut campaign to send out a clear message - Omani sailors have yet again successfully broken into new territory.In one month of racing from September 2, veteran French sailor Sidney Gavignet was spearheading the international crew on board Musandam-Oman Sail from the start at Kiel, Germany to the finish in Genoa, Italy. The other crew members were Brian Thompson, J F Cuzon, Michi Mueller and the Omanis - Khamis al Anbouri, Fahd al Hassani and Mohsin al Busaidy.The crew came together exactly a month before the start of the championship. And after having covered 21,000km during the 30-day race, the sailors believe that it was a valuable experience, even if the team missed the overall podium.This was a job well done, Gavignet summed up Musandam-Oman Sail's campaign this season, which began in New York with the KRYS Ocean Race across the Atlantic in July.Our goal was to be in the mix, to be competitive, and we achieved that, Gavignet said. ?We wanted to win one race here, one race there, which we did. Some boats didn?t win a single race or leg, so we played quite a role in this championship.Gavignet believes that his team improved drastically during the course of the race. If ten out of ten is a strong winning team, we would have been a four at the start, he said.At the end, I think we were a six. To go from 0-5 is easy, then from 5-6 is more difficult and it gets more difficult after that.I am happy with the progress we made, both technically and as a team. We wanted to be on the podium and we couldn't quite do that though.The Musandam-Oman Sail skipper praised the Omani sailors in his team - Hassani, Busaidy and Anbouri - and said that they are quick learners.Fahd is not a complete sailor yet, but his attitude is superb, Gavignet said.He has made big progress in helming and trimming. He is someone who, in a couple of years, could win selection in any of these top flight teams.Khamis has shown great spirit. He hasn't been given the easiest time and he battled with sea sickness. But I could see he was giving his best. It's good these guys have been given such a huge opportunity and they are realising that.The European Tour saw the teams start in Kiel and stop over at Dublin (Ireland), Cascais (Portugal) and Marseille (France) before concluding in Genoa.All along, the Musandam-Oman Sail crew had to keep at bay some of the strongest teams in the business - like eventual champion Foncia, runner-up Spindrift racing, third-placed Race for Water and strong contender but last-place finisher Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.In between, Musandam-Oman Sail swept to victory in the Cascais City Races, part of a series of short in-shore races staged at each stopover.The Omani trimaran also took a resounding victory in the fourth leg, from Cascais to Marseille.


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