(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Intense competition marked the second round of the inshore (in-port) races at the 2013 EFG Bank Sailing Arabia-The Tour (SATT) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on Saturday. So close was the contest that unlike in the first round of inshore races in Doha, Qatar, when Team AISMswept all three races, there were three different winners this time.
Making its mark against some of the most experienced sailors was the varsity team of Plymouth, UK, onboard Team Messe Frankfurt, which won the first race and managed two third-place finishes to climb up the overall leaderboard to fourth. Skippered by teenager Marcel Herrera, the team collected 13.75 points. Bertrand Pace's Team AISM won the second race, while EFG Bank (Monaco) Team, skippered by Sidney Gavignet, won the third and final race of the day.
Team BAE Systems, led by Cedric Pouligny, had a runner-up finish in the second race and a third-place result in the opening race. Despite finishing sixth in the final race, it did enough though to retain the overall lead, with 8.25 points. Team AISM closely followed at the overall second place with 8.50 points, while Gavignet's team was third with 9.75 points. With Team Abu Dhabi's boat out for repairs, the remaining eight teams contested in light but consistent wind conditions.
Speaking after the day's action, Team Messe Frankfurt's Herrera said, ''We had local knowledge as I've lived here for 13 years - I used to sail here. It helped us as we didn't make many mistakes.'' Meanwhile, Dee Caffari's all-women crew onboard Al Thuraya bank muscat Team recorded a fourth and fifth spot finish, respectively, in the last two races after managing a seventh-place result in the opening race. The record-setting British yachtswoman said, ''It was a huge improvement and I'm really pleased that we were among the top five in two of the races. I am really proud of my crew.''
The all-women team's Omani bowman, Raya al Habsi, said, ''I am happy with my work. I have learned hundreds of things today. It was an achievement for us to get a fourth and a fifth place.'' The third leg from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, UAE, begins on Sund