Musandam-Oman Sail scores offshore win in MOD70 Tour
Marseilles, France (4E Sports) – Oman Sail’s flagship boat Musandam-Oman Sail captured its first offshore victory in the MOD70 European Tour Tuesday after ruling the fourth leg which ran from Cascais to Marseilles.
The Omani team completed the 1,030-mile journey in three days, 16 hours, 11 minutes and 34 seconds, crossing the finish line two hours and 23 minutes ahead of second-placer Steve Ravussin’s Race for Water and two hours and 45 minutes ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux’s Foncia.
The victory, coupled with their triumph in the Cascais’ City Race series, vaulted the Omanis to third overall in the leaderboard.
Skipper Sidney Gavignet said the team struggled with light winds from the start of the leg but encountered 35- to 40-knot winds along the way that made their journey dangerous and scary.
“We were going very fast — sometimes too fast,” said Gavignet. “It was a bit scary going at those speeds in the black night. The wind was dropping but we were suddenly caught by a 40 knot gust. The boat reared up — it was so sudden”.
Gavignet said the team survived the trip, thanks to the efforts of Omani trimmer Fahad al Hasni, bowman Khamis al Anbouri and navigator Jeff Cuzon from France.
“It was my first offshore sailing and winning the stage was amazing. It shows we are competitive. I was seasick just for an hour but I was able to keep on working because I was so happy to be on board for the leg,” said al Anbouri, who spent his career racing inshore.
Al Hasni said he’s very proud of the team’s achievement, especially since they defeated some of the best sailors in the world convincingly.
“We have beaten some of the best sailors in the world by a long distance and that makes us proud. I am so happy for the team and very proud of them as I hold and raise the Omani flag high with pride,” Al Hasni said.
Ministry of Tourism Undersecretary Maitha al Mahrouqi immediately called to congratulate the Omani sailors, calling them “an example to the youth and fabulous Omani ambassadors in representing our country overseas.”
“We are very proud of what our athletes have achieved. It is a result of hard work, integrity and sportsmanship,” she added.
“I’m delighted for the team. They have worked incredibly hard and have achieved the unthinkable goal so early on in their offshore career,” Oman Sail’s CEO David Graham said.