Musandam-Oman Sail was lying second in the dash south from Ireland to Portugal with evenly matched tactics and speeds across the MOD 70 fleet creating some fast and close racing on the second leg of the MOD 70 European Tour 2012.
In just 18 hours, Musandam-Oman Sail had covered more than 200 miles from the start in Dun Laoghaire including a rounding of the iconic Fastnet Rock, which for half of Sidney Gavignet’s young crew represented another milestone in their sailing careers.
The 70 foot trimarans had been hurtling through the Irish Sea at up to 28 knots and mostly in sight of each other, according to British helmsman Brian Thompson but the pace had slowed to around 18 knots.
“It has been a very close beat up the Irish coast and we can see the whole fleet. Spindrift is about three miles ahead and Foncia is about three miles behind at a guess.
“Our crew work has been really good – there have been lots of tacks and we were tacking in close to the shore which gave us a good view of some of the spectacular scenery along that coast.
“Around the Fastnet, it was very wild landscape and seascape – very memorable for the half the crew because it was their first time round the rock. Fahad Al Hasni wanted a picture so that will be one for the album!
“It’s been pretty bumpy – we are not launching off the waves but we are having to hold on when you are on deck and hold on down below. We have a high pressure to deal with so we will have a bit more wind then it will die off a little bit.”
The crew on Musandam-Oman Sail settled quickly into their watch systems for this 1215 nms leg from Dun Laoghaire to Cascais in Portugal, which is likely to finish on Wednesday, and having worked their way into second place in the fleet, the focus will be on keeping hold of their position.
“We went round the Rock in second place but we still had time to take some pictures which was good,” said Omani sailor Fahad Al Hasni – and you could hear the grin in his voice!
“Hopefully we can maintain our second place. We did well to protect our position last night from Gitana and Foncia. It was very close and this morning, we are still ahead of them but it is still close. We are hoping we can catch this wind ahead and gain an advantage.”
4-Edmond de Rothschild
5-Race for Water