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National pride huge with Oman Sail's Musandam's victory in the 4th leg of MOD70's European Tour
Oman Sail’s flagship boat Musandam-Oman Sail hurtled across the finish line in Marseilles today to celebrate their first win of an offshore leg in the MOD70 European Tour and lift them to third overall in the rankings.
The Omani team completed the course from Cascais to Marseilles in 3 days 16 hours 11 minutes and 34 seconds, crossing the line two hours and 23 minutes ahead of second placed Steve Ravussin’s Race for Water and two hours and 45 minutes ahead of sailing legend Michel Desjoyeaux on French team Foncia.
Khamis al Anbouri, it was his first experience of sailing offshore after a career spent mainly racing inshore, during which time, he has posted a win against MOD70 European Tour rival team Spin Drift's skipper Yann Guichard in the Extreme 40s
“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.
“I love to compete and win especially against these sailors because they are the best. I have now beaten Yann Guichard twice – one in the Extreme 40s and now this.
“It would be nice one day to see an Omani sailor skippering one of these boats and we are working very hard towards that aim.”
As soon as they docked, the crew received a call form Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi, under Secretary of Ministry of Tourism congratulating them. "We are very proud of what our athletes have achieved," she added "It is a result of hard work, integrity and sportsmanship. They are an example to the youth and are fabulous Omani ambassadors in representing our country overseas."
“I always felt we could win because each time we finished a leg, we discovered something new and added to our experience. In this leg, we discovered we were very fast in the light winds, which has given us a lot of confidence. We have beaten some of the best sailors in the world by a long distance and that makes us proud,” said Omani trimmer Fahad Al Hasni. “I am so happy for the team – and very proud of them as I hold and raise the Omani flag high with pride,” added Al Hasni.
This win has reflects how far the Omani sailors have comes across in their offshore career in such little time, Oman Sail's CEO David Graham comments: " I'm delighted for the team and I'm absolutely thrilled for Fahad, Khamis and Mohsin. They have worked incredibly hard and have achieved the unthinkable goal so early on in their offshore career."
After battling with light winds from the start of the leg in Cascais on Thursday, the final few hours saw an altogether different struggle as Musandam's crew encountered 35 knot winds “We were going very fast – sometimes too fast,” said an emotional 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”
But the end result was a great testament to the developing skills of the Musandam-Oman Sail crew, Gavignet said, making special mention of Omani helmsman and trimmer Fahad Al Hasni, Khamis Al Anbouri also from Oman and navigator Jeff Cuzon from France. “Fahad is a great example of what we are trying to do at Oman Sail. He has grabbed the opportunity of being part of Oman Sail's National Sailing Squad and is running with it. He still has a lot to learn but he is becoming a serious offshore sailor, both technically and in terms of his energy. He is very positive and contributes to the team, which for me is almost more important than whether they are good or bad sailors."
“Being part of Oman Sail is a platform for doing something great and he is really making the most of his opportunity. And while commenting on Khami's debut offshore leg Gavignet said“Although Khamis was seasick, his energy was impressive. I think he may have been our lucky charm.
Thousands of spectators are expected to visit the the city races in Marseilles where Musandam - Oman Sail and the rest of the fleet will be displaying a nail biting race to secure their position in the podium while Oman Sail in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism will continue to exhibit Oman in the promotional exhibition tent, to showcase Omans as a unique high end tourist destination.
Congratulate our team from our facebook page from here:
The press release soon
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