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Team BAE Systems finish season on a high with 2nd place overall in Eiffage TP Med Race
There were celebrations all round for Oman’s Team BAE Systems who took another step up the ladder to finish with a second overall podium place at the conclusion of the week long Eiffage TP Med Race in Marseille on Sunday.
“It’s an absolutely great way to end the season. We are the team in good form. We have progressed throughout the season and it is just fantastic to end on a high like this,’ said Team BAE skipper Cedric Pouligny.
Season winners Toulon Provence Méditerranée maintained their top spot in the Eiffage TP Med Race while Team BAE Systems were able to usurp second place from Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite, a team they have been in constant battle with.
“Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite were always one point ahead of us in every single race this year. This is the first time we have managed to beat them. And we did it on the last day of the inshore races. We are very pleased to turn the tables and now beat them by one point,” said Pouligny.
Team BAE Systems finished third in the 225 mile offshore leg of the Eiffage TP Med Race from Corsica to Marseille earlier this week. Three days of inshore races followed and the team did well to post a third and fifth on Friday, a fourth, third and a second on Saturday and a fifth place in the final race on Sunday.
“Saturday was a really good day for us. We felt positive and we knew that, with two discards, we could afford to take some risks going into the race on Sunday. Our third place on the podium was secured but we also knew that if we could put Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite two places behind us we could pull off a second place. We did pretty well to do that,” said Pouligny.
Second place overall in the Eiffage TP Med Race also consolidated the Omani team’s commendable fourth place overall in the offshore French Championship which is scored on the overall results achieved in the Normandy Sailing Week, the Tour de France à la Voile 2012 and the Eiffage TP MedRace.
The Eiffage TP MedRace is also the final event of the M34 Volvo Tour which started with the Spi-Ouest regatta in April this year. The Volvo Tour was specially created for this newly launched “mini Volvo” high performance sport boat class.
Dockside after Sunday’s race Ahmed al Ma’amari said he was really very pleased to have finished the season with such good racing. He felt proud for his team and for his country, Oman.
“We have taken a big step forward and steadily progressed all through the season. The focus now is not only on training but also on winning,” said al Ma’amari.
Al Ma’amari said the team was also spurred on by the news of Oman’s flagship, the giant trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail’s lead so far in Leg 4 of the MOD70 European Tour from Cascais, Portugal to Marseilles in France. Musandam-Oman Sail is expected to arrive in Marseilles on Monday.
“The Mediterranean is very unpredictable. But even though it is very difficult and anything can happen, Musandam-Oman Sail are in a good position to arrive in Marseille with a podium place. Unfortunately we leave for Oman very early on Monday so we won’t be here to welcome our friends but we are hoping that their finish tomorrow will allow us to celebrate two podium places in Marseilles.”
Team, BAE Systems crew for the Eiffage TP MedRace is Cedric Pouligny (skipper), Mohammed Al Makhaini (mast), Mohamed Al Mujaini (Pit), Majid Al Mujaini (trim), Ali Al Balushi (bow), Ahmed al Ma’amari, Gerald Veniard (Navigator/tactics), Alex Palu (main), Nicolas Deberque (trim).
Overall results Eiffage TP MedRace
1. Fabien Henry & Tugdual Becquemie / Toulon Provence Méditerranée
2. Cédric Pouligny / BAE Systems
3. Nicolas Troussel / Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite
Overall results Offshore French Championship
1. Fabien Henry & Tugdual Becquemie / Toulon Provence Méditerranée: 5.5 points
2. Daniel Souben / Courrier Dunkerque: 14 points
3. Nicolas Troussel / Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite: 16.5 points
4. Cédric Pouligny / BAE Systems: 19 points
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