French team Beijaflore are on the verge of winning the 2018 edition of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour as Arabia’s premier regatta comes to its climax.
The overall leaders, skippered by Valentin Bellet, will go into tomorrow’s stadium racing, the final act of the 14-day regatta, with a 10-point lead over closest rivals and reigning champions EFG Bank Monaco.
A 23-mile coastal raid starting from Marina Bandar Al Rowdha was planned for the eight international teams today, showcasing Oman’s incredible scenery with Muscat’s Al Hajar mountain range as the backdrop.
However race director Guillaume Rottee was forced to cut the race short halfway through when the wind vanished just after the fleet had rounded a turning mark off Muttrah’s iconic corniche.
The results of the coastal raid will be taken in the order that the fleet passed the buoy at Muttrah, giving EFG Bank Monaco the win ahead of Cheminees Poujoulat in second and Beijaflore in third.
It’s the second time EFG Bank Monaco, four-time winners of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, have seen victory in the regatta’s five coastal raids.
Despite their success however, they will go into tomorrow’s grand finale trailing Beijaflore by eight points, making it mathematically impossible for Monaco-flagged team to beat their French rivals.
Thierry Douillard’s EFG Bank Monaco will have to defend second place from Averda, made up from team mates from the Oman Sail Diam 24 crew including British Olympian Stevie Morrison and Omani sailor Abdulrahman Al Mashari.
Lorina Golfe du Morbihan, Vivacar.fr and Cheminees Poujoulat will battle it out for fourth place, while Renaissance and DB Schenker are just a handful of points apart in seventh and eighth.
The tightness of the leaderboard guarantees a no holds-barred finale to the 2018 EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour tomorrow.
Following racing today the teams will get a taste of Omani culture with a visit to Muttrah souq, one of Oman’s oldest markets.
The 2018 EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour winners will be crowned at a prize giving ceremony at Muscat’s National Museum of Oman tomorrow evening, attended by guest of honour His Excellency Sayyid Saud Bin Hilal Bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Muscat.
Results of Muttrah Coastal Raid:
1- EFG Bank (Thierry Douillard) – 0,50 pts
2- Poujoulat (Bernard Stamm) – 1 pts
3- Beijaflore (Valentin Bellet) – 1,50 pts
4- Vivacar.fr (Matthieu Souben)– 2 pts
5- Renaissance (Cedric Pouligny) – 2,50 pts
6- Lorina Golfe du Morbihan (Solune Robert) – 3 pts
7- Averda (Stevie Morrison) – 3,50 pts
8- DB Schenker (Elodie Mettraux) – 4 pts
1- Beijaflore (Valentin Bellet) – 14,50 pts
2- EFG Bank (Thierry Douillard) – 23,50 pts
3- Averda (Stevie Morrison) – 28,50 pts
4- Poujoulat (Bernard Stamm) – 37 pts
5- Vivacar.fr (Matthieu Souben) – 37 pts
6- Lorina Golfe du Morbihan (Solune Robert) – 37,40 pts
7- Renaissance (Cedric Pouligny) – 59,50 pts
8- DB Schenker (Elodie Mettraux) – 66 pts
For more: sailingarabiathetour.com