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Musandam-Oman Sail poised for first MOD70 European Tour
Sidney Gavignet’s crew on the Multi One Design 70 Musandam-Oman Sail returns to the race track on Friday 31 August for the start of the new European Tour 2012 in Kiel, Germany.
With more than 3,500 racing miles already under their belts following the inaugural KRYS Ocean Race across the Atlantic in July and the Artemis Challenge in Britain earlier this month, the joint Omani- European crew will line up against four other MOD70s for two days of inshore racing on Friday and Saturday before the start of the 5,000nm sprint around Europe on Sunday 2 September.
The fleet, proven already as the fastest offshore sailing one design class in the world, will stop in Dun Laoghaire in Ireland, Cascais, Portugal, Marseille, France and Genoa, Italy with all venues hosting city races and speed trials that count for points on the leaderboard.
For the inshore legs, Gavignet will race with eight crew, including one of Germany’s most distinguished sailors Michi Muller and Omani sailor Khamis Al Amburi. Thomas LeBreton from Brest, France, has also joined the team as part of the offshore race crew.
Brian Thompson from England and Frenchman Jean-Francois Cuzon return to action for the five week European Tour.
Omani sailors Fahad Al Hasni and Moshin Al Busaidi will continue to build on their Transatlantic experiences back in July.
“We won the Extreme 40 regatta on The Wave, Muscat here in Kiel in 2010 but the European Tour will be my first major event on the MOD70s,” said Khamis.
“We are hoping to do quite well because we have trained hard – we used the 1200nms delivery from Lorient to Kiel as a race and pushed ourselves hard to get a good time. Everyone is ready and we all want to succeed and get a good result.”
Gavignet and his crew are targeting a mid fleet result for this first European Tour with the focus more on learning, teamwork and development than on winning.
“We are a team making progress,” he said.
“We have only done 45 days sailing together and are still discovering the boat and ourselves. We are not a super rock star team but a well-balanced mix of experience, youth and strength.
“If we can concentrate and apply ourselves, we should do well but if we don’t, the results won’t come.”
Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup bowman Michi Muller is looking forward to the city races in his home town of Kiel where he is expecting plenty of interest among the crowds and the media.
“I have not sailed in Kiel since 2006 so I’m really looking forward to that – the race village is not open yet but it is already crowded with people trying to see the boats.
“It will be fun and very good experience and we will be trying to get the best result we can – try and get on the podium as often as possible. If you make a small mistake it is hard to catch up so we have to try and avoid the potholes!”
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