EFG Sailing Arabia: Leader wins again, but British crew take another second place


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The Independent Online

The British crew in the EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour made short work of the offshore leg from Dubai to the emirate of Ras al Khaimah, scoring another second place while the overall leader, Sidney Gavignet notched up another win.

That makes the Plymouth University-backed crew on the 30-foot Messe Frankfurt second overall with a reasonable cushion over the third-placed Team Delft from The Netherlands. “We seem to be cementing ourselves firmly into that second overall position,” said the Plymouth University skipper Marcel Herrera.

Gavignet's crew had to recover from being pushed over the line early at the start but then settled into nine miles of upwind work which put him in the lead and from there the course was processional, offering no real overtaking opportunities and being mercifully free of fishing nets which have plagued previous races.

But suffering from gear damage was the all-woman crew from Muscat. A turning block which is used to control the mainsail blew up at the start, costing them time and distance on the initial upwind leg. It pushed them down to fifth on the day, but, skippered by Kate Pettibone they still managed to beat the Royal Navy of Oman.