Favourite wins EFG Sailing Arabia
The favourite won, the Plymouth University-backed team was not content with but happy with second, and the final leg flight for third place in the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour went to Team Delft from the Netherlands by winning the final leg from Mussanah to Muscat.
The last place on the podium was between Delft and an all-woman team skippered by the American Kate Pettibone and it went the way of Delft. The women’s team, which included four from the Sail Oman academy system, was baulked on the start by the Royal Navy of Oman, but Pettibone decided not to make an official protest.
“We gave it our all and we are really disappointed at missing third overall,” said Pettibone on the dock of the marina at The Wave development and home of Oman Sail. “But I am really proud of the girls. They have worked very hard and improved all the way. The spirit was good to the end and the whole crew was really excited about what they have achieved.”
Gavignet, sailing under EFG Bank colours, will return to Oman Sail colours for the Tour de France a la Voile later this year. “We expected a tough fight and all the others improved as the races developed. We are very happy that all our planning came to fruition,” he said.
Second-placed Marcel Herrera was also in upbeat mood. “We managed to give EFG a run for their money and the last leg proved very tactical. This series is a great one for young sailors,” he added. The start of the final leg was delayed for three and a half hours as the six identical Mumm 30s motored 20 of the 41–mile course. The remaining 21 provided the upwind test to the finish.
1 EFG Bank (S Gavignet) 12pts
2 Messe Frankfurt (M Herrera) 18.5
3 Team Delft (K Heemskerk) 28
4 Bank of Muscat (K Pettibone) 31.25
5 Renaissance (M al Busaidi) 39.25
6 Royal Navy of Oman (A al Haisani) 49.5
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