A wet and windy opening 24 hours saw Sidney Gavignet and Brian Thompson, so full of modest ambition before the start, leading the new 70-foot trimaran class in Oman Sail across the Atlantic from New York to Brest in the Krys Ocean Race.
With the five identical yachts powering along at up to 34 knots, the predictions of a fast time for the 2,900 miles were looking good and even a time-consuming repair to a broken daggerboard on Stève Ravussin’s Race for Water meant there were only 25 miles from front to back after over 24 hours and less than 14 miles, probably less when taking into account tactical positioning, covering the first four.
“We are just trying to hang on. It is as simple as that” Gavignet reported Sunday afternoon, “We have just had our first nose-down at 32kts. It was not so nice. Temperatures are warm but it is still difficult to sleep. It is all good on Oman Sail. Moshin (al Busaidi) and Fahad (al Hasni), the two Omani sailors in the crew, are doing great.”
But the chase was on from Sébastien Josse in Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, Yann Guichard in Spindrift, and Michel Desjoyeaux, who said that his Foncia team had taken longer than expected to adjust the set-up of the boat to both the conditions and his rivals.
In Porto, British Olympian Leigh McMillan was again setting the pace in The Wave, Muscat for his rivals in the Extreme Sailing Series. Jes Gram-Hansen, the Danish skipper of SAP, escaped serious injury after being catapulted overboard in a collision with Oman Air, skippered by the American Morgan Larson.