MOD70 trimarans face tricky run to Portugal


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The Independent Online

A tricky run south to Portugal faced the five MOD70 trimarans on the second offshore leg of their European tour.

The top three, Yann Guichard's Spindrift, Michel Desjoyeaux's Foncia and Sebastien Josse's Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, have established themselves as the new class fights to establish itself as the top European grand prix circuit.

Leading the way out of  Dublin was Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, overtaking Spindrift to take the three bonus points at the gate. Foncia trailed after a close call with Musandam Oman Sail, forcing them do a penalty turn on the first lap of the inshore course

"The main challenge for this crew will be making sure we run a safe boat in the conditions we have coming up," said Brian Thompson, the British helmsman on Sidney Gavignet's Musandam-Oman Sail.

According to Thompson, the five-boat fleet will have a 'big old beat' of around 265 miles to the Fastnet Rock to kick off their 1215-mile passage to Portugal.

"It will be all upwind when we head south down the east coast of Ireland then west down the south coast to Fastnet. Then heading across Bay of Biscay it will be downwind but the winds will be big.

"It should be really exciting conditions - really fast with big seas," said Thompson. "Then towards the end of the leg in Portugal, the wind will die away, which may prove frustrating."

The multi-national Omani crew has been settling down, coping with breakage, and been in close competition with Steve Ravussin's Race for Water but these two need to step up a gear before the tour finishes in Genoa at the end of this month.

Two young British sailors, Ned Collier-Wakefield and Sam Goodchild, won in the third Normandy Channel Race in their Class 40 Concise. They completed the course just 10 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of the Franco-English duo, Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France.

It rounded off an intense week and nearly 1,000 miles of close-contact racing across the English Channel, along the coast of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, Ireland, Brittany and Normandy.