Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Musandam-Oman Sail on target for record


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The Independent Online

Racing down the west coast of Ireland, the six of Oman’s best were still on target to break Loick Peyron's record for racing non-stop in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and his giant Banque Populaire was twice the length of Sidney Gavignet’s Musandam-Oman Sail.

With 400 miles to go at the end of the 1800-mile anticlockwise course the 70-foot trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail was still powering along at an average of 20 knots but that gave them only a hour to spare against the record-breaking schedule. Musandam’s skipper, Sidney Gavignet, already holds the singlehanded record and now seems certain to set a race record, though less wind through the Western Approaches was lying in wait to undo him, and Peyron set his time outside the race diary.

Ian Walker, feeling more confident than ever ahead of his third consecutive Volvo round the world race, and second for Abu Dhabi, had extended his lead of the five-strong new Volvo 65s to nearly 30 miles over Spain’s Iker Martinez with Charles Caudrelier at the helm of China’s Dongfeng nearly another 30 miles astern. The young Americans aboard the Turkish Alvimedica were a further 30 miles in arrears while the all-woman crew on Sweden’s SCA, skippered by Sam Davies, were over 100 miles behind Walker.

The leading boat in the handicap race, all the others do not count, was the former Volvo 70, Monster Project, sailed by Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn, well behind all the newer 65s.