Sidney Gavignet has eye on next leg of the EFG Sailing Arabia
While series leader Sidney Gavignet scored two firsts and a second in a trio of inshore races, his eyes were firmly fixed on the next leg of the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour from Ras al Khaimah (RAK) to Dibba in Oman. It takes the fleet of six Mumm 30 yachts through the Straits of Hormuz and, while Gavignet, is concentrating on the tactical difficulties, the organisers have been attending to escort boats from first the United Arab Emirates Navy and then the Royal Nay of Oman.
The frequency of pirate attacks has lessened, as have the political tensions between Iran and the United States, but great care is being taken over the safety of the competitors.
Gavignet, who is close to ensuring that his hands will be on the trophy at the finish in Muscat next weekend, expects it to be a race of two halves into Dibba. The first should be straightforward down the coast but turning the corner brings into play winds affected by the mountains on their right. Spectacular, but tactically treacherous.
The forecast is for 15 5o 20 knots o west to south west breeze. “That should be quick but , then, I am expecting the fleet to compress and we could even see what would be a new start,” says Gavignet. “We need to eliminate any mistakes. There is still a long way to go.”
Rueing a couple of mistakes was Marcel Herrera, whose Plymouth University-backed crew on Messe Frankfurt is still comfortable second overall. But a twisted spinnaker in the first race, and a penalty turn for a premature start in the second delivered two fourths.
Better than the third race, where Herrera’s boat, on a short course close to land, ran aground and had to be pushed back into deeper water by a rigid inflatable boat. As outside assistance is forbidden he was forced to retire.
Perhaps the absence of navigator Coriolan Rousselle was being felt as he stayed closeted in his hotel room poring over chats and satellite weather information about the next leg.
The all-woman crew led by Kate Pettibone cahsed in with two thirds, but they moved a point behind third overall Team Delft.
At least they competed. The Royal Navy of Oman arrived at the marina just in time for the prize giving and lunch.
1 EFG Bank (S Gavignet) 7pts
2 Messe Frankfurt (M Herrera) 13.75
3 Team Delft (K Heemskerk) 20.5
4 Bank of Muscat (K Pettibone) 21.5
5 Renaissance (M al Busaidi) 26
6 Royal Navy of Oman (A al Alawi) 34.25
Latest in Sport
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker a doubt for Everton match due to muscle injury
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners 'use Champions League draw to discuss move' for PSG teenager Adrien Rabiot
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
England manager Roy Hodgson lectures Luke Shaw over fitness issues
Champions League draw: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City learn group stage fate
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage