MOD70 EUROPEAN TOUR UPDATE – JUST IN! – We reported Oman-Sail was in second place this morning but they have now just pulled into the lead! Check out the latest report below:
Latest position reports show the Omani flagship with a 1.2 mile advantage over former leaders Spindrift but with just eight miles separating all five trimarans, the celebrations are not likely to start just yet, according to helmsman Brian Thompson.
“We are not punching the air because you have to be in the lead at the finish so we are just concentrating on going fast and not making any mistakes but it feels good and is a pay off for all our hard work so far,” Thompson said.
“It shows you how close the MOD 70 racing is and we have seen on this leg with Race for Water how a small problem can set you back though they are back in sight now. We are in a good position but when things are this close, it’s important we stay focussed.”
The remaining 350 miles of the second leg from Dun Laoghaire in Ireland to Cascais are likely to present a few hours of frustration with the strong breeze likely to ease later on Tuesday when the fleet is set to grind to a halt with progress uncertain.
For the moment though, the temperatures are rising as they move south and, charging along at more than 27 knots, Sidney Gavignet’s crew on Musandam-Oman Sail are maintaining the highest speeds in the fleet.
Omani helm Fahad Al Hasni has made a significant contribution to their progress with some fast driving undergennaker while Moshin Al Busaidi has been key to the smooth sail changes and running all the systems on board.
Both crew members were excited by the current success of Musandam-Oman Sail though understood there was a lot of work to be done to protect their position until the finish line.
“I feel very happy and hope we can stay in the lead right to the end,” said Al Busaidi.
“The whole team is working very hard to hold our position – I think we are working together better than ever and we are seeing the results.
“It would mean so much to us if we could win this leg but we know there is not much wind ahead so we have to carry on working hard.”