2019 EFG Sailing Arabia-The Tour: Golfe du Morbihan takes lead
The young French outfit - Golfe du Morbihan - impressed on the opening day as the 2019 EFG Sailing Arabia-The Tour (SATT) began at Marina Bandar al Rowdha in Muscat on Sunday.
Following the completion of four stadium races amid steady breeze, Golfe du Morbihan claimed two outright wins and a second place to start on a encouraging note.
The two-week challenge saw ten teams hitting upto 20 knots off Marina Bandar Al Rowdha and three different winners emerged on day one.
Earlier in the day, H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, the Minister of Sports Affairs, presided over the opening ceremony.
Oman Sail CEO David Graham highlighted the success of last year’s new-look event which introduced the high-speed Diam 24 boat and switched the focus to an entirely Oman-based course.
“The calibre of the sailors here this year has hit a high – Olympic sailors, Volvo Ocean Race sailors, and winners, America’s Cup sailors and a number of very impressive up and coming young sailors.
“Racing in identical Diam 24 trimarans means the focus will be on skills, tactics and efficient teamwork,” said Graham.
On Monday, a coastal raid will be held off Marina Bandar al Rowdha before the boats and teams move down the coast to Sur.
Golfe du Morbihan helmsman Louis Flamment said, “It was a good beginning of course, and we were very focused and got good starts and good speed, and we did our best.”
Skippered by Solune Robert, Cheminée Poujoulat came up with a win in the opening race and it finished the day in second place, just a point behind the leaders.
Skipper Robin Follin said, “It was a good start for us – we had to keep it all very cool as the wind was quite strong.”
Also a race winner on Sunday was four-time Tour Voile winner Damien Iehl, skipper of first-time Sailing Arabia entry MOOD.
A third in the fourth and final race of the opening day saw it finish on the podium in third overall.
Standings [after day one]: 1 Golfe du Morbihan, 2 Cheminée Poujoulat, 3 MOOD, 4 Beijaflore, 5 Oman Shipping Company, 6 CER Geneva, 7 Seaflotech, 8 Renaissance, 9 EFG Bank, 10 DB Schenker.