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Musandam-Oman Sail start 2016 season with a class win - Myth of Malham Royal Ocean Racing Club - RORC © http://www.rorc.org © Rick Tomlinson / RORC
Nick Jones' First 44.7 Lisa - 2016 Myth of Malham Race © Rick Tomlinson / RORC

Myth of Malham Race victory Musandam-Oman Sail

Tenacity and dogged determination were to the fore for the class winners of the 230-mile Myth of Malham Race. With a light fickle northerly breeze, staying alert and making the best of the light conditions was the recipe for success. Yachts from Britain, France, Germany and Oman were the class winners.

Gilles Fournier’s French J/133, Pintia was the overall winner of the Myth of Malham Race, after a tremendous battle with Suzi and Nick Jones’ British First 44.7, Lisa. The two boats were literally side by side for the 230 mile race and after IRC time correction Pintia was the winner by just eight seconds after 38 hours of racing. Lisa was second but now leads the RORC Season’s Points Championship. Past RORC Commodore Mike Greville racing his Ker 39, Erivale III was third overall.

Gilles Fournier was sailing back to their home port of Le Havre when he heard the news. “The whole crew are delighted but I must ring Nick Jones.” smiled Gilles. “When you are on the right side by eight seconds it is nice but I suppose Nick will be on the right side next time. They managed to stay ahead of us for sometime but we caught up and rounded Eddystone in front but then we ran out of wind and they passed us again. However, w never gave up, we kept up our motivation to the end because we knew that it would be very close. Like Nick and Suzi’s Lisa, we are a family boat. Pintia sails with my daughter Corinne Migraine and my grandson Victor Migraine and my two nephews; Yan and Thomas Fournier. Also Daniel Devos who is one of the best Laser Masters in the world. We are all from the Société des Régates du Havre and it is the best sailing school in France.”

“We really pushed each other and that is probably why we both did so well.” commented Lisa’s skipper, Nick Jones. “Keeping going in light airs for that length of time is far more difficult that racing in moderate or heavy weather and all the crew had to dig deep to stay alert. With just zephyrs of wind concentration levels need to be maintained. Suzi did a fantastic job trimming the Code Zero. Using the apparent wind to hop from one puff of breeze to the next was the trick and the team managed that very well. We are delighted to be leading the RORC Season’s Points Championship and would like to thank the Pintia team for a fantastic race. Now home to look after our three children!”

The battle of the MOD70s in the Multihull Class was won by Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet. Tony Lawson’s Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, was just under 12 minutes behind after a cat and mouse chase lasting 21 hours. The Multihulls started after the rest of the fleet and although Musandam-Oman Sail were first over the line, Concise 10 did a better job of getting through the traffic to make the favoured main land shore in the crowded Solent.

However, it was the Omani MOD70 that led out past The Needles into the English Channel, passing Concise 10 just after Lymington in a better wind line. Concise 10 came back, taking the lead on a hitch offshore after Swanage, but once again Sidney Gavignet’s team came back, in fresher breeze building from behind, to round Eddystone Lighthouse ahead of their rival. Concise 10 narrowed the margin by staying offshore at Portland on the return leg, but Musandam-Oman Sail covered their competition from the front, to take line honours and the multihull class.

Musandam-Oman Sail’s skipper Sidney Gavignet commented: ‘Light, very light! But great racing. We just managed to move away from Concise, a bit more than a mile, but that is nothing. From the start we have had a good battle, probably doing better gybes than our friends, which helped us to get out of the Solent. But then a transition zone came and messed with the cards and we got over taken…. Raghhhh! The team is sailing well, with no mistakes on the manoeuvres. It is good to be racing. Before the race, RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd, prepared a nice speech and gave it to Fahad Alhasni, to read in Arabic…Probably the first time that Arabic has been used in the RORC, it was great!

Musandam-Oman Sail start 2016 season with a class win - Myth of Malham Royal Ocean Racing Club - RORC © http://www.rorc.org

Musandam-Oman Sail start 2016 season with a class win – Myth of Malham Royal Ocean Racing Club – RORC © http://www.rorc.org

Piet Vroon’s Dutch Ker 51, Tonnerre 4 was the first boat home racing under IRC but a building breeze favoured their German rivals, Avenarius and Gondesen’s Ker 46, Shakti was the winner of IRC Class Zero, after time correction. It was Shakti’s second class win of the season and puts the team narrowly ahead of Tonnerre 4 for the class.

In IRC Two, Gilles Fournier’s French J/133, Pintia scored a commanding victory, winning the class by nearly five hours after time correction. Two British J/122s enjoyed a terrific battle for second place. After racing for for two days and night, Andy Theobald’s R&W crossed the finish line just two minutes ahead of David Richards’ Jolly Jellyfish sailed by Gianluca Folloni. However, after time correction Jolly Jellyfish won the battle for second place. The Army Sailing Association’s J/122, British Soldier finished a tenacious fifth to take the class lead for the season in IRC Two.

In IRC Three, Benoit D’halluin’s A35, Dunkerque – Les Dunes de Flandre took both line honours and the win on IRC corrected time for the class. Second was Louis-Marie Dussere French JPK 10.10 Raging Bee with Nick Martin’s British J/105 Diablo-J in third.

In IRC Four, Noel Racine’s JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew took line honours for the class but the winner on IRC corrected time was Stuart Greenfield’s Half Tonner Silver Shamrock. Hugo Tardivel’s A31 Columbus Circle was third. Silver Shamrock was also the winner of the IRC Two-Handed Class. Louis-Marie Dussere French JPK 10.10 Raging Bee was second in IRC Two-Handed Class less than 13 minutes ahead of Nick Martin’s British J/105 Diablo-J. Robert Nelson’s J/105 Bigfoot was fourth, retaining the IRC Two-Handed class lead for the season.

Four Class40s entered the Myth of Malham Race. Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche took up the early running but Adriaan van Oord’s Moonpalace was the eventual winner with Partouche second. Tony Lawson’s Concise 2, with an all girls team sailed by Joy Fitzgerald was third and lead the RORC Season’s Points Championship.

by Louay Habib

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