Vic­tory at ArMen Race shows Oman Sail Class 40 team worth

The de­vel­op­ment squad of ex­pe­ri­enced Omani sailors Akram Al Wa­haibi, Raad Al Hadi and Mo­hammed Al Mu­jaini, fin­ished ahead of eight other teams in the Class 40 divi­sion

Times of Oman - - SPORTS -

Times News Ser­vice

MUS­CAT: The po­ten­tial of the newly-formed Oman Sail Class 40 team has been high­lighted by the re­cent win in the ArMen Race, one of France’s largest off­shore events.

The de­vel­op­ment squad of ex­pe­ri­enced Omani sailors Akram Al Wa­haibi, Raad Al Hadi and Mo­hammed Al Mu­jaini, with French skip­per Guil­laume Le Brec and co-skip­per Vin­cent Riou, fin­ished ahead of eight other teams in the Class 40 divi­sion.

Start­ing and fin­ish­ing in the Brit­tany port of La Tri­nite sur Mer, last week­end’s 360-mile ArMen Race de­liv­ered chal­leng­ing con­di­tions which re­sulted in nu­mer­ous re­tire­ments among the 160-strong fleet.

The Oman Sail team com­pleted the course in one day, 15 hours and 34 min­utes. “This vic­tory is a cherry on the cake, but first and fore­most this is a de­vel­op­ment pro­ject,” said skip­per Le Brec.

“That is our main ob­jec­tive, though it is good to have room for a sur­prise re­sult. The im­por­tant thing is that ev­ery­one re­mained mo­ti­vated even though there were dif­fi­cult mo­ments with strong winds and the sea.

“Mo­hammed Al Mu­jaini, Akram Al Wa­haibi and Raad Al Hadi were very in­vested with a great de­sire to learn,” he added.

The team’s vic­tory fol­lows a sec­ond place fin­ish at the four­day Grand Prix Guyader re­gatta ear­lier in the month and Oman Sail now sits in sec­ond place in the Class 40 Eu­ro­pean Tro­phy rankings. “This was an out­stand­ing per­for­mance in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions and the whole crew de­serve our con­grat­u­la­tions,” said Neil Coxon, Direc­tor of Sail­ing at Oman Sail. “This will be a long cam­paign for our Class 40 de­vel­op­ment team and they will no doubt face many chal­lenges and in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion at the year pro­gresses. This has been a strong start and gives the cam­paign firm foun­da­tions for the squad to build on.”

The next event for the Oman Sail Class 40 team is the 975mile Nor­mandy Channel Race later this month, fol­lowed by the around the Isle of Wight race in the UK in July, and the chal­leng­ing 1,800-mile Seven­star Round Bri­tain and Ire­land Race in Au­gust.

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