2nd place for Team Messe Frankfurt!

2nd place for Team Messe Frankfurt!

Tuesday February 19 2013 Author: Sam Holliday Location: United Kingdom

Yesterday I spoke of the team’s disappointment in finishing seventh during leg three, from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. I said that tomorrow is a different day, and my god it was! Yesterday’s race started with a 2 hour delay due to problems at customs, which in fact worked in our favour. We were able to spend more time indulging in the first proper cooked breakfast since we can remember - with pork sausages galore, the boys were happy! Our sponsors Messe Frankfurt put on a brunch for their staff and clients, which provided the perfect opportunity for the guys to show off OMSF009 in her finest! As the delay continued, the wind built to 10knots gusting 14 at times.

With a downwind leg, it was a paced sail under the masthead kite for 99% of the race! As the start gun went, Team Messe Frankfurt kept out of trouble crossing the line mid-fleet with TU Delft and Dee Caffari’s all female crew. Once again the French seemed to be racing a different race pulling out a truly impressive lead after just 500m of racing. With the duel for 4th place overall in mind, the tactic was to go out and put in a good result against the flying Dutchmen on TU Delft and this looked good all the way through, with the boys slowly chipping away at the Dutch. As we rounded the first mark, the French seemed uncatchable; but this is yacht racing and anything can happen. As we approached the halfway stage, the committee boat came into contact with around 8 fishing vessels laying nets in the

middle of ‘our’ race course! It is of course well within their right to be doing so, just infuriating for the teams when nets are not lit for all to see. From the committee boat it was plain to see boats were getting caught, broaching and grounding to a complete halt. Skipper Marcel said on arrival to Ras Al Khaimah that “we clipped 7 nets but were fortunate in the sense that not one caught us

properly, they seemed to bounce straight off our bow.” The same cannot be said for EFG, BAE and in fact the rest of the fleet as they ploughed straight through the nets with some teams losing almost an hour tangled. It was so serious for TU Delft that their bowman had to go for a swim in order to free the net from their keel. This proved the perfect opportunity for Team Messe Frankfurt to capitalize on their conservative passage through the nets and take third and then second place. As the last two hours went on Team Messe Frankfurt continued to make gains on first place AISM, but in the end the 8-time winner of the Tour du France proved too much and crossed the finish line a mere 2 minutes ahead of our boys!

After the finish line the boys treated themselves to a well deserved beer in the beautiful Al Hamra Marina, Ras Al Khaimah.

This second place cements the boys in 4th place overall. They are four points ahead of 5th, and six points behind the 3rd placed boat, EFG Bank Monaco. With inshore racing today, the boys will be hoping for another good result. The breeze is around 5 knots and should build steadily throughout the day, allowing for a couple of races this morning before the prize giving this afternoon!

More soon, Sam

To follow the race as it unfolds and watch our progress you can get involved through any of the following links:

Race Tracker: http://www.sailingarabiathetour.com/page/Track-the-Race

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlymouthSailingTeam

Twitter: https://twitter.com/plym_sail_team


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