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Oman Sail cats look to defend line honours

The latest on the JPMorgan Round the Island entries

Friday June 18th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

Among the enormous JPMorgan Round the Island entry tomorrow the Oman Sail Masirah team will be looking to defend their line-honours title. Masirah will be racing against 1,753 other boats, including their team-mates on The Wave, Muscat.

It took Masirah 6 hours, 39 minutes, and 40 seconds to be first across the line last year, finishing just 49 seconds ahead of Team Aqua, skippered by America’s Cup and Olympic medal winner Russell Coutts.

However the Extreme 40s are unlikely to better the pace of Francis Joyon's 100ft trimaran IDEC. Although the weather will decide if it will be a record breaking year, both Masirah and The Wave, Muscat will be pushing for line-honours. “The forecast is looking better by the day and it should be good conditions for the Extreme 40’s. Even if we only have 3-4 knots of wind it is enough to get a hull flying!” said Cumming.

British talent Paul Campbell-James, helm of The Wave, Muscat is known for his aggressive tactics on the water; the last time he took the helm of an Extreme 40 during an event on the Solent he capsized... “We are really looking forward to the race. We are a young team but we have had good results so far this season and work together really well. Pete our team manager keeps telling me to make sure I keep the boat up the right way and don’t break anything!”

Joining Paul will be Omani National Squad member Khamis Al Anbouri, on bow. Khamis was part of the winning team on Masirah in 2009.

It will be an early start for the teams with the start gun firing at 0510am (BST). If it is a record breaking year then the teams will be home for breakfast!

A boat which is unlikely to be doing battle with the Extreme 40s is the majestic J Class Velsheda...

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