Sailing a MOD70 doublehanded

Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail /
Oman Air's Sidney Gavignet and Damian Foxall on how they are not going to make it a hat trick of MOD70 capsizes
Within the ever fluctuating classes that comprise French offshore sailing, the MOD70 has taken over from the ORMA 60 as the school boy sailor’s pin-up boat of choice (okay, alongside the AC72). However despite a change to one designs to curb escalating costs and the MOD70s being undisputed weapons, all is still not well in the offshore sailing world’s Grand Prix multihull class. Following the dramatic capsize of Jean Pierre Dick’s Virbac Paprec, just two of these VPLP-designed ocean greyhounds will compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre: Seb Josse and Charles Caudrelier on Edmond de Rothschild (aka Gitana) and Sidney Gavignet and Damian Foxall, on Oman Air. Both the Oman Air crew have competed in the race twice before. Gavignet did an early race with Marc Guillemot on the latter’s ORMA 60 and with Sam Davies on the Artemis IMOCA 60 in 2009, while Foxall competed alongside Karine Fauconnier on the Sergio Tacchini ORMA 60 in 2003 and started the 2005 race with Armel le Cleac’h on the Foncia ORMA 60, only to capsize in the Channel. Both are also past-Volvo Ocean Race winners - Gavignet on Puma (2008-9), winning on ABN AMRO One in 2005-06, and sailing Assa Abloy (01-02) while Foxall won the last fully crew round the world race with Franck Cammas (and Gitana crew Charles Caudlier) on Groupama last time, having previously raced on Green Dragon (2008-9), Ericsson (2005-6) and Tyco (2001-2). The Franco-Irish duo Gavignet (left) and Foxall (right) shared their thoughts: So a 5,400 mile long match race? Damian Foxall: “I think a match race could actually be a bigger competition than we were hoping for. It is possible that having two boats will be more intense than having a fleet. We can imagine that the tactical side could have more weight to it than it