Two in a row for Gavignet
Sidney Gavignet and his crew on EFG Bank (Monaco), won leg 4 of the EFG Sailing Arabia–The Tour 2014, east down the UAE coast from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah yesterday, despite being one of two teams to be OCS at the start. However, it didn’t take too long for the overall series leader to re-compose itself and crawl back up the fleet.
The team managed to wriggle its way through into the lead in the shifty conditions, leaving Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team skippered by Marcel Herrera, and early leg leader, Team Delft Challenge–TU Delft, skippered by Kay Heemskerk, in second and third places respectively.
Gavignet commented: “We were over the line at the start, and the Navy over too, right next to us, to leeward. It was quite detrimental to us but we took some good shifts and pulled through. A key to our win was tweaking the rig. We have been working on the rig from the start of the series and we are now close to very good trim for this mainsail, which is a very positive point.
“It was also very important to be first at the first mark because from there on it was difficult to overtake. We had to play with a few fishing nets too in the latter stages of the race but managed them well. The fishermen came to us with a torch. In fact there seemed to be one fisherman per net which helped the fleet a lot.”
Heemskerk and his Team Delft Challenge – TU Delft crew, who won both inport races in Abu Dhabi, showed good pace up the beat. 10 miles into the 46 mile race, the British student crew on Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team, gained on the favoured left-hand side of the course. However, as they rounded the windward mark it was EFG Bank (Monaco) that had moved into the lead, a position she was never to relinquish.
Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team skipper Marcel Herrera commented: “We were pleased with our speed. It was all about sail trim and adjusting in the rig because the wind was up and down and all over the place. We suffered with gear failure just after the start when the bottom of our mainsheet system jammed but once sorted we pulled through into the lead. Once EFG Bank (Monaco) had got through however, the leg to the finish became a procession so there was no chance to overtake.”
Heemskerk skipper of Team Delft Challenge – TU Delft, added: “We led the first upwind beat but it was tough and difficult conditions because the wind picked up to 15-18 knots. We picked up a good right shift and chose right but EFG and Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team went left, and it paid.”
The teams are now preparing for the inport races in Ras Al Khaimah within the harbour off Al Hamra Marina & Yacht Club today. With two wins apiece in the inport racing to date in EFG Bank Sailing Arabia-The Tour, so far Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team and Team Delft Challenge–TU Delft, are keen to repeat their performances.