Sidney Gavignet on the MOD70s

Mark Lloyd / MOD SA
Musandam-Oman Sail's skipper gives an ex-Volvo Ocean Race sailor's perspective
French Volvo Ocean Race veteran turned multihull sailor Sidney Gavignet still had something of the ‘cat that had got the cream’ about him when we spoke to him last week. Musandam-Oman Sail, the MOD70 he skippers, had demolished the opposition on leg four of the one design trimaran circuit’s European Tour into Marseille, a special place for him as it was where he trained during his formative years as a sailor. This was also the first significant victory for the new Omani trimaran since she was launched this spring. Gavignet, who’s lengthy Volvo Ocean Race career started on the maxi ketch La Poste and continued on to Assa Abloy, then winning with Mike Sanderson’s team in 2005-6 on ABN AMRO One and then coming second with Ken Read’s team on Puma in 2008-9, joined Oman Sail in 2010 when he skippered their 105ft trimaran Oman Air Majan singlehanded in the Route du Rhum. Sadly this came to a sorry end when the boat broke to the north of the Azores and had to be abandoned. Committed to having a large trimaran as the flagship project within their expanding portfolio of sailing classes, Oman Sail then opted for the fledgling MOD70 class, continuing with Gavignet as their skipper. “I enjoy it a lot,” says Gavignet of the MOD70 class. “It is ideal I think. The concept is perfect for the period, the budgets are quite a bit cheaper than other things like the Volvo. And it is spectacular. It goes fast from one place to another, which is important to reach markets. They are reliable – I think we have proved it now as we have been sailing them a lot.” The MOD70 was born following some 20 years worth of engineering data from the ORMA 60 trimarans, plus a safety margin has been added