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Five IMOCA 60s took part with French round the world racer legend Marc Guillemot competing with talented Figaro sailor Morgan Lagravière, who is to take over from Guillemot as Safran’s new skipper from 2015. British skipper Alex Thomson was entered aboard his latest Hugo Boss (ex-Virbac Paprec 3) with Spanish round the world sailor Pepe Ribes, but due to the arrival of his second child, Thomson made the decision to hand over to American skipper Ryan Breymaier. Their campaign was made no easier when they dismasted en route to the start. Fortunately the crew was able to repair the rig at record pace, making it to New York four days before the start.

Spain was well represented by the race’s only mixed crew – Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin, both competitors in the last Barcelona World Race. Spain’s most capped round the world sailor Guillermo Altadill was back on board Team Neutrogena, which he originally skippered when it was launched as Estrella Damm in 2007. He was joined by José Muñoz, the first occasion a Chilean had ever competed in an IMOCA race.

The race was also the first outing for the newest addition to the IMOCA fleet, Spirit of Hungary, marking Hungarian Nandor Fa’s return to the class, following a 17 year absence, joined on board by Marcel Goszleth. Sadly due to delays to the boat’s launching, it only arrived into New York the day before the start. Spirit of Hungary took the start line but then immediately returned to port, and retired, the boat needed some maintenance and further preparation work to be ready for its ongoing programme.

Furthermore the race was the first occasion IMOCA 60s have carried media crewman on board in a major event, fulfilling one of OSM’s key objectives to improve the quality of the media material coming off the boats.

Followers of the race got a taste of things to come in the Prologue from Newport to New York, the weekend before the start, when Team Neutrogena beat Safran Sailing Team by just 1 minutes and 25 seconds.

IMOCA OCEAN MASTERS NEW YORK TO BARCELONA FINAL PRIZEGIVING

This Friday, 20th June at the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, the prizegiving ceremony for the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race took place. The double-handed race across the North Atlantic represented an exceptional start to the new IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship.

This new race co-organised by Open Sports Management (OSM) and the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB – Barcelona Ocean Sailing Foundation) provided the crews with a challenging course and the opportunity to train for other IMOCA Ocean Master World Championship events coming up later this year: the Route du Rhum and the Barcelona World Race.

 

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Maite Fandos, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona and President of FNOB: “This year Barcelona is the world capital of ocean sailing”

• Sir Keith Mills, Chairman of OSM: “This was a fantastic new event that forms part of the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championships and I’m also looking forward to the start of the Route du Rhum and the Barcelona World Race – an action packed year for the class.”

The event was attended by Maite Fandos, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona and President of the FNOB, with Sir Keith Mills, President of OSM, as well as Jean Kerhoas, President of the IMOCA Class, who between them awarded the main prizes.

Enrique Corominas, President of the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona hosted the event. Local dignitaries in attendance included: Miquel Valls, President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Simón Sánchez from Hugo Boss Watches, Gerard Esteva, Vice President of the Union of Catalan Sporting Federations and President of the Catalan Sailing Federation and Barcelona City Council’s Àngels Esteller.

Fandos welcomed the five teams and confirmed that the event “has cemented a relationship that will surely stand the test of time”.

“New York and Barcelona are now united by the ocean. This year Barcelona is the world capital of ocean sailing and on 31st December this year, the city will be an international focal point and you will all be the stars once again.”

Sir Keith Mills added: “I am satisfied that this has been a fantastic event: we’ve had five IMOCA 60 racing boats, 10 skippers, five nationalities and three media crew… and we have been able to raise the profile of and attract significant interest in the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship in the media, from sponsors and the general public. The support has been huge and I’d like to thank everyone involved in this success. I’m really looking forward to the start of the next events, including the Route du Rhum and, of course, the Barcelona World Race, which starts at the end of the year”.

The winner’s trophy for this first edition of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race was sculpted in glass by British artist Paul Critchley. There was great applause when the prize was awarded to the winning team: Hugo Boss, with co-skippers Pepe Ribes and Ryan Breymaier. Hugo Boss arrived in Barcelona on Sunday, 15th June at 20:54:30 local time, taking just over 14 days to complete the 3,720 mile long course from New York.

“It’s a great source of pride to win this race, because it was very competitive and tough, but we pushed it to the limit the whole way and we’ve been rewarded with a win,” said Ribes. “Also, finishing the race in Barcelona, the city I live in, was something very special and it’s always a bonus.” Breymaier added that he had felt a very warm welcome from Barcelona when the pair arrived: “Barcelona’s my favorite European city.”

Four hours later, Team Neutrogena sailed by Spain’s Guillermo Altadill and Chilean José Muñoz arrived, after a very tight battle with Hugo Boss throughout the entire race.
“The regatta went very well for us in terms of testing and preparing the boat for the Barcelona World Race”, said Altadill.

As he was awarded the prize today he added: “The competition was the ideal test for the whole team and the boat. After this I’m really looking forward to starting the Barcelona World Race.” Muñoz also highlighted the demanding nature of the race, his own personal satisfaction with his IMOCA class début and the great dynamic he has formed with seasoned round the world sailor Altadill.

Co-skippers Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín arrived in third aboard GAES Sailing Team. The 15 day long race provided great experience for the crew. “We are very happy because we confirmed that both the crew and the boat have great potential,” said Marìn. Corbella added: “Setting off from the unrivaled backdrop of New York, picking up strong winds in the Atlantic and sailing close alongside our rivals, all the way home to Barcelona… As a sailor, I don’t think I could ask for much more.”

This race was the first scoring event in the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship and is also the first event organised by Open Sports Management, Sir Keith Mills’ sports marketing company based in Lausanne, Switzerland, which holds the commercial rights to the IMOCA class. The IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race was co-organised by the FNOB and the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Prizes Awarded: 

Prize for the best Media Crew Member: Awarded by His Excellency Miquel Camps, President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, to Andrés Soriano on Neutrogena.

Prize for the largest distance covered in 24 hours: Awarded by Simon Sánchez from Hugo Boss Watches, to co-skippers Pepe Ribes and Ryan Breymaier on Hugo Boss.

Special Award to Spirit of Hungary: Awarded by Gerard Esteva, Vice-President of the Union of Catalan Sporting Federations and President of the Catalan Sailing Federation, to co-skippers Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth.

Special Award to Safran Sailing Team: Awarded by the illustrious Àngels Esteller, Council woman for Barcelona City Council, to co-skippers Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagravière.

Prize for third place to GAES Centros Auditivos: Awarded by Jean Kerhoas, President of the IMOCA Class, to co-skippers Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín and the Media Crew Member Enrique Cameselle.

Prize for second place to Neutrogena Sailing Team: Awarded by Sir Keith Mills, President of OSM, to co-skippers Guillermo Altadill and José Muñoz and Media Crew Member Andrés Soriano.

Prize for first place to Hugo Boss: Awarded by Maite Fandos, Fourth Deputy Mayor of Barcelona and Councillor for Quality of Life and Sport at the Barcelona City Council, to co-skippers Pepe Ribes and Ryan Breymaier, with Media Crew Member Chris Museler.

Final result for the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race:

1.- Hugo Boss – Pepe Ribes (ESP) / Ryan Breymaier (USA)
Finish at Barcelona: 15-06-2014, at 20h 54m 30s local time
Time taken from New York: 14d 02h 44m 30s
2.- Team Neutrogena– Guillermo Altadill (ESP) / José Muñoz (CHI)
Finish at Barcelona: 16-06-2014, at 01h 05m 17s local time
Time taken from New York: 14d 06h 55m 17s
3.- GAES Sailing Team– Anna Corbella (ESP) – Gerard Marín (ESP)
Finish at Barcelona: 16-06-2014, at 15h 53m 45s local time
Time taken from New York: 14d 21h 42m 45s
Retired: Safran – Marc Guillemot (FRA)-Morgan Lagravière (FRA)
Retired: Spirit of Hungary – Nandor Hace (HUN)- Marcell Goszleth (HUN)

EVENT WEBSITE
www.oceanmasters.com

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/IMOCA.OceanRacing

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/OMchampionship

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/imocaTV

LIVE TRACKER:
http://oceanmasters-nytobcn.geovoile.com/2014/app/flash/

WORLD OF OCEAN MASTERS
Sign up to get your own digital members pass, go to : 
http://www.oceanmasters.com/pages/world-of-ocean-masters

Hugo Boss IMOCA 60 1

Hugo Boss, co-skippered by Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes Win the IMOCA New York to Barcelona Race (Photo credit Benoit Stichelbaut/Sea & Co)

Team Hugo Boss,  co-skippered by  Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes pull out a win of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Transatlantic Race 2014.

(Esp) and Ryan Breymaier (USA) crossed the finish line at 20 hrs 54 mins and 30 secs local time in Barcelona. They now will make their way to the arrivals pontoon for the family, media and public welcome ashore and press conference.

The crossing time was 14 days 2 hours 44 mms and 30 secs

Hugo Boss, co-skippered by Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes Win the IMOCA New York to Barcelona Race (Photo credit Benoit Stichelbaut/Sea & Co)

Hugo Boss, co-skippered by Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes Win the IMOCA New York to Barcelona Race (Photo credit Benoit Stichelbaut/Sea & Co)

HHugo Boss, co-skippered by Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes Win the IMOCA New York to Barcelona Race (Photo credit Benoit Stichelbaut/Sea & Co)

Hugo Boss, co-skippered by Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes Win the IMOCA New York to Barcelona Race (Photo credit Benoit Stichelbaut/Sea & Co)

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Safran (Photo by George Bekris)

The monohull Safran, skippered by Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagravière, has been forced to abandon while leading the Transat New York to Barcelona Race.

Last night, at around 0200hrs (French time), during a manoeuver in 35-40 knots of wind, Guillemot fell and suffered a serious blow. He has probably broken some ribs.

At 1500, the boat docked at Puerto Sherry, the port in Cadiz, Spain and Guillemot has gone to hospital for a diagnosis.

They said:

Marc Guillemot: “Abandoning is one injury that always hurts and it’s hard to accept but we are very happy with how we’ve done in the race. Morgan was really assured in looking after the boat. I’m not in very good condition. We are abandoning despite not wanting to.

“There was the (rough) sea, 30-35 knots of wind and there was a big wave. The boat reared up, and I did too, but the boat is heavier and it came back down faster. I found myself one meter above it and then crashed on to the edge of the headsail furler. Fortunately, Morgan saw that something was happening and he was able help me get back to the cockpit. I was doubled over. Once I was safe, he got the boat in a position to continue sailing to Gibraltar.”

Morgan Lagravière: “I saw it happening 10 meters from me. I was at the stern of the boat and Marc was on the bow. I was very scared because I was sure he was going to end up in the water. The waves were so huge that I thought he was a goner. Then he was in a state of shock, I had to drag him to the stern so it was really painful for him. Once he was sitting in the cockpit, he was suffering a lot. I managed the crisis. We managed to tack away to give me some shelter as I went to repair the (furling) reel. We talked about me finishing the race solo with Marc in his bunk and that we could still beat the others. But he was in too much pain. He and I have decided to abandon the race because we don’t know what is causing his pain: if it is a broken rib that could puncture something else, and then it gets complicated. We prefer to have a more accurate diagnosis. It was very intense for me last night…damn hard.

“The overall analysis (of the race) is still positive, as we came to work hard and we are super happy with the work we have done and the partnership we formed. We led the race from start to finish and we were still in the lead. It looked like we would win. We will have good memories even if abandoning is not easy to accept.”

Safran

Photo by Christophe Favreau

Photo by Christophe Favreau

 

(Photos Christophe Favreau)

For someone who is not a professional sailor, to go on a trip on an IMOCA 60 is a rare privilege. Charlotte Guillemot and Christophe Favreau, two of the communications team members of Open Sports Management (OSM), event organisers of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race, were both able to take part in the prologue race between Newport, Rhode Island, and New York.

For Guillemot (daughter of Safran skipper Marc’s cousin) and Favreau, this provided them with a clearer idea of the work of the on board ‘media crewmen’ who, for the transatlantic race, are charged with writing and sending in blogs, taking great photos and video footage and then transferring these across to the comms team back ashore in Barcelona. During the race the media crewmen will also answer any specific team and media requests made during the race – the first time the IMOCA Ocean Masters circuit has featured a dedicated on board media person during a major offshore race. Their objective is clear: to use the various media to provide followers of the race a glimpse of what life is like on board these extreme yachts as they experience ‘life on the inside’, something that the skippers sometimes struggle to achieve while they focus on trying to race their boats as fast as possible.

 

Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin, GAES Skippers study the routing (Photo by Christophe Favreau

Morgan Lagraviere on the bow  (Photo by Christophe Favreau)

Breathtaking arrival into New York   (Photo by Christophe Favreau)

French photo journalist Christophe Favreau, was on board Team GAES and shared his impressions of the voyage from Newport to New York overnight on Saturday: “The first thing I will remember from this experience is that one has to remain constantly attentive and not be distracted by the incredible environment around you.

To sail onboard an IMOCA 60 is amazing, but you have to be careful not to forget that before taking any enjoyment out of it, the media guy has to work, to take images that will allow him to share the story about a pair of skippers racing across the Atlantic.

Photo and video camera in hand, it is all about finding the best angles that show the intensity that goes into racing a complex yacht such as this. Fortunately conditions were relatively manageable with never more than 15 knots of wind and calm seas that made the work relatively easy for me during the 150 mile race. It even allowed me to climb the mast to get a little height for my shooting, but it is easy to imagine that it would become much more complicated when the weather turns bad and the boat starts to slam into the waves with a violent action. Added to the difficulty of taking images is then the discomfort of working inside the boat. These IMOCA 60s are very rigid and solid and they quickly become uncomfortable and very noisy on board.

The second point that I think is important is to ensure the skippers ‘forget that you are there’. Under the race rules each media man is prohibited from helping the sailing crew race the boat. They must not interfere with any of the manoeuvre, even if things go wrong! They have to embed himself into the crew, and to join in the rhythm of the team – a rhythm that often can be fast and challenging and to react to whatever conditions are thrown at him.

During the prologue race on board GAES, we caught a fishing net and one of the team had to dive overboard to release it. So you have to react quickly, take photos and film as that’s an important story to tell, which shows that it is not always plain sailing on board – you have to stay alert and ready at all times, something that will be tough after a few days at sea when the tiredness starts to creep up on you..!”

Photo by Christophe Favreau

Photo by Christophe Favreau

French video reporter Charlotte Guillemot, was on board Safran for the Prologue race :

Watch and film, be everywhere, without interfering in anything’. If I had a motto for the media person, that would be it. 

For me, to be in the right place at the right time, my sailing experience is always a great advantage : To know the boat well, its way of moving, understanding the different manœuvres, hoisting sails, understanding the crew intentions, in short pretty much becoming part of the team.

The technical terms used during sailing can be complicated and in the height of a race there is no time to explain to you what is going to happen with each move. It is up to you to be in the place you need to be and absolutely vital that you don’t get in the way. While capturing footage you absolutely mustn’t get in the way.

The media man is not allowed to get involved in any of the racing, but that does not alleviate the fact that life on board an IMOCA 60 at times is very uncomfortable. These are tough spartan boats that are built for speed, with no creature comforts and you feel that – even as the media guy. You have to share a communal bunk, eat freeze dried food, and the facilities for washing and the toilet are basic in the extreme !

But even given all that, this trip on Safran was a privilege for me. To be part of this great team, to feel almost like a proper part of the crew, but in particular to be the eyes of the people who will see the footage I shoot – this was an incredible experience.”

I’ve had a taste of offshore sailing, while doing my filming job and I want more !!

 

 

Neutrogena Wins Prologue (Photo courtesy of Ocean Masters NYBCN )

Neutrogena Wins Prologue (Photo courtesy of Ocean Masters NYBCN )

On a stunning day in New York City, with clear blue skies and a light 6-8 knot breeze, the Neutrogena Sailing Team, with co-Skippers Spaniard Guillermo Altadill and Chilean José Muñoz and their additional crew members won the prologue race by a mere 1 minute and 25 seconds over the French Safran Sailing Team. The race committee elected to shorten course and finish the race at the Verrazzano Suspension Bridge due to the lack of wind in the Hudson River.

As predicted the wind was extremely variable throughout the race, making it a tough tactical challenge for the three teams. Safran led the fleet out of Newport Bay and during the night Neutrogena overtook them and they both pulled out a bit of distance over GAES. In the early hours, the battle between the first two boats started and continued right until the finish line. Until the line at Verrazzano Bridge, Neutrogena and Safran were neck and neck, gybing downwind towards the bridge. They then split gybes at the end, Neutrogena favouring the left and Safran the right and so all bets were off and nobody could call it until they came together again for the finish line. A mere 1 minute and 25 seconds split 1st and 2nd place.

“It was an intense and fun race, a real match race. A couple of miles from the finish line, we jumped right in front and thanks to some aggressive tactics, with continuous gybing, we managed to win the race. The conditions were demanding, with almost continuous sail peels going on. It has been a great opportunity to compare the speed of our boat with the others.” explained Neutrogena Skipper Guillermo Altadill.

José Munoz, co-skipper added “I am very happy to get to New York. It’s my first time and I’m so lucky to come in on a sailing boat and winning the race! Guillermo is a really great tactician, he knows such a lot and is also very demanding. In some manoeuvres we suffered from lack of experience as a crew but we getting better. “

Second placed Safran Skipper Marc Guillemot spoke about the race : “ We had great conditions, a flat sea and wind throughout the race. It was very motivating to have such a close fight with Neutrogena all the way, they performed a little bit better than us throughout so its only fair they won, they were strategically better with the current. It was really nice to share the steering and tactical decisions with Morgan. It is the second time that Safran comes to New York and this time in sunshine so even better.”

Marc’s co-skipper on Safran Morgan Lagraviere, added his thoughts, “Awesome conditions, with lots of opportunities for tactical moves, I really enjoyed this trip. However being seven people onboard is not normal for us and so it was not so easy to adapt, and in reality we were not really able to be fully in ‘competition’ mode but it was still a great race.”

GAES TEAM in NYC

Team GAES in NYC after finishing Prologue Race (Photo courtesy of Ocean Masters NYBCN )

GAES arrived in third place joining the festival and welcome into New York. Anna Corbella, Co-Skipper summed up her race, “It has been interesting, despite the few problems we’ve had. In the evening we made a tactical error, sailing further from the coast than the other boats. Also sailing with four crew members is very positive, eight eyes looking around see more than only four. I was very impressed to get to New York, I had never been here before, and to arrive sailing in front of the Statue of Liberty was incredible.
Gerard Marín, Co-Skipper with Anna on GAES
added: ” We were doing very well until the evening time, but maybe we went too far offshore. Then we managed to catch two fishing lines, and we had to cut the second one from the keel early this morning – that was a pity. It is the first time I am in New York and it’s really impressive to be moored here in the centre of Manhattan. “

Safran and Neutrogena at North Cove Marina, NYC (Photo courtesy of Ocean Masters NYBCN )

The final positions and finishing times (New York local time) were :
1st – Neutrogena – 1346 hrs and 55 seconds local time
2nd Safran – 1338 hrs and 20 seconds
3rd GAES – 1508 hrs

Great news too for Hugo Boss as they re-stepped their mast in Newport today and will make their way to New York as soon as they are happy with everything and ready to go.

Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth onboard Spirit of Hungary are also making great progress towards New York and hope to arrive there on Thursday 29th May.

FOR  IMAGES OF THE PROLOGUE START IN NEWPORT BY GEORGE BEKRIS CLICK HERE

 

Marjan On Her Maiden Voyage (Photo by Mark Lloyd)

Marjan On Her Maiden Voyage (Photo by Mark Lloyd)

Oman Sail’s A100 trimaran, Majan,  departed Kuwait City on Tuesday, 10th November, on the first leg of the new Tour of Arabia race. Kuwait is the start of the five-leg Tour of Arabia which will link together the GCC countries. As the tour travel southwards it will stop in Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and finally, home to Muscat and the Oman Sail project.

Majan wass berthed in The Yacht Club Kuwait run by the government-owned Touristic Enterprises Company that offers berthing for 390 boats. As this is a public marina, Majan has enjoyed many visitors dropping by to talk to the crew and have a tour. Further along the coast is Al Kout that is home to the annual Kuwait Boat Show.

 Majan, Oman Sail’s new  A100 trimaran will be tracing out the route of this new professional sailing event organised by OC Events. Majan skipper, Paul Standbridge, commented: “It is an exciting prospect to be tracing out this new route which is really covering unchartered territory in terms of professional racing. Myself and all the Majan crew are really looking forward to this new adventure together, setting the reference times for other boats to challenge in the future years of this race. When we leave Kuwait City we will track east to avoid the oil fields and wells and other restricted areas. The total distance of the leg from Kuwait to Bahrain is 270 miles but the wind conditions here are light so we won’t be breaking any speed records! Nevertheless, sailing in light winds can be just as challenging as sailing in strong winds, as you have to work hard to keep the boat moving and making the most of the breeze when you have it. It’s good to be in a new country and the people are really friendly and helpful.”

Majan will be crewed by seven in total including skipper Paul Standbridge, and Oman Sail’s Mohsin Al Busaidi who become the first ever Arab to sail non-stop around the world in March this year. Two other Oman Sail trainees will join Paul and Mohsin alongside two professional crew and Mark Covell, a highly accomplished offshore sailing reporter as an onboard media crew member.

Kuwait is developing its modern sailing programme but it was Kuwait’s pearl industry that laid the foundation of its rich maritime history. Dhows, large wooden ships made from teak wood imported from India, became a distinct part of Kuwait’s maritime fleet and dhow building is still practiced in the state. Sailing is in its infancy in the country but the warm sea and flat waters are conducive to its development. The Kuwait Offshore Sailing Association and the Fahaheel Offshore Sailing Club promote sailing in Kuwait and run regular races and sail training programmes.

The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab emirate bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and Iraq to the north and west. The name is a diminutive of an Arabic word meaning ‘fortress built near the water’ and home to a population of nearly 3 million. Kuwait City was first settled in the early 18th Century by the Al-Sabah clan, later the ruling family of Kuwait and a branch of the Al-Utub tribe (that also included the Al-Khalifah clan, the ruling family of Bahrain), and their leader, Sheikh Sabah.

Tour of Arabia:

Kuwait City, Kuwait
In port 7th-9th November
Depart 10th November

Manama, Bahrain
In port 12th-14th November
Depart 15th November

Doha, Qatar
In port 16th-17th November
Depart 18th November

Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In port Abu Dhabi, 19th-20th November
Depart 21st November
In port Dubai, 21st-26th November
Depart 27th November

Muscat, Oman
Arrival end of November, 2009

Majan On Her Maiden Voyage (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail)

Majan On Her Maiden Voyage (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail)

Oman Sail’s recently launch Arabian 100 (A100) trimaran, will be tracing out the route of two future professional sailing events in Asia over the coming months.   The Tour of Arabia will link together the GCC countries from Kuwait in the north to Oman in the south. · This will lead into the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’, taking in South Africa, Australia, Singapore, India, via all corners of the Indian Ocean and the five great Capes of the region

The growth of competitive sailing in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean has today taken a further step forward as the sailing events company, OC Events (Asia), launches two new premier racing circuits.

The entire region is steeped in maritime heritage and legend, and is criss-crossed by a multitude of ancient and historically significant ocean trading routes. Professional and competitive sailing is only just awakening, but development of pro circuits will probably happen faster than the decades it has taken in Europe.

Building on the foundations of the Asian Record Circuit established by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2007 onboard ‘B&Q’, and the Extreme Sailing Series Asia to be staged this winter in Hong Kong, Singapore and Muscat (Oman), OC Events (Asia) have now launched two inaugural premier racing events – the ‘Tour of Arabia’ and the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’.

The launch of the first of the new Arabian 100 (A100) Class trimarans, Oman Sail’s stunning Majan, is the catalyst for the creation of these two new ground-breaking offshore racetracks. On 10 November, Majan will set out from Kuwait City in the north of the Arabian Gulf on a five-leg tour that will cover 1,700 nautical miles (3,150km), to trace out and test the route of the future ‘Tour of Arabia’ race. Stopping in Bahrain, Qatar Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Majan’s voyage will finish in Muscat, Oman.

The ‘Tour of Arabia’ will lead directly into the premier edition of the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’. Other than the recent traverse of the Indian Ocean by the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, current traditional oceanic courses only exploit the southern part of the Indian Ocean and above 40 degrees South it remains the most unchartered territory as far as professional racing is concerned, yet it offers a wide variety of tactical challenges and conditions.

Onboard Majan (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail)

Onboard Majan (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Oman Sail)

As with the ‘Tour of Arabia’, Majan will trace out this new course taking the big dive south for a giant tour of the Indian Ocean Capes facing the challenges of all the combined might of the Southern and Indian Oceans. From the heat of the tropics, frustrations of the windless Doldrums at the Equator to the towering waves of the Roaring Forties. Majan plans to set out on the 6th February, 2010, on this 15,000 nautical miles (27,780km) course, that should take between 35 and 40 days including stopovers.

The Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race will pass the Capes of Ras Al Hadd (Oman), down to Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), across the frozen wastes of the Southern Ocean to Cape Leeuwin (SW Australia), past Cape Piai on the tip of the Malaysian peninsula (the southernmost point of mainland Asia, just to the west of Singapore), and back underneath Cape Comorin (southern tip of India) to Oman on the Arabian Peninsula. As the class of large ocean going trimarans like Majan (sistership to Thomas Coville’s Sodebo) grows, it is planned for this to develop as a recurring event on the ocean racing calendar.

Tour Of Arabian Sea Map

Tour Of Arabian Sea Map

Oman Sail’s new A100 Majan, designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret, was built in Australia before being assembled locally in Salalah (Oman). David Graham, CEO Oman Sail: “We built and launched Majan, the first Arabian 100 with a plan. We believe that the combination of exhilarating boats and challenging conditions in this economically buoyant region has a real potential for future growth. In conjunction with OC Events, we look forward to racing around the Arabian Gulf, Indian and Southern Oceans this winter and next spring.” Internationally renowned sailor, Paul Standbridge, will skipper Majan alongside Mohsin Al Busaidi who became the first Arab to ever sail non-stop around the world on board Majan’s stablemate, the 75-ft trimaran Musandam back in March this year, and they will be joined by two professional crew and two Oman Sail trainees plus a media crewman, Mark Covell.

Mark Turner, CEO, OC Events: “The launch of the new A100 class with the first sea miles of Majan presents us with an opportunity to develop these two new fascinating racetracks. These courses have both historical and sporting credibility, and equally commercial interest for sponsors of future competing teams. Between the ‘Tour of Arabia’ and the ‘Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race’, we’re visiting 10 key markets, passing through all the corners of the Indian Ocean via five great Capes, and linking the Middle East with Central Asia. Professional yacht racing might have developed with an Atlantic flavour, but the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean remain great unchartered territory for future sailing events.”