Oman Sail set to join the Multi One Design 70 circuit
Wednesday 17 August 2011
Oman Sail have today announced they have signed a contract to purchase the sixth Multi One Design (MOD) 70 and appointed the man who smashed the solo and fully-crewed Round Britain and Ireland record onboard the 32 metre multihull Oman Air Majan last year to skipper the boat, Sidney Gavignet.
The Multi One Design Championship is a new concept for competitive sailing that brings together the adventure of ocean races with the tension and drama of inshore races that will be held within easy view of the public. The races of the Multi One Design Championship will combine sport, spectacle and suspense and will be the pinnacle of the Oman Sail programme.
The boat build will start immediately, with the Oman Sail team taking delivery of the 70 foot trimaran in April 2012, just three months ahead the KRYS OCEAN RACE which will kick off the Multi One Design Championshipwith a 2,950 mile sprint eastbound across the Atlantic from New York (USA) to Brest on the north-west top of France in July 2012.
Heading up the exciting new trimaran will be Sidney Gavignet who joined the Oman Sail team in 2010 to skipper the 100 foot trimaran Oman Air Majan in the Route du Rhum. At 42 years old the Frenchman is an accomplished and respected sailor who is a veteran round the world sailor having completed four Volvo Ocean Races / Whitbreads, winning the race once. He currently holds the record for the fastest transatlantic crossing in a monohull and is looking forward to his next transatlantic crossing.
“For me the MOD70 is the most attractive boat on the water currently. The boats are quick and although I always enjoy racing around the planet, it’s better when it’s quick! Also it’s absolutely one design, similar to the Extreme 40, so racing will be extremely close amongst the six boats from New York to Brest.” Sidney Gavignet, skipper and project manager of Oman Sail MOD70.
Sidney will step off of the Oman Air’s Extreme 40 after Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cowes to manage the MOD70 project and the all important crew selection process. The team will be made up of four top international crew and two top Omani national sailors for the offshore legs with an additional international and Omani sailor joining the crew for the inshore legs. A rigorous selection process will start in October.
One of the main deciders for Oman Sail’s participation in the MOD70 circuit was the destinations the boats will visit in the World and European tours, the majority of which are key markets for Oman with direct flight routes to Muscat with the countries national airline, Oman Air. The programme will continue to promote Oman as a unique luxury tourist destination around the globe.
“The MOD70 will take the Oman Sail project to another level. It is a very powerful boat whose crew will need to have the skill base to perform against some of the world’s best sailors. It will be crucial to recruit the right people to the project and I know we have a number of great sailors in Oman that will earn their place onboard and make Oman proud. It is a truly inspirational project that will provide a platform for our current top sailors compete and develop their sailing skills and inspire a whole new generation of Omani’s into sailing.” Explained David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail.
Even though Oman Sail was only conceived three years ago, the company that is re-igniting the maritime heritage in Oman already has a strong history in multihull sailing. In 2009 Mohsin Al Busaidi became the first Arab to sail non-stop around the world onboard the 75 foot trimaran Musandam. Their Extreme 40 sailing teams have dominated the Extreme Sailing Series over the last few years and they have a strong young Hobie 16 team who hope to be some of the stars of multihull sailing in the future.
To watch a video about Oman Sail’s MOD 70 campaign including interviews with Sidney Gavignet and David Graham, please click here
Sidney Gavignet’s replacement on the Extreme 40 Oman Air will be announced ahead of the next Extreme Sailing Series event in Trapani, Italy.