High speed, high level.
Finding the level, whether to try and set the pace or simply stay with it; those were just some of the questions which occupied the minds of the five KRYS OCEAN RACE skippers before they left New York, Saturday for the first ever trans-oceanic race for the exciting new one design Multihull class.
As the first 24 hours of racing elapsed since a relatively benign, sticky departure from New York, it was Sidney Gavignet and the international crew of Musandam-Oman Sail which set the bar, heading for a first day’s run of around 610 miles. The team which includes two less experienced Omani sailors – Moshin Al Busaidi and Fahad Al Hasni – were just under five miles ahead of Seb Josse’s Gorupe Edmond de Rothschild.
During a first night during which FONCIA skipper Michel Desjoyeaux admitted that they had initially struggled to find their ideal configuration and pace, Gavignet and his crew took the lead during the small hours of Sunday. Though they latterly conceded a few miles to Josse and his crew, Musandam-Sail Oman showed a sustained speed advantage, averaging more than 30kts.
“We are just trying to hang on. It is as simple as that” Gavignet reported Sunday afternoon, “We have just had our first nose down at 32kts. It was not so nice. Temperatures are warm but it is still difficult to sleep. It is all good on Oman Sail. Moshin and Fahid are doing great”
If the morale was high on board the race leaders, there was disappointment for Stève Ravussin and the crew of Race for Water. The Swiss flagged team were coming to terms with damage to their daggerboard they sustained around 0500hrs Sunday morning after hitting a partially submerged container whilst they lead the race.
Three of the crew, including composite expert Yvan Ravussin were charged with effecting a composite repair to the damage, and this afternoon they reported that they had the board back in place, though not fully immersed and powered up.
The skipper reported: “Our daggeboard is broken at different levels and there is not too much more that we can do. We have put it back in place but lost time during the repair and the checking the boat over but now are back at race pace. We are in winds of 25 knots and 3 metres seas.”
The fleet remained tightly matched with just six miles of lateral separation between Musandam-Oman Sail to the south and the track of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Foncia slightly to the north.
Weather forecasts confirm at least another two days of high speed conditions.
Sébastien Josse, skipper Groupe Edmond de Rothschild early this morning: “Conditions are those that we expected really, winds have been downwind. The first night at sea is quite good. The seas are getting up a little as we get into the Gulf Stream. Usually we have two or three people on deck with someone on standby all the time. We saw Race for Water at the start of the night but they are out of sight. But we monitor the fleet on the computer and can see we all have similar conditions.”