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Mussanah Race Week in Oman - Day 2

by Oman Sail 13 Mar 2013 20:31 GMT 10-16 March 2013

Oman Sails's Mussanah is Race Week featured another action packed day on the water. After a short postponement from the race committee, as they waited for Mussanah's sea breeze to fill in, the competitors witnessed the wind build to a steady 10-12kts, and at 11:50 the first signal was sounded in order to mark the beginning of the second day's racing.

With a fresher breeze, competitors were keen to be on the front row of the start line, and with that there were some errors made, and at times, sailors disqualified for being over the line within the one-minute time signal.

The F18 fleet were in their element as they enjoyed the ideal conditions for catamaran sailing; flat water and fresh breeze, and as the French leaders commented: "the great temperature." Gurven Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot are thrilled to be sailing at this incredible venue, and they're also impressed by the competition being posed by Oman's team of Musab Al Hadi and Ahmed Al Balushi. Amiot stated: "Yet again, the conditions were perfect and that meant the racing was seriously close. We were over the start line during the 2nd race, and that almost cost us. Overall it's a really good training event for us in the lead up to this year's race circuit." The French and Oman team are currently on equal points, with the French in first place due to count back. Al Hadi comments: "Yesterday we were second behind the French guys, today we managed to tie in points with them, they're really good, we competed with them last year in Carnac and there was a massive difference in points, so we've certainly made progress, the gap between is closing." It is clear that the Oman team have been training hard and it is great to see that paying off, especially in their home waters. In 3rd position, only 6 points behind 2nd place are the German team: Jens Uwe and John Adreas. There is everything to play for in the F18 fleet, so tomorrow is set to be an exciting day.

In the Laser Standard Fleet, competition is heating up, as Olympic Gold Medallist Paul Goodison takes his first win of the regatta, putting him is 3rd position overall, 2nd is New Zealand's Andy Maloney, but still commanding the front of the fleet and lying in 1st position is Australia's Tom Burton: "Today was a bit windier than expected. With the forecast we thought being 4-6 knots it was a bit surprising to see it build to what ended up being around 12-15knots, but nice to stretch out the legs.The front of the fleet is very fierce, if you come out of the day with a few races in the top 5 I think it would be a pretty good day. Especially in this shifty breeze and the quality of the fleet." With this wind strength it was the Laser Standard were forced to restart races as they jostled for a front line position at the start, meaning that a number of boats were over the start.

In the Laser Radials Amos Lim of Singapore, Jevyn Ong also from Singapore and Adel Khalid from the UAE lie in 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. The whole of the Singapore team have shown strong competition and determination throughout the races. Adel comments: "They are very good sailors, and tomorrow I will have to put up a strong fight against these sailors if I am to make it to first position. Hopefully we will get even more wind, which is more suitable for me." There is such close racing at the front of the Radial fleet, and as boats are rounding the marks together, there are protests pending as rules are questioned as to whom has right of way during a busy mark rounding. The Oman youth Radial sailors are holding their own, and are steadily creeping up the fleet with three of them now ranked in the top 10.

Again the windsurfers were tested, as the breeze was consistently sat below planing conditions, Adam Holm of Sweden won both races of the day, with Oman's Waleed Al Kindi gaining a very respectable 2nd and 3rd, placing him 2nd overall and Sinan Senevrensel of Turkey holds on to 3rd position. Holm comments: "Great racing, but very different to what I'm used to, which is good training for me. I hope we will have some more wind tomorrow as my hands are sore from all the light wind pumping."

Issa, Oman Sail Events Director comments: "It's fantastic to see so many different nationalities represented here at Mussanah Race Week, the level of competition which we have on display is incredible. We hope that ISAF recognises the high standard, which is being set by the competitors and the professional committee. Mussanah Race Week is not only a competition, but it is also a unique learning platform for the sailors, and Wednesday evening saw a special "Ask the Experts" forum, where competitors were given the opportunity to gain top tips from the masters themselves."

The great conditions laid on by the venue have been recognised as Mussanah has been selected to host the Laser World Championships, later this year, where over 1,000 sailors are expected to visit from all around the world. Many of the competitors taking part in Mussanah Race Week will be using this event to familiarize themselves with the conditions, Paul Goodison states: "Previous experience and local knowledge is paramount when it comes to racing venues, it is of huge value to any sailor to feel comfortable and confident in the waters in which they race, and many of the Laser competitors will be using this event as a training opportunity for the upcoming World Championships."

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