Please select your home edition
Edition
NeilPryde Dinghy Show 2019 Leaderboard

Exhilarating conditions produce dramatic changes to EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour leaderboard

by Oman Sail 9 Feb 16:16 GMT 2-16 February 2019
EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2019 at Masirah Island © Vincent Curutchet / Lloyd Images / Oman Sail

Masirah Island was again the setting for an exhilarating day of racing on Saturday for the 10 international teams competing in EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour.

Ideal sailing conditions under blue skies saw a steady breeze of eight to 14 knots, but with plenty of big shifts in wind direction to keep the crews on their toes and keep race outcomes in doubt, often until the final leg.

It was also a day that produced dramatic changes to the leaderboard, with defending champions Beijaflore starting to show the kind of form that saw them win the 2018 Sailing Arabia event.

In the main race of the day the 21 nautical mile Masirah Raid the French team were down in seventh place at the first mark of the course, and over three minutes behind early leaders Oman Shipping Company at the second mark.

From there they battled back into contention, taking full advantage of the many shifts around the coastal course that saw big changes across the fleet like a game of snakes and ladders.

By the finish Beijaflore had edged ahead of Stevie Morrison's team on Oman Shipping to take their first victory of the Tour, a result that propelled them from an overnight sixth place up to second overall, just three points behind the leading Cheminée Poujoulat team.

Beijaflore's skipper Valentin Bellet said: "I am happy as this marks the start of the Tour for us. It is a crucial day as this is our first win of the regatta, and to take it on a coastal raid is very good for the whole team.

"We were swopping the lead with Stevie, who has a very good team aboard his boat, and finally we were able to finish first.

"There were some very big shifts out there, so it was not easy, but we focused on our tactics and our tactician Valentin Sipan did a very good job on calling the course."

The long coastal race was followed by two intense Stadium races, with the Seaflotech team adding another race win to their tally, along with a second place to finish the day on a high.

Skipper Sofian Bouvet said: "There were changes in the wind direction of up to 30 degrees on occasion, so very shifty with some very big changes.

"We were on the wrong side of the course on the first leg of the Raid, but we were able to climb back and finish third. And we were able to win the second Stadium race, so we know we can come back and win races."

Their good day on the water also saw Seaflotech move up the overall Tour ranking to third place, in what is becoming a very close contest at the top of the table. A win in Saturday's other Stadium race has kept Cheminée Poujoulat on top, but by a reduced margin.

Oman Shipping Company and Mood have both slipped a place overall, to fourth and fifth respectively, with Golfe du Morbihan now sixth ahead of CER Geneva, EFG Bank, Renaissance and DB Schenker.

Further Stadium racing on Sunday could see up to six more of the short high-intensity races in Masirah before the EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour fleet moves on to Duqm.

Standings after four days of racing:

1 Cheminées Poujoulat 11pts
2 Beijaflore 14pts
3 Seaflotech 15pts
4 Oman Shipping Company 15.5pts
5 Mood 19pts
6 Golfe du Morbihan 19.5pts
7 CER Geneva 27pts
8 EFG Bank 27pts
9 Renaissance 32pts
10 DB Schenker 40pts

Related Articles

Beijaflore wins EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
The French team produced a remarkably consistent performance Beijaflore have been crowned champions of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, repeating their success of last year to take back-to-back victories in the Middle East's premier yacht racing event. Posted on 16 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour: Beijaflore on the b
Beijaflore are on the brink of back-to-back titles The French defending champions have one hand firmly on the trophy having put on a masterclass of light wind racing in Salalah on the penultimate day of the two-week event, which also saw them add a further win in one of the two Stadium races held. Posted on 15 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour: Showdown in Salalah
Returning to the cut and thrust of intensive Stadium racing A solid breeze of up to 24 knots powered the Diam 24 trimarans around the tight courses, with four different winners again highlighting the competitive nature of the world-class fleet. Posted on 13 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour rolls a perfect six
Once again the island venue produced highly competitive racing The EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour fleet had a packed programme on the final day in Masirah, with no fewer than six Stadium races producing five different winners. Posted on 10 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - Tour returns to action
After early relocation goes without a hitch EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour returned to racing on Friday after a flawless logistical operation saw the entire fleet and support organisation relocated 284 kilometres from Sur to Masirah Island in time for late afternoon racing. Posted on 9 Feb
Early start for EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour teams
Extra racing planned at Masirah Island venue All the 10 international crews taking part in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour are set to make an early start on Friday to get ready for extra racing at the Masirah Island venue. Posted on 8 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour's first coastal race
Only seconds separated the leading yachts off Muscat After almost two hours and 36 minutes of racing the French team of Cheminée Poujoulat took the win just 15 seconds ahead of the Oman Shipping Company entry, with EFG Bank taking the third spot on the podium. Posted on 4 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour fleet set to grow
Challenging young talent and the best of a remarkable generation of Omani sailors In a repeat of last year's successful new-look event featuring the high-performance Diam 24 trimaran, the event will take a 10-strong fleet on a course from Oman's capital Muscat to seven different venues. Posted on 29 Jan
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour fleet set to grow
Strong international interest is expected as entries officially open Building on the great success of the first new-look event in 2018, organisers are predicting a 50 per cent increase in teams with as many as 12 expected to line-up on the start line in February for the intensive 14-day marathon. Posted on 1 Dec 2018
French team Beijaflore crowned new champions
The new format demanded strength, skill and tenacity from the eight international crews French team Beijaflore were today crowned the new champions of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour ending a four-year winning streak for rivals EFG Bank Monaco as the regatta came to a climax in Muscat, Oman. Posted on 17 Feb 2018