SATT rolls a perfect six on last day’s racing in Masirah

MUSCAT: The EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour (SATT) fleet had a packed programme on the final day in Masirah, with no fewer than six Stadium races producing five different winners. Once again the island venue produced highly competitive racing, with a shifting and changeable wind testing the skills and adaptability of the 10 international crews taking part in the two-week challenge down Oman’s striking coastline.
When the spray settled after a Sunday of high-intensity racing, the Beijaflore and Oman Shipping Company teams were tied on points. Both had a race win and two second places to their credit, with Beijaflore just taking top spot on the countback system with an additional third place.
“It was a great day’s racing with plenty of shifts out there, which made it really good for the kind of racing we do,” said Oman Shipping Company skipper Stevie Morrison, who races with Omani sailor Raad al Hadi and French tactician Quentin Ponroy.
“Last night we had a really good team talk and reviewed the Tour so far, where we were good and where we were not so good, and today the boys did a really good job of making some improvements.
“Today we won our first Stadium race, and today was the first day we felt we were really getting in there with the top guys, we found a great rhythm and we are very happy,” added Morrison.
The tricky conditions caught out several of the leading Tour teams, with penalties imposed for early starts and exceeding race time limits in the sometime light winds.
Picking their way through the potential pitfalls was the Mood team, with skipper Damien Iehl no doubt calling on the skills that helped him win four Tour Voile titles to take third place in Sunday’s racing.
“We started well with a second, and third place, and then three sixth places, so we were not perfect though the result is good for us,” said Iehl. “The level on the Tour is very high, so it is important for us to communicate well and stay focussed — it is not perfect yet, and a small mistake means you can lose two or three places in a moment.”
At the half-way point of the Tour, the overall leaderboard has got closer at the top.
Achieving first and second on Sunday has moved Beijaflore and Oman Shipping Company up to first and second overall after five days of mixed Stadium racing and coastal Raids in Muscat and Masirah.