After over two hours 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.
Their impressive result in the opening coastal race of the two-week Oman challenge – along with second place in the flurry of stadium races on Sunday – moved Cheminée Poujoulat to the top of the overall leaderboard with the Oman team in second spot.
In contrast to the strong winds and high-speed racing of Sunday, the 23 nautical mile coastal course started in a light and unstable breeze, the 10 teams working hard to get every bit of boatspeed out of their lightweight Diam 24 trimarans.
Oman Shipping Company’s international crew of British skipper and helm Stevie Morrison, experienced Oman Sail instructor Raad Al Hadi and French tactician Quentin Ponroy held a narrow lead until almost the last mark of the course before being passed by their French rivals as the wind increased.
The coastal race also marked a return to expected form for pre-Sailing Arabia favourites EFG Bank, skippered by French star Franck Cammas with Oman Sail regular Thierry Douillard and Omani dinghy ace Hussein Al Jabri, who had finished the first day second from bottom of the table.
In another reversal of fortune, first day leaders Golfe du Morbihan finished the coastal raid down in eighth place, a result that drops the young French team to fourth overall behind Cheminée Poujoulat, Oman Shipping Company and the Swiss team on Mood.
Racing in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour is scheduled to resume in Sur with a second coastal raid on Wednesday 6 February, followed by stadium racing the following day, before the fleet moves again to Masirah Island.
Overall standings after two days of racing:
1st Cheminée Poujoulat
2nd Oman Shipping Company
4th Golfe du Morbihan
7th EFG Bank
8th CER Geneva
10th DB Schenker