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Foxall Plots Course for Dublin as Route Des Princes Leader

16th June 2013
Foxall Plots Course for Dublin as Route Des Princes Leader

#routedesprinces – Ireland's top Round the World yachtsman Damian Foxall is coming home to Ireland today on one of the fastest sailing machines in the world and he has a two point lead in the overall ranking following their most successful day's racing yet in the 2013 Route des Princes inshore series. The result has given the former Irish Sailor of the Year and his crew on Oman Air-Musandam a boost ahead of the second leg from Lisbon to Dun Laoghaire in Ireland that starts this afternoon.

Preparations are underway in Dun Laoghaire to welcome the fleet into the National Yacht Club. Temporary pontoons to locate the fleet are under construction at the Carlise Pier, adjacent to the National Yacht Club and in front of the Band Stand at the East Pier to guarantee a grandstand view of these high tech boats.

A two point lead in the overall ranking following their most successful day's racing yet in the 2013 Route des Princes inshore series has given the crew on Oman Air-Musandam a boost ahead of the second leg from Lisbon to the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire that starts this afternoon.

A sunny day in the Portuguese capital with good breeze saw the MOD70 fleet in sparkling form over all three races, which took place in waters between the Praca do Comercio and Lisbon's iconic 25th April suspension bridge.

Sidney Gavignet's elite trimaran crew swept to victory in the second race of the day which marked their first win of the 12 inshore race series so far. They also posted a second and a fourth place to make this latest day of inshore racing their best yet.

"It feels very good," Oman Air-Musandam's skipper said.

"I'm very happy with how this team is bonding. We knew in Valencia that we were making mistakes but had the potential to do better and that is still the case – we are still learning but we are learning from our mistakes.

"The atmosphere on board was very good. It is very positive. I am looking more at our progress than at the results and I can say we are definitely making progress."

There was an air of anticipation among the crew who started their inshore campaign in Valencia last week on a steep learning curve. Just a few days later, the hard work put into training over the past few months is paying dividends with a rise in position from fourth to third in the inshore rankings.

"It was a good day for us," said Fahad Al Hasni, port side trimmer onboard.

"A first and second isn't at all bad so we did well. We like to be at the front and Neal McDonald did a really nice job on tactics. We had good wind, good starts and a good technique and didn't make too many mistakes so we are happy."

With three more inshore regattas still to go at the next Route des Princes stopovers, Oman Air-Musandam's crew are excited by their prospects after the progress they made over the past week but will now shed two crewmembers and focus on the next offshore leg which starts from Lisbon on Sunday.

Set to be the longest passage of the race, the 990nm leg should start relatively quietly as the fleet heads north along the Iberian Peninsula but it will not be long before they enter the Bay of Biscay which has a habit of being inhospitable, but extremely fast if a depression passes through.

They are likely to go like an express train towards the Fastnet Rock, some eight miles south west of the Irish mainland before turning in to Dun Laoghaire, just south of Dublin on Ireland's east coast.

This is where Oman Air-Musandam's Damian Foxall, the most famous Irish sailor in the world, is likely to receive a tumultuous welcome from a home crowd that takes enormous pride in his success.

"Hopefully they will see us come in to Dun Laoghaire if we arrive at a respectable hour and then come and support us in the next inshore regatta which will make it a very special stopover, especially for me," said Foxall.

"But it is not going to be particularly pleasant getting there. It's going to be rough and bouncy and I fear there could be a bit of seasickness on all the boats."

The four MOD70s are due to leave Lisbon at 1400 today. The temporary floating pontoons to berth the Route Des Princes fleet is under construction at the Carlise Pier in Dun Laoghaire, adjacent to the National Yacht Club and the 

Published in Route des Princes
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