Oman Sail team celebrates podium place success at the 2019 Grand Prix Ecole Navale
Oman Sail's Renaissance Services team is celebrating taking a strong podium finish at a highly competitive regatta in western France. Grand Prix Ecole Navale 2019.
British skipper Stevie Morrison and crew Abdul Rahman Al Mashari and Quentin Ponroy secured third place racing in the high-speed Diam 24 trimaran class at the Grand Prix Ecole Navale event near Brest. The result provides a firm foundation for the team as they prepare for Tour de France à La Voile, a marathon series of races around France starting on July 5th which is the focal point of their European racing season.
A second Oman Sail team, EFG Private Bank Monaco crewed by Hussein Al Jabri, Corentin Horeau and French skipper Pierre Pennec, finished seventh in the large Diam 24 fleet.
"It's a pretty good launch pad ahead of the Tour Voile – we are in good shape and ready to go, we are looking forward to it," said Morrison.
"We had two good days out of three, and we have plenty to work on, plenty left to do better. We are happy but we are well aware there are plenty of challenges to come.
"We had a pretty bad first day as we did not find our groove, and on the long coastal race we got stuck, quite literally up a creek without a paddle, and went from fourth place to about seventeenth as we were stood still and everyone just sailed past us, and we ended up twelfth.
"But on the second day there was another coastal race and we were able to win that one, and after that we had much better results and were able to climb up the leaderboard and get a good result – it was good for us after struggling on the first day."
The all-Omani crew on Team Oman Sail – Akram Al Wahaibi, Haitham Al Wahaibi, Mohammed Al Anbouri and Yasser al Rahbi – and the all-women Sailing Arabia The Tour team of skipper Audrey Ogereau and crew Ibtisam Al Salmi, Marwa Al Kaifi, Maelenn Lemaitre and Tamadher Al Balushi, finished in 23rd and 26th places respectively.
Speaking while travelling up the coast to Le Havre, the venue for the Normandie Cup where all four Oman Sail teams will be racing again from Monday to Thursday this week, Morrison emphasised that the back-to-back events was ideal preparation for the 16 days of the Tour Voile.
"The logistics of moving a four-boat team around France is massive," he said. "One part of the Tour is racing, and the other part is getting around the country and not being too exhausted while doing it."
The Grand Prix Ecole Navale event was won by the Cheminees Poujoulat team, with Team Reseau Ixio-Toulon Provence in second place.
1. Cheminées Poujoulat (Robin Follin) – 13 pts
2. Team Réseau Ixio – Toulon Provence ( Sandro Lacan) – 31 pts
3. Renaissance Services (Stevie Morrison) – 51 pts