The second edition of the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour vient has just ended at Salalah. Beijaflore won, one year after it’s first victory. The young sailors from Cheminées Poujoulat came second, in front of Stevie Morrison (Oman Shipping Company).
We had to wait until the very last minutes of the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour, first event of the Diam World Tour, to have the confirmation that Beijalore team are the winners. Overpowering the event from the very beginning, the crew made of Valentin Bellet, Valentin Sipan, Guillaume Pirouelle and Arnaud Jarleguan proved as regular as a metronome. « It’s great to race here, under the sun, with extremely sharp competitors, that’s incredible » explains Valentin Bellet from La Rochelle, France.
And if they came first like last year, the second place showed a fierce Cheminées Poujoulat team. Robin Follin, Antoine Rucard et Gauthier Germain – all under 25 – are starting their team with the Diam 24 od with an exceptional achievement. Except for a slump at Masirah (8th in rank), they have always kept close to the heels of the runners up, until their victory on the last racing day which no one could steal from them. On arriving at Salalah port, the skipper is glad : « We gave everything all along and we wanted to keep the same state of mind. Antoine and Gauthier did a great job. We really enjoyed this day. Our starts were great and we had a real good strategy. It’s beautiful racing. »
The British national Stevie Morrison (Oman Shipping Company) completes the podium with the same boat regrouping three nationalities. Indeed Stevie was assisted by the French man Quentin Ponroy and the Oman national Raad Al Hadi,who has just integrated the Oman Sail training process. Stevie explains : « It’s a long regatta and can’t be won in one day. The guys navigated in a fantastic manner. Raas (the Oman sailor) was a Sailing coach. He came here and has progressed daily. »
A formative Sailing Arabia
For the first vocational project of Oman Sail is to install continuous progress for the Sultanat sailors, and on this point, the aim is fully achieved. Although the Renaissance crew came last with a 100% Oman crew members, it has shown on many occasions its potential to sail with the best. The leader of the team, Franck Cammas, explains : « The guys are fast, we knew it. They have to focus on the regatta itself without being too picky on the rules». On the girls side, the ranking does not always reflect potentials. DB Schenker, led by Audrey Ogereau with a French national sailor and two Oman national sailors, have risen in the level all along the event, and have finished today with a beautiful third place title. « The girls have really good potential, they are strategic, they go fast » says Cammas admiratively. Himself steering the boat finishing 6th on the EFG. « It’s really high level racing with the Diam 24. It’s a beautiful reference. As for our team, we have progressed little by little during this week. We started from nothing but we have raced more and more in the middle, sometimes on the foregrounds. » said Frank.
Interview of Valentin Bellet (Beijaflore) :
« It’s great to win here at Salalah for the second time. The whole team is please with this victory and we hope it will be possible for us to come again next year. The struggle was rough. It’s great to race here, under the sun, with extremely sharp competitors, that’s incredible. Our most consistant competitor has been Cheminées Poujoulat (Robin Follin). They have been really steady and they deserve this beautiful second place. »
Interview of Franck Cammas (EFG Bank) :
« We had 10 very nice days around d’Oman, with very varied weather conditions, and very varied decors as well. Very uprooting compared to what we are going to do in France for the rest of the year. There were great opponants . It’s really high level racing with the Diam 24. It’s a beautiful reference. As for our team, we have progressed little by little during this week. We started from nothing but we have raced more and more in the middle, sometimes on the foregrounds. That’s not too bad because it’s the right way although there’s a lot of work still to do.
Concerning the Oman Sail team, It’s a bit what we expected. No big surprises. The girls (DB Schenker) have really progressed. They have very good potentials, good strategies, they go fast. The boys (Renaissance, 100 % Oman nationals team) are fast, we knew it. They have to focus on the regatta itself without being too picky on the rules. Well make sure the message is delivered. And finally Stevie (Morrison) did a beautiful race, very regular. He finished on the podium, he fought hard for this victory.
Interview of Robin Follin (Cheminées Poujoulat) :
« This morning we said we wouldn’t look too much at the rankings. Steveie was third and could take the second place. On the whole race our worst one – not counting Masirah – a 4th rank. We gave everything all along and we wanted to keep the same state of mind. Antoine and Gauthier did a great job. We really enjoyed this day. Our starts were great and we had a real good strategy. It’s beautiful racing. »
Interview of Stevie Morrison (Oman Shipping Company) :
« We are very satisfied with this 3rd place. It’s a long regatta and can’t be won in one day. The guys navigated in a fantastic manner. Raas (the Oman sailor) was a Sailing coach. He came here and has progressed daily. This was the challenge we gave him».
Interview of Audrey Ogereau (DB Shenker) :
« That gave us a super training. We finish beautifully on several rounds, including a three courses round, which is rather fantastic. We have really progressed all along the regatta. It’s a beautiful progression, everybody progressed. We have learned a lot. Now we must continue until the Tour de France à la Voile. »
General Ranking of l’EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2019 :
1. Beijaflore – 24,5 pnts
2. Cheminées Poujoulat – 31,5 pnts
3. Oman Shipping Company – 41,5 pnts 4. Seaflotech – 42 pnts
5. Mood – 44,5 pnts
6. EFG Bank – 58 pts
7. Golfe du Morbihan – 61,5 pnts
8. CER – 63,5 pnts
9. Renaissance – 89 pnts
10. DB Schenker – 94 pnts