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Round Ireland Speed Sailing Record Smashed by MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail

20th June 2016
Round Ireland Yacht Race
Sidney Gavignet's Musandam-Oman Sail broke its own record time this morning Sidney Gavignet's Musandam-Oman Sail broke its own record time this morning Photo: Afloat.ie

Day 3 0600hrs Sidney Gavignet's Musandam-Oman Sail set an historic new record for the fastest-ever sail round Ireland when he crossed the Volvo Round Ireland Race finish line at Wicklow in just 38 hours, 37 minutes and 7 seconds smashing their own 2015 record by an incredible 2 hours, 14 minutes and 50 seconds. The new time is subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council.

The Sultanate of Oman’s flagship trimaran was the first of three MOD70s to complete the full 704-mile course making good on pre–race predictions by Irish crew member Damian Foxall. (See pre–racce vid here). In a stunning finish on the Irish Sea all three MOD 70s broke the 2015 record. 

“Even though we did it in record-breaking time, we had no rest. It was pretty full on. The only important part of leading the race is when you get to the finish line. Coming inside Howth we realised we could do it. I am exhausted!”, Foxall said after winning the MOD70 race.

Last night organisers were on tenterhooks as the three leading MOD 70 trimarans got within sixty miles of the finish at Wicklow by midnight. As Afloat's WM Nixon indicated last night 'Now we are looking at previously undreamed of statistics for the fastest time possible in a race as opposed to a staged record attempt'.

After a day and a half of racing, it came down to the last ten minutes to decide who were the winners as the giant multihulls neared the finish line off Wicklow harbour at dawn. The three seventy foot trimarans played cat and mouse all the way down the east coast in varying breezes from the south southwest. For those following this nail biting finish on the yellow brick tracker, they saw the 'crown' swapping between each boat to within a few miles of the finish.

The crews set off from Wicklow Bay at 13.10 on Saturday (18th June) for the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht race. Incredibly, all three of the Mod 70 trimarans arrived back to Wicklow within minutes of each other, every single one of them breaking the 2015 record.

Team Concise were out front for most of the race with Phaedo 3 overtaking them in the early hours of Monday morning, and it looked certain one of the two would take line honours. Musandam-Oman Sail however took advantage of an inshore track and manoeuvred ahead in the final hour.

phaedo crosses the wicklow line

Phaedo 3 crossed the Wicklow line as second MOD70 Photo: Richard Langdon/Team Phaedo

Difficult seas meant 12 of the 63 yachts that set off on Saturday have since retired from the race. The remaining 48 are still making their way around the Irish coast, the bulk of them only half way round the course.

The next yacht expected in the monohull category is George David’s Rambler 88, which depending on winds is due in later today.

See Round Ireland tracker here and keep to up to date with the fleet's progress with Afloat's regular Round Ireland 2016 updates here

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