Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Irish Offshore Sailors Damian Foxall & David Kenefick to Race Tour Of Arabia

9th February 2015
Irish Offshore Sailors Damian Foxall & David Kenefick to Race Tour Of Arabia

#offshore – A record number of teams – including Ireland's Damian Foxall and David Kenefick–  will line up at the start of the annual EFG Sailing Arabia – the Tour (SATT) on February 15.

Cork based Kenefck will be a driver/ trimmer on Team Avera. Foxall is teamed up with the Oman crew. 

Since EFG SATT was first launched in 2011, the fleet has crossed the start line in Bahrain and finished in Oman's capital city of Muscat but in 2015, the 760 nautical mile route has been reversed with 11 boats starting their campaigns at Muscat's premier waterfront development The Wave.

They will finish approximately 15 days later at the Amwaj Marina in Manama, Bahrain's newest marina, having completed six legs and two inshore races across seven different stopovers, which showcase the best marinas and facilities in the Gulf region including a new venue at Sohar in Oman.

The course change for this unique endurance event was designed to create a more exacting test for sailors in the form of strong and sustained headwinds in the early stages of the race, a move that has resulted in a higher entry level among teams in Europe and the Gulf looking for challenging racing and training opportunities with warm waters and a stable breeze.

"It is a great opportunity to get to know a new sailing area and we were drawn by the prospect of spending some time in warm, sunny conditions during the long European winter," said Bienne Voile skipper Lorenz Muller.

"Also, the concept of combining inshore races with legs is just very attractive. EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour has become the perfect successor of the Tour de France a la Voile, which has now omitted the legs in its new format."

In 2014, Sidney Gavignet's EFG Bank (Monaco) were crowned SATT champions and this year, the French skipper has returned with a new team, assembled with two key objectives: to win the event for the second consecutive year and give three young Omani sailors an opportunity to race alongside world-class professionals.

"We will start as favourites which is fair enough because we won last year and I am comfortable with that. We have a good team and we are professionals so winning is very important," said Gavignet whose crew includes one of the most accomplished offshore sailors in the world, Damian Foxall from Ireland.

"The new route, which features more upwind sailing will be more tactical and also harder physically for the teams but that should favour us because of our offshore experience. The harder the route, the better it is for us."

The line-up for this year's EFG Sailing Arabia – the Tour, the only Pan-GCC offshore sailing race of its kind in the region, features six teams from Oman and one, ZAIN Kuwait from Kuwait. Team Averda is made up mainly of young British sailors skippered by German sailor Marcel Herrera while Bienne Voile will be flying the flag for Switzerland, Team Delft for The Netherlands and GAC powered by Dongfeng for China.

"We have a very solid team and our guys are going to love the Farr 30 because they are like a big dinghy," said GAC skipper Nick Moloney whose crew is made up mainly of Chinese Olympic class sailors.

"Night sailing could be interesting and there will be a lot of it during the 760nms course but that will be the same for most of the crews.

"Tactics will be difficult for anyone who hasn't sailed the course which is everyone because it is being run backwards! I'm sure there will be some struggles but this is new to us and we love new challenges."

"We like the concept of changing the route to make it more challenging being an upwind race, therefore a lot more strain will be put on the boats, crews and time limits in general," added Herrera who last year came second on the EU-flagged Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team.

"We would really like to compete with the top of the fleet, and even occasionally mix for the chances of a podium finish on some of the legs and inshore races."

The first 100 miles of the first leg from Muscat to the International Maritime College Oman, are expected to be upwind and tough while the next leg, which at 172 miles is the longest of the event, takes the fleet around the Musandam Peninsula to Ras Al Khaimah, where fishing boats and nets pose a real hazard. The boats then head off on short hops to Dubai where the first of two inshore race days will be staged, then to Abu Dhabi.

The Four Seasons Marina at Doha will host the next stopover and the winning team will be presented with their trophy at the finish in Bahrain on February 28th.

Schedule:

Leg 1 – 15th February, Muscat- Sohar
Leg 2 – 17th February, Sohar – RAK
Leg 3 – 19th February, RAK - Dubai
Leg 4 – 23rd February, Dubai - Abu Dhabi
Leg 5 – 24th February, Abu Dhabi – Doha
Leg 6 – 26th February, Doha - Manama

Published in Offshore
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating