Wednesday 21 February 2018

Sailing: Light winds deny Foxall victory in home waters

The second stage of the month-long Route des Princes round Europe race ended shortly after dawn in Dun Laoghaire with the top three boats separated by just eight minutes.

Yann Guichard's Spindrift team took the win that propelled the French entry into the overall lead following the 1,000-mile leg from Lisbon.

The victory came at the expense of Oman Air, which is skippered by Sidney Gavignet with Ireland's Damian Foxall crewing.

Having started the leg as overall leaders after winning stage one and showing significant improvements of form in their in-port series performance, the Omani entry was looking like a strong contender.

Moving close to Foxall's home waters, the team took the lead at Fastnet Rock on Tuesday morning and collected bonus points that extended their overall lead.

But light winds on the East Coast saw Spindrift ease ahead and then right at the finish off Dun Laoghaire, second place slipped from their grasp as Groupe Baron Rothschild got ahead and took the place by 33 seconds.

A race village begins tomorrow and the Dun Laoghaire in-port series will be held on Saturday and Sunday with the East Pier acting as grandstand for the short races between the four 70-footers.

Meanwhile, a decision will be taken on whether to stage a round Ireland speed sailing record attempt on Monday when the weather forecast is reliably known.

Irish Independent

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