Paris, Oman Sail’s Diam 24 team go into the high-

intensity final phase of the Tour Voile with their goal of a podium finish

in the French classic within reach.

After racing around the Channel and Atlantic coasts of France, the

26-strong fleet have arrived in the Mediterranean for six days of back-

to-back racing which will decide the outcome of the uniquely

demanding event.

On the way the Sailing Arabia powered by Oman Sail squad have

recently faced and overcome adversity, with bowman Ali al-Balushi

suffering a hand injury during the coastal race in Barneville-Carteret

which has ended his sailing participation.

With light winds also influencing several race results, not least a

dramatic single-race stadium shootout at the most recent event in

Baden-Golfe Du Morbihan, the team are aiming to bounce back in the

final three events.

The Sailing Arabia powered by Oman Sail squad of skipper Thierry

Douillard, Abdulrahaman al-Mashari, helmsman Stevie Morrison and

French match race ace Mathieu Richard are in fifth place on the

leaderboard with 396 points, just two behind the fourth place Team

Reseau Ixio and only four from third placed Lorina Mojito Golfe du

Morbihan.

We are still right there in it, and we are close to where we would like

to be and we will work very hard to get there, said Morrison while

travelling to the first Mediterranean venue in Gruissan.

It is frustrating as there have been a lot of missed opportunities with

the wind starting and stopping, and maybe our card hasn’t fallen the

right way up quite yet. But there are six days to go and we still feel very

positive.

The British Olympian added: It was unfortunate in Barneville where

Ali had his accident, but he did an amazing job in carrying on for two

and a half hours with what turned out to be two badly broken fingers �

he really fought for the team.

It is a strain on the team to lose one of your bowmen and it means

Abdulrahman is sailing every day now, so it is a big load on him. The

spirit is good though and we are fighting hard for Ali and he will be

staying with us for the rest of the event. He has been training with us

for a year, and he is a character and a vital part of our team, so he will

come with us all the way.

Meanwhile, Oman Sail’s Diam 24 development squad of Sami al-

Shukaili, Yasser al-Rhabi and Haitham al-Wahaibi, led by skipper

Pierre Le Clainche, are in an impressive 12th place overall, having

posted six top-10 finishes in the nine coastal races and stadium racing

sessions held so far.

Following two days of racing in Gruissan on July 17 and 18, the Tour

Voile will move on to Hyeres and then the finale in Nice on the 21 and

22 of July.

Source: Oman News Agency