While disappointed not to have reached their pre-Tour target of a podium finish, the squad of skipper Thierry Douillard, Abdulrahman al Mashari, Ali al Balushi, helmsman Stevie Morrison and French match race ace Mathieu Richard, have been capable to finish the 17-day, seven venue marathon on a higher note. “We have seen the team’s true potential and our ability to win, it has been a very different feeling to the previous years in that we could have done it, though it has been a bit of a roller coaster,” mentioned Morrison following the concluding Super-Final occasion in Nice.
“The main positive is that in the last two years we were fifth thanks to a stubborn consistency without great results, whereas this year, we had a few that just didn’t go our way, like leading coastal races that turned into a 12th and worse when the wind disappeared. But we have had really good races and been on the podium five times, including a win,” he added.
#SailingArabia powered by Oman Sail went into the final phase of the Tour Voile – six days of back-to-back racing at 3 Mediterranean venues – possessing overcome adversity. One of the squad’s bowmen Balushi suffered a hand injury in the course of a coastal race which ended his sailing participation, and fluky wind circumstances saw them finish 25th in the only stadium race sailed in Baden, by far their worst outcome of the Tour.
Recalling the squad’s resilience and recovery, Morrison mentioned, “When we got to the Med we had a windy coastal race, one of the few we have seen, and got a third, then there was a tricky stadium racing day in Gruissan where we really hit our form and got a win, which was huge for the team.”
Further fluky circumstances followed in Hyeres with a mid-fleet finish in the coastal race and a difficult-fought sixth location on the stadium racing day.
Morrison mentioned, “In Nice, we did a really good job of hitting the reset button and we had two great days, with a second on the first, and finished with a fifth in the Super-Final. We feel really happy to have finished on a positive upward swing, with maybe some thoughts of what might have been. For sure, there is more there, but we will just have to wait for next year for that.”
Meanwhile, Oman Sail’s Diam 24 improvement squad of skipper Pierre Le Clainche, Sami al Shukaili, Yasser al Rhabi and Haitham al Wahaibi confirmed their prospective with an impressive 12th place general finish.
Information Source: Muscat Daily