Oman’s flagship MOD70 campaign, Musandam-Oman Sail, smashed the Kiel Week Welcome Race record from Kiel to Eckernforde on Saturday, completing the 27.5 nautical mile sprint in one hour 47 minutes and 22 seconds beating the previous record held by SAP Extreme 40 which was two hours six minutes 50 seconds. The 70ft multihull lined up against an impressive 127-strong fleet on the start line this morning in Kiel in a light 10-knot breeze that built to a stonking 20 to 25-knot northwesterly as the fleet raced away from the crowds lining the dock in Kiel, into the Outer Fjord and up the coast to the finish line in Eckernforde.
The mixed European and Omani team onboard the Sultanate’s flagship, led by Irish offshore sailor Damian Foxall, were delighted with the result, “It was full on out there, great fun and great to break the record,” said Damian. “The start line was very busy with not only a lot of race boats but a giant ferry to contend with as well, it was a lot of fun and plenty challenging, the wind flow was very unsteady with the north westerlies and the squall lines made it tricky.”
Aside from Damian, the team racing the Kiel Week opening regatta is relatively new to the MOD70, Mohsin Al Busaidi returns to the multihull for the first time since the 2012 European Tour, while his fellow Omani sailors Yassir Al Rahbi and Sami Al Shukaili have come from the Oman Sail M34 campaign and this record was only the third time they have raced the boat. The team also had some local knowledge onboard with well-known German sailors Timmy Kroger and Anna-Maria Renken both applying their ample knowledge to the challenge. France’s Loik Gallon completed the crew, sailing with Mohsin again for the first time since they sailed around the world together in 2009.
“Timmy Kroger and Anna Maria Renken did a great job, it’s not easy to step on to a boat like this and go straight into a race,” said Damian. “This is not our normal race team and the new guys Sami and Yassir have really stepped up to the challenge. Having Mohsin back onboard as well is a big help, he fits back in seamlessly and the team has gelled very nicely in a very short period of time,” said Damian.
Mohsin Al Busaidi, who set his first record when he became the first Arab to sail around the world in 2009, added: “The nice thing about a record is that it lasts a little bit longer than just a result! Breaking the record with an almost 50% Omani crew on the MOD was very special. We had a really good race,” he said.
Shoreside, the Oman tourism exhibition pavilion opened its doors to the German public for the first time this year and immediately proved a popular stop off. The young henna artist was in demand with a queue forming and the dates and traditional coffee were providing a special treat. Visitors flocked to the exhibition to learn more about the country and enrol in the annual raffle to visit the Sultanate of Oman and experience the country’s rich culture first hand.