Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Musandam Round the World Record Attempt 2009

Week 1: Sailing fast and settling in


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Maxi-trimaran Musandam during Round the World crewed record attempt January 2009

14 January 2009

Press release: Trimaran Musandam: Crewed Around the World Record Attempt 2009

Week 1: Sailing fast and settling in

It has been an emotional departure and an intense first week at sea for the crew of Musandam, who left Muscat on the 8th of January on their round-the-world adventure. Making very good progress, the team crossed the equator less than 48 hours ago and is settling into the very specific routine of life on board. Where sleep patterns, food habits and space sharing are all but comparable to what they are ashore!

Whether you're a "pro" or not does not change this simple statement: circumnavigating the globe is the ultimate challenge a sailor can imagine, and embarking on a radical racing multihull makes the task even more humbling. Undoubtedly, the sheer implications of such a challenge were at the forefront of each crewmember's preoccupations as they slowly made their way towards the boat, moored in Marina Bander Al Rowda, last Thursday. And if this trip is a baptism of fire for all 5 men - none of them having sailed around the world before despite their impressive experience - it certainly is even more the case for Mohsin Al Busaidi!

Her Excellency Dr Rajiha bint Abdulamair bin Ali, The Minister of Tourism and His Excellency Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, The Minister of Sports shook hands with the crew as the left dry land for the last time until they return to Muscat. As Moshin pointed out: "I’m very proud of what we have achieved so far and I hope this journey will go well and we succeed in going around the world. Our Omani ancestors didn’t go around the world, but they sailed to many places all over the globe. Oman has given me a lot and I hope I will make my country and family proud of me.” It was then time to leave the dock, and set off for some three months most of which will be spent in the hostile latitudes of the Southern Ocean!

After a rather emotional and silent few hours - involving "lumps in the throat", as admitted by navigator Charles Darbyshire - the crew settled in the watch system whilst exiting the Arabian Sea. Conditions were perfect, with a glorious sunshine and 10 to 12 knots of breeze downwind… On January the 10th, winds had picked up and Musandam was speeding along under reduced sails, and the upcoming crossing of the Equator was on everyone's minds. For Mohsin, the freeze-dried meals seemed to taste better than they had during the boat's delivery to Muscat, a sure sign of an offshore racer in the making! And if sleep has been hard to find at times due to the noise of the wind, rain, and the brutal movements of the boat, exhaustion will soon take its toll.

On Day 4, Musandam was overtaking the virtual 80 day pace boat, after having officially departed the Arabian Sea on January the 12th, at 03:22 GMT - benefiting from good weather conditions and obviously managing to make the most of Musandam's speed potential, skipper Loïk Gallon and crew crossed the Equator the following day, slightly tired but happy. As navigator Charles Darbyshire explained, "For now the sailing side is pretty good - couldn't be too much better we have a good course making good progress south - We have some Doldrum weather to cross later this week." The famous light winds and sudden squalls of the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) definitely are the next hurdles…

Day 7 update from navigator Charles Darbyshire "the winds have droped significantly,for now we continue to make progress, this is pretty much the start of the doldrums, we can expect the winds to start becoming variable in direction, heading south or south east are big gainers - if we get pushed to the east too much our progress through the doldrums will be slowed, the longer we can stay on a course heading of around 150 the better it will be for us as it will be shorter to get to the new breeze which is forecasted to be somewhere around 4-500miles away... so expect a couple of slow days from us...it's a chance to check everything and make some repairs before the trade winds return and the deck again becomes wet and we take off south.

Life onboard continues to settle into some kind of pace, so far the sailing has been fairly straight forward"

Following what's going on back home… The crew have also sent back messages of support and encouragement to the Oman Football team. “I am so excited by Oman’s win the other night and I’m behind the team every step of the way” said Mohsin Al Busaidi in an email “I was able to watch the match against Kuwait with my family the night before I departed and my prayers are still with them. I wish the team the best of luck and know that they have the strength and power to win. Go OMAN!”

For further information, see Omansail's website.

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