Muscat: Oman Sail, the government-run agency behind the sultanate's successful foray into international offshore sail racing, have signed a contract for the purchase of a sixth Multi One Design (MOD) 70-foot trimaran (MOD70).
Skippering the boat will be Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, who smashed the Round Britain and Ireland record onboard the 32-metre multi-hull Oman Air Majan last year.
The Multi One Design Championship is a new concept for competitive sailing that brings together the adventure of ocean races with the tension and drama of inshore races that will be held within easy view of the public.
The races of the Multi One Design Championship will combine sport, spectacle and suspense and will be the pinnacle of the Oman Sail programme.
Boat building will start immediately, with the Oman Sail team taking delivery of the 70-foot trimaran in April 2012, just three months ahead of the KRYS Ocean Race which will kick off the Multi One Design Championship with a 2,950-mile sprint, east-bound across the Atlantic — from New York in the US to Brest on the north-west top of France — in July 2012.
Heading the exciting new trimaran will be Gavignet, who joined the Oman Sail team in 2010 to skipper the 100-foot trimaran Oman Air Majan in the Route du Rhum.
A veteran at round-the-world sailing, the 41-year-old Frenchman has completed four Volvo Ocean Races/Whitbreads and won the race once. He currently holds the record for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing in a mono-hull and is looking forward to his next trans-Atlantic crossing.
"For me, the MOD70 is the most attractive boat currently on the water. The boats are quick and although I always enjoy racing around the planet, it's better when it's quick! Also it's absolutely one design, similar to the Extreme 40, so racing will be extremely close," said Gavignet.