ex-B&Q back in action
Three years after Dame Ellen MacArthur sailed into the history books by breaking the world record for a solo circumnavigation of the globe, her trimaran is back in action. The 75ft trimaran previously known as ‘B&Q’, has been acquired by The Sultanate of Oman and renamed Musandam, after the Musandam Peninsula which forms the country’s northern tip.
The boat has undergone a minor refit to accommodate a crew of up to five – all probably slightly taller than Dame Ellen – to live on board. With over 3,000km of coastline spanning three separate seas, one of the principle objectives of Oman’s entry into the sailing world is to reignite the country’s maritime heritage and promote its tourism potential.
The Oman Sail team will also play a pivotal role in developing a Festival of the Sea as part of the 40th National Day Celebrations of the Sultanate in November 2010. They are also currently competing in the iShares Cup on their Extreme 40 Masirah – named after one of the famous islands.
A core team of eight Omanis, selected after an arduous land and sea assessment, are currently going through intensive sail training back in Cowes under the guidance of Offshore Challenges (part of Ellen MacArthur and Mark Turner’s OC Group), and with help from the UK Sailing Academy. The aim is that as the season progresses, the international crew on both boats will increasingly have an Omani presence.
“It is great to see the trimaran back sailing again, and with a real mission. The Omani team are really motivated to learn and are approaching this fast track training package with amazing enthusiasm and dedication,” commented Ellen MacArthur. Both Oman’s Extreme 40 and their new trimaran are currently in Cowes, UK and will be competing in the annual JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race this Saturday (28 June) and will be on show during Skandia Cowes Week in August before being sailed back to Oman at the end of the summer.