Leading French offshore sailor Sidney Gavignet, fresh from breaking a record last month, has been called up by Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) for Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Newport to Lisbon.
The 46-year-old is also skipper of the Sultanate of Oman’s MOD70 trimaran, Musandam-Oman Sail.
With a largely Omani crew, they broke Steve Fossett’s 20-year-old Round Ireland course record last Wednesday, in a yet-to-be ratified time of 40 hours 51 minutes and 57 seconds.
Gavignet will take the place of fellow Frenchman, Eric Peron, on board Dongfeng. Peron is taking a breather before the final two European legs.
Dongfeng Race Team are already in fine form, having won their second leg of the race from Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island, last month, to cut Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s overall lead to six points. They had earlier won Leg 2 to their home port in Sanya.
The team has also announced that Yang Jiru (English name ‘Wolf’) will take over from fellow Chinese Liu Xue (‘Black’) for the 2,800-nautical mile leg across the Atlantic, by far the shortest leg contested so far.
Caudrelier’s rotations so far have seen Figaro sailor, Jack Bouttell (dual national Australian/British), contesting Leg 3, French navigator, Erwan Israel, on Leg 4 and Irish Volvo Ocean Race veteran, Damian Foxall, on Leg 5.
After the leg to Lisbon, the race will conclude in June with stages to Lorient (France) and then to Gothenburg (Sweden), via The Hague for a pit stop. The event will finish on June 27 with the Gothenburg In-Port Race.