Monday, 12 October 2009
iShares, BT and Oman Sail Renaissance on day 2 off Almeria. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co/OC Events.
by Emily Caroe
On Sunday Oman Sail Masirah took control in the final of the 2009 iShares Cup in Almeria. Three race wins out of six, put Pete Cumming and his crew 10 points ahead of Yann Guichard’s Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild going into the final day tomorrow. Masirah clearly enjoyed the stronger 10-knot conditions today and never flinched under pressure from the French championship challengers. However, Loick Peyron's hopes of securing the overall iShares Cup are receding fast, although in this game never say never! The French teams of LUNA (Jean-Christophe Mourniac) and Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) both put in a strong performance to finish in 3rd and 4th on the iShares Cup Almeria event leaderboard. The iShares Cup village was packed today with city officials confirming that 30,000 people had attended. Tonight a concert to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the port of Almeria will take place with an expected audience of 4,000. The biggest on land venue of the 2009 season is proving popular and tomorrow the public will get to see the final battle for the iShares Cup 2009 championship in this great nautical arena…
A total of six races were staged inside the Almerian harbour on the second day of the 2009 iShares Cup final and with a good 10 knots of breeze the boats accelerated around the windward/leeward 700-meter course quickly, fully flying their starboard hulls on the finish line to the applause of the spectators. Pete Cumming and the Oman Sail Masirah crew made their intentions clear from the start, winning the first and second race of the day. But never far from their stern were their closest rivals for the overall iShares Cup championship, Yann Guichard and his crew on board Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild. The French team remained focused – scoring two second places and a win in the final race – to keep in touch with Masirah, setting up the perfect duel going into the final day tomorrow. Both teams are used to racing in a high-pressure environment, including the Olympics and the America’s Cup, but it will be a case of keeping their nerve in the final head-to-head. The best team on the water will be the deserved winners here in Almeria.
Extreme 40s on Day 2 off Almeria. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co/OC Events.
Over the line for the start of the first race today, Loick Peyron’s crew struggled to find their form here despite a win in the third race and now wallow in 5th place on the event leaderboard, and realistically their chances of an overall iShares Cup win are rapidly dwindling.
Franck Cammas on Groupama 40, who had a disappointing day in the light conditions yesterday that left him in last place, came back strongly with three 2nd places and a race win but could not fend off their fellow countrymen headed up by Jean-Christophe Mourniac on LUNA, who sneaked ahead of them on the leaderboard, albeit on equal points. Nick Moloney’s BT team who finished on top yesterday have slipped to 6th place, ahead of the Dutch team of Holmatro and Shirley Robertson’s team on iShares.
Juanjo Salvador onboard Rumbo Almería, skipper Fernando Echavarri. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co/OC Events.
Disappointment too for the new Spanish team, Rumbo Almeria, who suffered a broken brow sprit during race four that put them on the dockside for the remainder of the afternoon. But the enthusiastic reception from the local spectators every time they pass the shore goes some way to make up for today.
Cammas sails a blinder!
Ending yesterday at the bottom of the iShares Cup Almeria leaderboard, today Franck Cammas put in a strong performance with three 2nd places and a race win to move the Groupama 40 team up six place into 4th place ahead of the final day.
Racing starts tomorrow at 3pm local time to determine the overall iShares Cup podium and to see which team will claim the equally hard-fought over fourth spot.