Saturday, July 04, 2009

Redress for Peyron reshuffles the leaderboard on 2nd day of iShares Cup Hyères

[Source: iShares Cup] Oman Sail's Renaissance were forced to sit out racing today after damage to their rudder in race 1 sustained in a collision with Ecover - they have now been awarded average points based on the 7 races they completed so far at Round 2 of the iShares Cup Hyères-TPM. This has now put them back on the leaderboard in second place going into the final day. As a result, BMW ORACLE Racing and Gitana Extreme - Groupe LCF Rothschild who were both on top form, finishing in 2nd and 3rd behind Oman Sail's Masirah before the redress was announced, have now dropped a place on the leaderboard. Mind you, James Spithill and his crew onboard BMW ORACLE Racing will be much happier with their performance today - taking victory in the penultimate and final race of day 2 at the iShares Cup Hyères-TPM. It was a spectacular finish to the second day - racing downwind under the massive gennaker in a big breeze is a precarious proposition - the bows dig in putting the 40-ft catamaran as risk of a pitch-pole. Today all the teams kept their Extreme 40s upright - if the breeze had been any stronger that might not have been the case…

Highlights from the 2nd day of iShares Cup Hyères. Hyères, 4 July 2009. Video copyright iShares Cup

In detail:
The weather scenario was a repeat of yesterday: starting weak, shifting right, then building to up to first 10 knots then 15 for the last two races. In these conditions, the Race Committee managed to stage seven races in total, setting the short, sharp race courses well within the view of the hundreds of spectators – the finish line itself was set almost within touching distance of the crowds who cheered on as the Extreme 40s fought closely for the finish line.

Day 2 of the iShares Cup Hyères-TPM has been a day of mixed fortunes… BMW ORACLE Racing and Gitana Extreme – Group LCF Rothschild piled on the pressure with two race wins for Spithill and three race wins for Guichard – moving both teams up the leaderboard that is still dominated by Oman Sail’s Masirah who had another convincing day.

James Spithill: "It was a bit like survival at times at the top mark, it's very aggressive on the water. Masirah sailed very well again, Gitana is always good and I think it's still very open for tomorrow. I think we have to look for consistency and try to always be in the top 5."

James Spithill and BMW ORACLE Racing make the best improvement of the day by gaining 60 points. Hyères, 4 July 2009. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

For Loick Peyron it was a day of frustration as Oman Sail’s Renaissance remained on the dock after the collision with Ecover in the first race – Mike Golding was on port so was at fault. With the port tiller arm almost detached from the rudder, Peyron had to ‘hand-steer’ the port rudder whilst moving the starboard rudder using the long tiller arm – of course, the super cool Peyron did it ‘standing up’! The Race Committee have yet to publish the results of this protest. Franck Cammas was mixing it up with the front-runners, scoring three third places, leaving Groupama in 5th place on today’s leaderboard after the redress ahead of BT.

The stage is now set for the final day of Round 2 of the iShares Cup – Oman Sail Masirah has a 110 points, a 10-point lead on Oman Sail’s Renaissance (100 points). BMW ORACLE Racing in 3rd place are on 97 points, a 10-point lead on Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild (87 points). Pete Cumming’s crew on Oman Sail Masirah is looking sharp and the front-runners will have a real fight on their hands tomorrow. But in the iShares Cup game anything is possible.



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