Friday, August 28, 2009

Oman Sail Masirah leads iShares Cup Kiel after tough first day

[Source: iShaares Cup] Capsize & collisions in gusty conditions on day 1 of the iShares Cup Kiel: “It was carnage out there…” said Oman Sail crew David Carr. Ecover's capsized between races 3 and 4, resulted in a broken mast. The mast was cut away from the overturned boat, and both boat and mast were towed back to the iShares Cup pitlane. Ecover crewman Bruno Dubois received a nasty cut to the head requiring stitches. And then after a full on day of racing, in the final race, Loick Peyron's Renaissance hit the new Wirsol Team Germany Kiel Sailing City resulting in major work overnight for both boats. It didn’t all go Oman Sail Masirah’s way today in the difficult and gusty conditions on Kiel Fjord but after 7 races on day of 1 round 4, Pete Cumming’s team are, once again, at the top of the leaderboard.

Mike Golding back on shore told the press: “Bruno’s had a scan and is being kept in overnight but otherwise he’s fine. It was a very quick capsize, the conditions had been very gusty and none of us were expecting to have a problem like that outside of the racecourse. We were between races and we had just boarded our guest and were heading back to the start area when a big gust came in, fully downwind, both bows went in and we just pitch-poled very, very quickly. All of us were in the water – even the experienced Extreme 40 guys were amazed at how fast the boat rotated. When we came up from under the net we saw Bruno had a head injury and were pretty shocked”

Highlights from the opening day of the iShares Kiel Cup. Kiel, 27 August 2009. Video copyright iShares Cup

And about racing again: “We will right the boat next and we have a spare mast here so we will make an assessment of what’s here and try and get the boat back out on the racecourse. We’re here to be racing so we want to get the programme back on track.”
The conditions for racing on the short and tight courses on the Kiel Fjord were demanding and pretty nerve-wracking for the Extreme 40 crews as the wind gusted over 30 knots (56 km/h) – this is sailing at the sharp end of the sport. It required slick boat handling and 100% focus.

Oman Sail Renaissance skipper, Loick Peyron, collided with Wirsol Team German Kiel Sailing City in the final race of the day as they tried to bear away behind the local team resulting in a black flag disqualification: “A little puff of wind, then boom – no more rudder, we were flying with no tiller – so after that you have a few seconds to pray. It can be dangerous but that is part of the game. I think it’s the first time I hit another boat and I don’t like that.” After two race wins, the disqualification cost them second place on the leaderboard which has been occupied by Franck Cammas’ Groupama Extreme who sailed well, scoring one victory and no worse than 6th place.

iShares Cup Race Director, Gilles Chiorri explained the damage to the German team: “There is serious damage to the port hull of the aft beam –it is where the aft beam is moulded to the hull so they will have a long night of repair work. I am pretty confident they will be racing tomorrow”

Overall iShares Cup series leaders, Oman Sail Masirah skippered by Pete Cummings, and now also occupying the top of the leaderboard at the end of day 1 in Kiel, had this to say: “The wind strength went from 5 knots up to 25 knots – it would just hit like that. So, yeah, it was all on! It’s really brilliant racing though and you can hear the crowds cheering you down the racetrack. Really unfortunate for Ecover – it’s just really tight racing and everyone is pushing hard, and when you’re at this level that’s how it is. You’ve got to be on top of your game that’s for sure.”

iShares Cup Kiel Day 1 - Leaderboard:
Oman Sail Masirah 61 points
Groupama Extreme 51 points
Oman Sail Renaissance 47 points
Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild 46 points
BT 38 points
Team iShares 37 points
LUNA 36 points
Holmatro 32 points
Wirsol Team German Kiel Sailing City 22 points



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