Win for Maris despite broken wrist

Luna takes iShares Cup Raid warm-up for tomorrow Hyères-TPM action

Thursday July 2nd 2009, Author: Jocelyn Bleriot, Location: United Kingdom
Round 2 of the iShares Cup Hyères-TPM is all set to go – official racing starts tomorrow at 1400 local time through to Sunday, 5th July. Today saw a series of practice races for the ten Extreme 40s including the iShares Cup Raid – a 10-mile sprint to the island of Porquerolles and back. The beauty of the iShares Cup is the adaptability of the Extreme 40 fleet to race on open sea or on inland waters; racing short courses close to shore, trying speed runs or stretching their legs in a ‘raid’ format as they did today.

Following the official opening iShares Cup press conference at which Jacques Politi, Mayor of Hyères and Vice-President of TPM (Toulon Provence Mediterranée) welcomed the skippers to the region, the skippers were keen to get going. Franck Cammas, skipper Groupamacommented: “I am impatient to race! The Extreme 40s are great to sail and Hyères should be more windy than Venice hopefully. I hope we're not going to race too close to shore if it's really windy as it might be a bit more 'extreme' than we like!”

Although the weather forecast predicted light conditions for the next few days, the temperatures in Hyères results in the land heating up through the morning to create a good and consistent sea breeze for the afternoon. Shirley Robertson, skipper of Team iShares, remembers the conditions last year: “Last year we had some big wind - I ended up on a stretcher with stitches! Going downwind with the big gennaker up and both rudders out the water - there's not much you can do at the back except hang on - this is Hyères! I think this weekend we could have a few surprises...”

Well, perhaps the first surprise of Round 2 has been the victory of Erik Maris and his crew on board Luna, in the iShares Cup Raid and the second practice race.

As Loick Peyron, skipper Oman Sail Renaissance commented: “This iShares Cup is a very exciting game... Sailing in open water can change many things.”

iShares Cup Raid results (non-scoring race):
1 Luna (Erik Maris)
2 BMW Oracle Racing (James Spithill)
3 Gitana (Yann Guichard)
4 Groupama (Franck Cammas)
5 Oman Sail Renaissance (Loick Peyron)
6 BT (Nick Moloney)
7 Holmatro (Carolijn Brouwer)
8 Oman Sail Masirah (Pete Cumming)
9 iShares (Shirley Robertson)
10 Ecover (Mike Golding)

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