Golding-Peyron prang

After redress for Loick Peyron Oman Sail cats now lead the iShares Cup Hyères-TPM

Saturday July 4th 2009, Author: Jocelyn Bleriot, Location: United Kingdom
Oman Sail's Renaissance was 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…

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.

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."

For Loick Peyron it was a day of frustration with Oman Sail’s Renaissance remaining 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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