Archive | August, 2009

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Earlybird leads Rolex Swan 45 World Championships on opening day

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Rolex Swan 45 World Championships] An optimal start to the Rolex Swan 45 World Championships in Cala Galera (Argentario) organised by the Yacht Club Italiano and the Circolo Nautico e della Vela dell’Argentario (CNVA) in partnership with Rolex.

The day got off to a good start with the skippers’ briefing at 0900 on the terrace at the CNVA and just before midday the 17 teams participating, from eight nations, headed out into Gulf of Argentario.

The first start was at 1300 with 5-6 knot winds from the south. It was the Finnish team of Tea Ekengren-Sauren onboard Blue Nights who were first at the top mark, closely followed by 2008 World Champions Earlybird (GER) who quickly took the lead followed by Fever (GBR) and Carlo Perrone’s Atlantica Racing, the first Italian team.

At the leeward mark it was Nico Poons’ team onboard Charisma (NED), with tactician Ray Davies (Team New Zealand) who moved into first place for the rest of the race, while Earlybird and Fever finished second and third respectively.

Earlybird, leads the Rolex Swan 45 World Championships. Cala Galera, 31 August 2009. Photo copyright Rolex / Bruno Cocozz

As the afternoon progressed, the wind shifted to the West and built to eight knots in time for the start of the second race at 1450. Grant Gordon and Klaus Diederich’s FEVER, winners of IRC-1 at the Giraglia Rolex Cup, were strong off the start line and led the entire race. In second place and Ishida’s Yasha (JPN), followed by Earlybird.

At 1625, the wind unexpectedly picked up to 10 knots and it was possible for the Race Committee to get in a third race. World Champions Earlybird were once again the team to beat and it was the Dutch on No Limits, helmed by owner RW Bol in second at the first windward mark. Earlybird kept the lead and won the race followed by No Limits, Ulika and Atlantica Racing.

The Rolex Swan 45 World Championship continues tomorrow with the second day of racing and the Owners’ Dinner at Il Pellicano.

Fever, is second in the Rolex Swan 45 World Championships. Cala Galera, 31 August 2009. Photo copyright Rolex / Bruno Cocozz

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Countdown to Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup; Paul Cayard enters circuit with new Russian team

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44] The fifth regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2009 – the Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup – will take place in Slovenia on September 29 – October 3. Current leaders of the Championship Tour, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton (Team Aqua) are only two points ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker (Artemis). The RC 44 Class welcomes a new Russian team called Katusha skippered by Paul Cayard.

Preparations in Portoroz on Slovenia’s narrow coastline are well under way for the fifth stage of the RC 44 Championship Tour. Racing begins in one month and the local organisers as well as the Class management are getting ready for the Championship Tour’s autumn season.

It is the third time that Portoroz welcomes an RC 44 regatta after the events held here in 2006 and 2007. Bank Sarasin is the title sponsor of the 2009 event being organised by the Slovenian Sailing Federation.

Leader of the Championship Tour, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua is only two points ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis. “We look forward to getting back on the water”, says Bake. “The last regatta on Lake Garda was a good challenge, and the last day was a great endorsement of the strength and depth of our Team; I was really proud to be a part of it. Portoroz will with no doubt be tough too. We plan to get out there, work hard and try and sail a consistent series.”

Currently third of the Championship Tour on a tie with Larry Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing, Igor Lah (Ceeref) has been instrumental in bringing the regatta to Portoroz. “This is a very important regatta for our team, because it is the first time we will be sailing on Slovene waters”, he explains. ”We will have some more practice than usual prior to the regatta. Unfortunately we’ve had many crew changes this season, which had an effect on crew work. I believe it has stabilized now so we are able to stay with the same team for the rest of the season. We will try to do our best.”

The RC 44 Class looks forward to welcoming a new team in Portoroz. “Katusha” will fly the Russian flag and will be skippered by Paul Cayard, who has already been involved in several events with the RC 44 Class.

The Practice Race and media day will open the regatta on Monday September 28. The Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup will begin on Tuesday September 29 with the match racing event. The fleet regatta will take place from Thursday October 1 till Saturday 3.

Following a long summer break, the ten teams involved in the Championship Tour will be keen to get back to the water and compete in the last “conventional” regatta of the Tour before the double points Gold Cup in Dubai.

The teams involved:
(Name of team, owner, pro sailor)

Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Sébastien Col
Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser
BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski
Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Jose Juan Calero / Jose Maria Ponce
Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker
No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies
Team Austria, René Mangold / Christian Binder
Team Katusha, Paul Cayard

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Countdown to Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup; Paul Cayard enters circuit with new Russian team

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44] The fifth regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2009 – the Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup – will take place in Slovenia on September 29 – October 3. Current leaders of the Championship Tour, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton (Team Aqua) are only two points ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker (Artemis). The RC 44 Class welcomes a new Russian team called Katusha skippered by Paul Cayard.

Preparations in Portoroz on Slovenia’s narrow coastline are well under way for the fifth stage of the RC 44 Championship Tour. Racing begins in one month and the local organisers as well as the Class management are getting ready for the Championship Tour’s autumn season.

It is the third time that Portoroz welcomes an RC 44 regatta after the events held here in 2006 and 2007. Bank Sarasin is the title sponsor of the 2009 event being organised by the Slovenian Sailing Federation.

Leader of the Championship Tour, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua is only two points ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis. “We look forward to getting back on the water”, says Bake. “The last regatta on Lake Garda was a good challenge, and the last day was a great endorsement of the strength and depth of our Team; I was really proud to be a part of it. Portoroz will with no doubt be tough too. We plan to get out there, work hard and try and sail a consistent series.”

Currently third of the Championship Tour on a tie with Larry Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing, Igor Lah (Ceeref) has been instrumental in bringing the regatta to Portoroz. “This is a very important regatta for our team, because it is the first time we will be sailing on Slovene waters”, he explains. ”We will have some more practice than usual prior to the regatta. Unfortunately we’ve had many crew changes this season, which had an effect on crew work. I believe it has stabilized now so we are able to stay with the same team for the rest of the season. We will try to do our best.”

The RC 44 Class looks forward to welcoming a new team in Portoroz. “Katusha” will fly the Russian flag and will be skippered by Paul Cayard, who has already been involved in several events with the RC 44 Class.

The Practice Race and media day will open the regatta on Monday September 28. The Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup will begin on Tuesday September 29 with the match racing event. The fleet regatta will take place from Thursday October 1 till Saturday 3.

Following a long summer break, the ten teams involved in the Championship Tour will be keen to get back to the water and compete in the last “conventional” regatta of the Tour before the double points Gold Cup in Dubai.

The teams involved:
(Name of team, owner, pro sailor)

Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Sébastien Col
Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser
BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski
Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Jose Juan Calero / Jose Maria Ponce
Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker
No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies
Team Austria, René Mangold / Christian Binder
Team Katusha, Paul Cayard

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Nail-biting finish to iShares Cup Kiel

Posted on 30 August 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: iShares Cup] Oman Sail Masirah could not have produced a more nail-biting finish to round 4 of the iShares Cup at Kiel, Germany. Last off the start line, their Oman Sail stablemate Renaissance, the only ones who could snatch victory, got a strong start to be third at the first race mark with Masirah 9th. At the finish line Renaissance clinched first place, whilst Masirah came in 8th putting them on an equal 149 points! “It was way closer than we would have liked and we went across the line thinking we had blown it,” said Pete Cumming. But on count back Cumming’s team on Masirah came out on top, scoring 6 wins here in Kiel compared to Loick Peyron’s 5 first places. Completing the overall podium at the iShares Cup Kiel was Franck Cammas’ Groupama whilst Yann Guichard’s crew on Gitana Extreme, although finishing 2nd in the final race, are 4th overall. The racing was highly aggressive and, at times, completely nerve-racking. 50,000 spectators fully appreciating the intense racing over the 3-day event – even in the pouring rain! Oman Sail Masirah also retain their top spot on the overall series leaderboard going into the penultimate round in Amsterdam…

Highlights from the third day of the iShares Kiel Cup. Kiel, 30 August 2009. Video copyright iShares Cup

Going into the final day of the iShares Cup Kiel event, the podium was wide open – Oman Sail Masirah, Oman Sail Renaissance, Groupama and Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild all had a shot at the podium. In the tricky conditions that dominated the first two days of racing, nothing was certain, and the 10-boat fleet were set more challenging downwind start races. Mike Golding’s Ecover got back in the water in time to compete, recruiting Nick Houchin in place of the injured Bruno Dubois.

In a building breeze, 10-12 knots, the racing soon became fast and furious – the boats accelerating quickly as the big gennakers were hoisted. The first race was full of action – Yann Guichard’s crew on Gitana Extreme were over the line at the start and forced to restart, Oman Sail Masirah incurred a penalty that relegated them from first to seventh. Groupama and Oman Sail Renaissance went on to share the spoils in first and second. The racing was intense, every team pushing to the maximum – ten Extreme 40s piling into the windward mark just seconds apart, hoisting their massive gennakers, on the edge of their limits… The crowd could hardly bear to watch, surely there would be a collision…it was nerve-racking racing.

By the penultimate race Oman Sail Masirah’s lead had been reduced to 14 points with 20 points up for grabs in the double-points final race. Gitana Extreme were back in the podium fray only 7 points behind Groupama. And Team iShares, BT and Holmatro had their own battle going on mid-leaderboard.

Pete Cumming takes up the story: “In the final race we treated it as any other race regardless of who was attacking us in second… We knew we wanted to be on the right at the start so we set up near the committee boat and we had worked a nice gap to leeward that we were just going to accelerate through when the German team squeezed into the gap and we were luffed up really hard. We lost all momentum on the start, the fleet accelerated and we had almost engaged reverse gear at that point! But the message back to the team was just stay confident, do your job and don’t get flustered. It was way closer than we would have liked obviously and we went across the line thinking we had blown it. We were getting different messages coming from different RIBS and didn’t know what to do until we had it confirmed by the race officer. Before the season started, it was all about going up against the French multihull stars but, in my mind now, I’ve got the multihull experts on our boat. I can’t speak highly enough of the guys and we are as strong as anyone on the race course. We’re over the moon!”


Oman Sail Renaissance skipper, Loick Peyron, said after racing: “For the last race we were near the leaders and it was interesting to count all the boats behind us… We had a lot of problems with mathematics in our heads! In fact, everybody had a problem, even the committee who took a while to confirm who were the winners. We saw the ‘red boys’ had some troubles but not enough so we are really happy to have these sort of moments within our team.”

Groupama skipper, Franck Cammas: “We were really on it today but, unfortunately, we had a penalty which I thought unfair. The direct consequence was a 9th place in the third race today. We began to realise that second place overall that we wanted to reach was flying away. We had to concentrate and be careful because Gitana Extreme was becoming a real threat. Finally, we did it and we are on the podium this evening.”

Round 5 of the iShares Cup in Amsterdam over the 25-27 September. With their third event win in a row, Oman Sail Masirah can go into the penultimate event of the 2009 iShares Cup with confidence: “We know Amsterdam is a bit of a lottery so we knew we had to push hard at this regatta to put that buffer in place. But you never know – everyone thought we had it in the bag here but your lead can shrink to zero in a moment but that is the great thing about this series.”

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Nail-biting finish to iShares Cup Kiel

Posted on 30 August 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: iShares Cup] Oman Sail Masirah could not have produced a more nail-biting finish to round 4 of the iShares Cup at Kiel, Germany. Last off the start line, their Oman Sail stablemate Renaissance, the only ones who could snatch victory, got a strong start to be third at the first race mark with Masirah 9th. At the finish line Renaissance clinched first place, whilst Masirah came in 8th putting them on an equal 149 points! “It was way closer than we would have liked and we went across the line thinking we had blown it,” said Pete Cumming. But on count back Cumming’s team on Masirah came out on top, scoring 6 wins here in Kiel compared to Loick Peyron’s 5 first places. Completing the overall podium at the iShares Cup Kiel was Franck Cammas’ Groupama whilst Yann Guichard’s crew on Gitana Extreme, although finishing 2nd in the final race, are 4th overall. The racing was highly aggressive and, at times, completely nerve-racking. 50,000 spectators fully appreciating the intense racing over the 3-day event – even in the pouring rain! Oman Sail Masirah also retain their top spot on the overall series leaderboard going into the penultimate round in Amsterdam…

Highlights from the third day of the iShares Kiel Cup. Kiel, 30 August 2009. Video copyright iShares Cup

Going into the final day of the iShares Cup Kiel event, the podium was wide open – Oman Sail Masirah, Oman Sail Renaissance, Groupama and Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild all had a shot at the podium. In the tricky conditions that dominated the first two days of racing, nothing was certain, and the 10-boat fleet were set more challenging downwind start races. Mike Golding’s Ecover got back in the water in time to compete, recruiting Nick Houchin in place of the injured Bruno Dubois.

In a building breeze, 10-12 knots, the racing soon became fast and furious – the boats accelerating quickly as the big gennakers were hoisted. The first race was full of action – Yann Guichard’s crew on Gitana Extreme were over the line at the start and forced to restart, Oman Sail Masirah incurred a penalty that relegated them from first to seventh. Groupama and Oman Sail Renaissance went on to share the spoils in first and second. The racing was intense, every team pushing to the maximum – ten Extreme 40s piling into the windward mark just seconds apart, hoisting their massive gennakers, on the edge of their limits… The crowd could hardly bear to watch, surely there would be a collision…it was nerve-racking racing.

By the penultimate race Oman Sail Masirah’s lead had been reduced to 14 points with 20 points up for grabs in the double-points final race. Gitana Extreme were back in the podium fray only 7 points behind Groupama. And Team iShares, BT and Holmatro had their own battle going on mid-leaderboard.

Pete Cumming takes up the story: “In the final race we treated it as any other race regardless of who was attacking us in second… We knew we wanted to be on the right at the start so we set up near the committee boat and we had worked a nice gap to leeward that we were just going to accelerate through when the German team squeezed into the gap and we were luffed up really hard. We lost all momentum on the start, the fleet accelerated and we had almost engaged reverse gear at that point! But the message back to the team was just stay confident, do your job and don’t get flustered. It was way closer than we would have liked obviously and we went across the line thinking we had blown it. We were getting different messages coming from different RIBS and didn’t know what to do until we had it confirmed by the race officer. Before the season started, it was all about going up against the French multihull stars but, in my mind now, I’ve got the multihull experts on our boat. I can’t speak highly enough of the guys and we are as strong as anyone on the race course. We’re over the moon!”


Oman Sail Renaissance skipper, Loick Peyron, said after racing: “For the last race we were near the leaders and it was interesting to count all the boats behind us… We had a lot of problems with mathematics in our heads! In fact, everybody had a problem, even the committee who took a while to confirm who were the winners. We saw the ‘red boys’ had some troubles but not enough so we are really happy to have these sort of moments within our team.”

Groupama skipper, Franck Cammas: “We were really on it today but, unfortunately, we had a penalty which I thought unfair. The direct consequence was a 9th place in the third race today. We began to realise that second place overall that we wanted to reach was flying away. We had to concentrate and be careful because Gitana Extreme was becoming a real threat. Finally, we did it and we are on the podium this evening.”

Round 5 of the iShares Cup in Amsterdam over the 25-27 September. With their third event win in a row, Oman Sail Masirah can go into the penultimate event of the 2009 iShares Cup with confidence: “We know Amsterdam is a bit of a lottery so we knew we had to push hard at this regatta to put that buffer in place. But you never know – everyone thought we had it in the bag here but your lead can shrink to zero in a moment but that is the great thing about this series.”

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Day 2 in Kiel: 6 races, 6 different winners – classic iShares Cup racing!

Posted on 29 August 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: iShares Cup] Day 2 of the iShares Cup Kiel event – 6 races were staged, each delivering a different winner – BT, Groupama, Oman Sail Masirah, LUNA, Oman Sail Renaissance and Holmatro. No one team dominated in the tricky conditions, although Pete Cumming’s crew on Oman Sail Masirah did enough to stay at the top of the leaderboard with a 17-point lead going into the final day of racing, but they are certainly not invincible and round 4 of the iShares Cup is still wide open. A grand battle developed for second place today between three of the French skippers – Yann Guichard’s team Gitana Extreme raced a great final race which put them in second place overall, whereas Groupama’s 7th place relegated the team to 3rd place overall, and Loick Peyron on Oman Sail Renaissance is waiting in the wings in 4th – only 1 point separates each of these 3 teams.

The 9-boat Extreme 40 fleet, minus Mike Golding’s Ecover that was dismasted in a capsize yesterday, went out on the Kiel Fjord today expecting 30 knots and instead had to deal with light, shifty conditions and torrential downpours with occasional gusts, thunder and lightning that turned today’s racing into a game of snakes and ladders for many.

Highlights from the second day of the iShares Kiel Cup. Kiel, 29 August 2009. Video copyright iShares Cup

Oman Sail Renaissance skipper, Loick Peyron: “It was a mixed day – some good, some really bad! Not easy at all today – it was supposed to be really windy but when its not windy, the wind is moving from one side to the other so you have to play –anything can happen. We did a really bad one today, a really bad one yesterday so it could be good to finish the last day with no really bad races! Tomorrow’s going to be the day!”

The battle for the podium looks set to be between Oman Sail Masirah (104 points), Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild (87 points), Groupama Extreme (86 points) and Oman Sail Renaissance (85 points). Pete Cumming’s Masirah crew who were so dominate in the UK round, did enough today finishing in the top 5 bar one race, but they will go into the final day feeling under threat as round 4 is really still wide open. Further down the leaderboard there is a tussle for dominance between LUNA (5th place on 75 points), Team iShares (6th on 65 points), BT (7th with 64 points) and Holmatro (8th on 62 points).

Team iShares skipper, Shirley Robertson: “We have our moments, if we have a good start, we can get ahead but I still feel like a bit of a novice multihull sailor against the likes of Loick Peyron and Franck Cammas! Everyone was good and bad, and going up and down. It was tricky racing the wind was coming and going with the rain clouds and very shifty. We all went out dressed for 30 knots and torrential rain so I think everyone is pretty happy.”


The Dutch team of Holmatro who have a new man at the helm for the rest of the season, were delighted to score a win in the final race today. Although just before the race started, they struck a rock performing a fly-by for the crowds. Skipper Mitch Booth explains: “We were just killing time between the races and thought we’d just do a little sail by the dock and, sure enough, there was a rock right in our way and we hit our daggerboard and crashed it pretty bad. We had to get a guy under the boat to get it out that way and we just got a replacement board out in time for the final race. It was good though in the end because we had a good last race [they won!]. We’re a brand new team here and it takes time to sort out all the team work but we’re pretty happy, we’ve had a couple of bad ones and some good ones too! It was that sort of condition today and that sort of course – the winner got away and then it was very difficult for anyone to pass. But it was a scramble in the middle, I can tell you, but good fun and looking forward to tomorrow.”

The local German team, WIRSOL TEAM KEIL.SAILING CITY our enjoying the racing and the support of the thousands of home supporters. A third-place in the penultimate race of today was there best result so far in the event, but in the final race skipper Roland Gäbler, fell overboard. He managed to scramble back on by himself to finish the race to the obvious appreciation of the crowd.

The forecast for the final day of the iShares Cup Kiel is similar to today’s forecast – SW 10-15 knots with strong gusts. In reality, the Extreme 40 fleet might end up with the same tricky conditions they had today. The Ecover team still has work to do preparing the spare mast and repair the mainsail damage, as well as find replacement crew following the injury to Bruno Dubois.

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Day 2 in Kiel: 6 races, 6 different winners – classic iShares Cup racing!

Posted on 29 August 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: iShares Cup] Day 2 of the iShares Cup Kiel event – 6 races were staged, each delivering a different winner – BT, Groupama, Oman Sail Masirah, LUNA, Oman Sail Renaissance and Holmatro. No one team dominated in the tricky conditions, although Pete Cumming’s crew on Oman Sail Masirah did enough to stay at the top of the leaderboard with a 17-point lead going into the final day of racing, but they are certainly not invincible and round 4 of the iShares Cup is still wide open. A grand battle developed for second place today between three of the French skippers – Yann Guichard’s team Gitana Extreme raced a great final race which put them in second place overall, whereas Groupama’s 7th place relegated the team to 3rd place overall, and Loick Peyron on Oman Sail Renaissance is waiting in the wings in 4th – only 1 point separates each of these 3 teams.

The 9-boat Extreme 40 fleet, minus Mike Golding’s Ecover that was dismasted in a capsize yesterday, went out on the Kiel Fjord today expecting 30 knots and instead had to deal with light, shifty conditions and torrential downpours with occasional gusts, thunder and lightning that turned today’s racing into a game of snakes and ladders for many.

Highlights from the second day of the iShares Kiel Cup. Kiel, 29 August 2009. Video copyright iShares Cup

Oman Sail Renaissance skipper, Loick Peyron: “It was a mixed day – some good, some really bad! Not easy at all today – it was supposed to be really windy but when its not windy, the wind is moving from one side to the other so you have to play –anything can happen. We did a really bad one today, a really bad one yesterday so it could be good to finish the last day with no really bad races! Tomorrow’s going to be the day!”

The battle for the podium looks set to be between Oman Sail Masirah (104 points), Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild (87 points), Groupama Extreme (86 points) and Oman Sail Renaissance (85 points). Pete Cumming’s Masirah crew who were so dominate in the UK round, did enough today finishing in the top 5 bar one race, but they will go into the final day feeling under threat as round 4 is really still wide open. Further down the leaderboard there is a tussle for dominance between LUNA (5th place on 75 points), Team iShares (6th on 65 points), BT (7th with 64 points) and Holmatro (8th on 62 points).

Team iShares skipper, Shirley Robertson: “We have our moments, if we have a good start, we can get ahead but I still feel like a bit of a novice multihull sailor against the likes of Loick Peyron and Franck Cammas! Everyone was good and bad, and going up and down. It was tricky racing the wind was coming and going with the rain clouds and very shifty. We all went out dressed for 30 knots and torrential rain so I think everyone is pretty happy.”


The Dutch team of Holmatro who have a new man at the helm for the rest of the season, were delighted to score a win in the final race today. Although just before the race started, they struck a rock performing a fly-by for the crowds. Skipper Mitch Booth explains: “We were just killing time between the races and thought we’d just do a little sail by the dock and, sure enough, there was a rock right in our way and we hit our daggerboard and crashed it pretty bad. We had to get a guy under the boat to get it out that way and we just got a replacement board out in time for the final race. It was good though in the end because we had a good last race [they won!]. We’re a brand new team here and it takes time to sort out all the team work but we’re pretty happy, we’ve had a couple of bad ones and some good ones too! It was that sort of condition today and that sort of course – the winner got away and then it was very difficult for anyone to pass. But it was a scramble in the middle, I can tell you, but good fun and looking forward to tomorrow.”

The local German team, WIRSOL TEAM KEIL.SAILING CITY our enjoying the racing and the support of the thousands of home supporters. A third-place in the penultimate race of today was there best result so far in the event, but in the final race skipper Roland Gäbler, fell overboard. He managed to scramble back on by himself to finish the race to the obvious appreciation of the crowd.

The forecast for the final day of the iShares Cup Kiel is similar to today’s forecast – SW 10-15 knots with strong gusts. In reality, the Extreme 40 fleet might end up with the same tricky conditions they had today. The Ecover team still has work to do preparing the spare mast and repair the mainsail damage, as well as find replacement crew following the injury to Bruno Dubois.

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Oman Sail Masirah leads iShares Cup Kiel after tough first day

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[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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