Giving your all so you have nothing to regret…
There was a slight change of setting for the penultimate day of racing in the iShares Cup 2009. It took place beneath a hazy sky, albeit brushed by a more cooperative wind – with the exception of the last race – that the ten crews competing in Almeria were able to sail six races today. These conditions smiled on Pete Cumming’s men, leader with one day to go, as it did on Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group; the latter lying in ambush in second place. As hoped the suspense will keep us on tenterhooks right to the finish!
The final verdict of the iShares Cup 2009 will fall tomorrow evening and with this moment drawing ever closer, the tension has gone up a notch amongst the fleet of Extreme 40s. Thanks to a good day and, most notably, a fantastic victory in the final confrontation this Sunday, the one design fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild has climbed from 4th to 2nd place, behind a certain Oman Masirah: “Today’s been very tiring on the nerves as we set off with little wind, then it filled in only to completely drop away during the last race. These very changeable conditions require a great deal of concentration as it’s difficult to get a good sensation at the helm”.
Continuing his analysis of this second day’s racing in Andalusia, the skipper of Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group was keen to applaud the performance of Pete Cumming’s men: “Masirah was a notch above today. They sailed really well, got some good starts and so it’s only logical that they’re leading.” With a 10 point deficit this evening, Yann Guichard and his three crew are remaining positive as they know all too well that it could still all change dramatically: “We fought really hard today, which means that we’re still in the frame for outright victory. Tomorrow we’re going to have to give it our all from the very first race, which is great because that’s exactly why we came here. You can make up a ten point deficit in two races!”
This evening, the provisional ranking after today’s six races is on a par with the excitement of the event itself. Indeed, though Oman Masirah and Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group have taken a great option by respectively amassing a 21 and 11 point lead over their direct opponents, behind the battle is raging. The six trailing boats are grouped together with just an eight point separation between them! Such figures demonstrate once again that the hierarchy is fragile as there is so little in it and consequently every point is vital.
Despite what is at stake, the sailors from the Gitana Team admitted that they are keen to do things properly, continuing to sail cleanly by avoiding errors which may cost them a victory. Tomorrow though it won’t be a surprise if Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild Group, Masirah and Renaissance are right on each other’s tails: “To get ahead we first have to sail against ourselves, but naturally we’ll have to keep an eye on our rivals, especially those with which victory will be decided” explained Yann prior to drawing his conclusion: “There are between 6 and 8 races to be run tomorrow and there’s still everything to play for…”
Crew of Gitana Extreme - LCF Rothschild Group
Yann Guichard (skipper-helm)
Pierre Pennec (mainsail traveller trimmer, tactics), Christophe Lassegue (headsail trimmer, control of manoeuvres) and Hervé Cunningham (headsail trimmer, control of manoeuvres)
Ranking on the second day (after 10 races)
1/ Oman Sail Masirah (Pete Cumming) – 80 points
2/ Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group (Yann GUICHARD) - 70 points
3/ Luna (Erik Maris) – 59 points
4/ Groupama 40 (Franck Cammas) – 59 points
5/ Oman Sail Renaissance (Loïck Peyron) – 58 points
6/ BT (Nick Moloney) – 57 points
7/ Holmatro (Mitch Booth) - 55 points
8/iShares (Shirley Robertson) – 51 points
9/ Rumbo Almeria (Fernando Echavarri) – 31 points
10/Ecover (Mike Golding) – 27 points
Provisional championship ranking prior to the 6th and final event
1/ Oman Sail Masirah – 43 points (4th, 1st, 1st, 1st, 5th)
2/ Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group – 43 points (1st, 4th, 2nd, 4th, 1st)
3/Oman Sail Renaissance – 42 points (3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd)
4/ Groupama 40 – 33 points (5th, 5th, 6th, 3rd, 3rd)
5/ BT – 23 points (6th, 6th, 4th, 8th, 8th)
6/ iShares – 22 points (9th, 7th, 5th, 6th, 6th)
7/ Holmatro – 20 points (8th, 8th, 8th, 7th, 4th)
8/ Luna – 20 points (7th, 9th, 7th, 5th, 7th)
9/ BMW Oracle – 18 points (2nd, 2nd, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC)
10/ Ecover – 8 points (10th, 10th, 9th, 10th, 9th)
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