Oman Sail Masirah has won the iShares Cup 2009, but it came down to the last leg of the last race on the last day of the last regatta at the iShares Cup Almeria in Spain, with Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild pushing Oman Sail Masirah right to the very last minute with a superb final performance. Pete Cumming and his crew held their nerve despite the strong comeback of Yann Guichard and the Gitana Extreme crew.
Almeria’s usually strong winds never materialised, with light winds adding to the nerves of the 10 teams challenging for the Andulician final event of this benchmark season for the Extreme 40 Sailing Series. Franck Cammas’ Groupama 40 crew finished third on the event leaderboard ahead of Oman Sail Renaissance, although Loick Peyron had the comfort of claiming third spot on the overall iShares Cup 2009 leaderboard ahead of Cammas.
Shirley Robertson’s Team iShares sailed an excellent regatta to win the mid-leaderboard battle ahead BT and LUNA, to finish 5th overall. Tens of thousands of spectators, the biggest stadium audience of the year, packed the port of Almeria to witness the heart-stopping tension of the double points final race of the season.
The final event of the six-stage European iShares Cup 2009 series has been a spectacular and showcase event both on the water and on land. Shirley Robertson, skipper of Team iShares, was delighted with the team’s 5th overall place and the reception that all the teams received from the public in Almeria: “We were really chuffed and it was a little bit of a surprise when we called up to the podium because the points had been so close and we have been mixing it with the same boats almost from Venice – Holmatro, LUNA and BT – so it’s really good. From the moment we arrived in Almeria to rig the boats the atmosphere has been great and the local people have been right behind this event. It’s a great area for sailing and a fantastic amphitheatre, and we’ve loved having the crowds. It has felt like a real sporting event and every time we sailed passed the wall we had a big cheer for iShares – I loved it!”
iShares Cup 2009 overall results:
1. Oman Sail Masirah 53 points
2. Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild 52 points
3. Oman Sail Renaissance 42 points
4. Groupama Extreme 41 points
5. Team iShares 27 points
6. BT 26 points
7. LUNA 26 points
8. Holmatro 24 points
9. Ecover 10 points
(news @ iShares Cup)