Team Basilica top the scoreboard at the second event in the iShares Cup Series 9/7/07
On day two of the Extreme 40 iShares Cup in Marseille yesterday the British team Basilica were firmly asserting their presence in a 10-18 knots of breeze, and now top the results table with four wins and a second place and have 84 points overall.
On the first day of competition, Basilica, skippered by Rob Greenhalgh were forced to bow to pressure put on by Franck Cammas skippering Groupama. Not happy being out of the limelight the British team came back yesterday to stamp out the French opposition and take a three-point lead after five more action packed races.
Greenhalgh explained: “Today we went back to basics, aiming to keep it conservative. Our strength lay in our good starts, we led off the line most of the time and stayed on the money which really helped our results.”
While Basilica had a near perfect day, the stronger winds caused troubles throughout the fleet with most boats throwing their crews and boats into fifth gear in the stronger winds resulting in some spectacular racing, submerged bows and near topples “We had a full on couple of first races with everyone pushing hard,” Greenhalgh confesses. “For the second race the wind dropped slightly and we shifted down a gear to give us some breathing space. In short course racing, with five races a day, you’re going at 80-90 per cent for each race and trying to save a bit for the next race so it’s exhausting and the guys get tired.” Greenhalgh continues referring to his crew of Pete Greenhalgh, Justin Slattery and James Grant. “The spinnaker was going up a bit slowly towards the end of the day!”??Groupama spent the day sailing at full throttle, chasing the leaders and perfecting their handbrake turn around the windward mark. Closing the day in second there is still all to play for.”
BT, led by Round the World sailor Nick Moloney, maintain their third place overall with a fantastic win in race eight after they stepped out alone on the right side of the course gaining a good lead on the rest of the fleet. Seb Josse, sailing on the boat for the French leg of the iShares Cup praised the BT team and the competition. “Nick and I have sailed together before and I am starting to gel with the rest of the crew. Today our starts and tactics were good and I think that before the end of the season BT will finish near the top! Basilica and Groupama have excellent cohesion between the crew which gives them an edge over the rest of the fleet.”
Dutch boat Holmatro are shy of the podium by a single point but they have a track record of knocking out the results when it matters most. Skipper Andreas Hagara, a former Olympian is hopeful that they can make the podium in Marseille. “Like at the iShares Cup, Munich, we had a bad first day. We made many mistakes, had problems with our starts and our start timings. We have a new crewmember for this event and on these shorter courses where teamwork is really important our crew work needs to be perfect. Today we made a few adjustments to the boat, to our sail trim and smoothed out our boat handling and tried to do what the did at the last event, get good results and improve.”
Team SLAM/ ABN AMRO, crewed by a fully amateur team, continue to improve as they spend more time on the water and quietly snuck into fifth place today ahead of American boat Tommy Hilfiger, further achieving their result of not finishing at the bottom.
Alan Hillman, iShares Cup Race Manager is looking forward to getting the boats out on the water today, the final day of competition. “The wind looks set to build in the afternoon to up to 21 knots. The teams were fully stretched today so with a bit more wind expected we should see a few more thrills and spills.”