Oman Sail's Masirah scores six wins in Kiel after a nail-biting final race
Oman Sail Masirah (pictured) could not have produced a more nail-biting finish to round four 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 ninth.
At the finish line Renaissance clinched first place, whilst Masirah came in eighth 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 six wins here in Kiel compared to Loick Peyron’s five 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 second in the final race, are fourth overall.
The racing was highly aggressive and, at times, completely nerve-racking. 50,000 spectators fully appreciating the racing over the three-day event. Oman Sail Masirah also retain their top spot on the overall series leaderboard going into the penultimate round in Amsterdam.
Pete Cumming commented: “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.”
Final results, Kiel: Round 4
Masirah 149 points
Gitana Extreme-Groupe LCF Rothschild 129
Wirsol Team Germany Kiel – Sailing City 88
BMW Oracle DNC
Round 5 of the iShares Cup takes place in Amsterdam from the 25-27 September.
To find out more, visit www.isharescup.com .