JPMorgan Asset Management win the first event of the 2008 iShares Cup ahead of Team Origin 2/6/08

After winning five races over the first two days, double Olympic gold medallist Shirley and her crew of Chris Main, Nick Hutton and Fraser Brown on JPMorgan Asset Management went into the final day of racing with a 15-point lead over British America’s Cup challengers Team Origin, but things got off to a surprising start in the first race of day three when JPMorgan Asset Manageent followed the fleet home in last place and were disqualified after failing to complete the course within the time limit in the zephyr-light breezes. Team Origin, helmed by 2007 iShares Cup champion Rob Greenhalgh, came home in fourth to pile the pressure on for the overall title, while BT took the race win.

After a postponement which saw several crews cooling off from the scorching sunshine with a swim in Lake Lugano, it was America’s Cup defenders Alinghi who rediscovered their fighting form in Race 9, pulling off a tactical stunt that saw them come within inches of the shoreline to steal a winning angle to the second mark and then lead convincingly all the way home.

But all eyes were on the battle between JPMorgan Asset Management and Team Origin – Shirley Roberston’s crew had to take a penalty turn at the second mark, slowing the boat right down, while Team Origin were back in seventh place. JPMorgan Asset Management recovered to finish in fifth place as Team Origin followed them home in sixth. After an anxious wait to see if the wind would refill for a 10th race, the race committee signalled three hoots to end all racing – followed by cheers from the crew on JPMorgan Asset Management who had won the first event of the 2008 iShares Cup Sailing Series.

Next stop is Hyeres on 13-15 June.

Final results:
1. JP Morgan Asset Management, Shirley Robertson
2. Team Origin, Rob Greenhalgh
3. BT, Nick Moloney
4. Oman Sail, Pete Cumming
5. Alinghi, Ed Baird
6. iShares, Hugh Styles
7. Holmatro, Andreas Hagara
8. Team Aqua, Cameron Appleton
9. Volvo Ocean Race, Herbert Dercksen
10. Tommy Hilfiger, Randy Smyth