Exciting start to the first day's racing at Extreme 40 ishares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week 2/8/08

Given the current legal dispute and wranglings between Alinghi and BMW Oracle, all eyes were focussed on the opening races of Round 3 of the Extreme iShares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week today.

Visitors even thought they may get a glimpse of sailing legend Russell Coutts but although he did turn up on Friday night for a quick drink with his team mates, he hot-footed it off early this morning. But it wasn’t all doom or gloom because Team BMW Oracle had James Spithill and Franck Cammas at the helm of their two boats.

The entry list read like a who’s who with the likes of Ed Baird (helming Alinghi), John Kostecki (tactician on BMW Oracle), Dirk de Ridder (BMW Oracle), Nick Moloney (Team BT), Andreas Hagara (Team Holmatro), and Shirley Robertson (JP Morgan Asset Management), to name a few.

Fortunately the early morning drizzle and light airs gave way to a fantastic afternoon on the water with a building Force 4 which made for exciting Extreme 40 action. In fact the wind built to the limit leaving Team Aqua suffering a broken mast as a nasty squall swept through the fleet just before the start of race 3.

After two races BMW Oracle were dominating with Cammas taking both races, and Spithill and team finishing second in race two but it all came to an abrupt end for Cammas and team on BMW Oracle when they suffered a broken beam in race four.
Team Origin with Rob Greenhalgh at the helm had a race win in race three but again suffered a capsize before the race officer wisely decided to call off racing for the day.

At the end of an exciting day on the Solent Alinghi have stepped into the lead with a scoreline of 2,6,3, while Team Origin are now in second. With two firsts, a second and a DNF BMW Oracle Cammas are fourth. They are now back on shore fixing their broken beam.