Masirah Wins Overall And Renaissance Takes Third Place In iShares Cup
The sun was shining, the wind was blowing and the crowds were cheering as both Oman Sail teams took control of the six races sailed on Monday. Masirah started the day with a dominating win over the fleet in the first race of the day but Renaissance was never far behind. After four races Masirah had done enough for the day as they could not be toppled from the top of the leader board, a position they had held since the first race of the first day. Renaissance had their work cut out for them as they were carrying a couple of poor results which their eleven top three places over the three days couldn’t balance out. Although they were never out of second or third place on the leader board, they had stiff competition from the team s below, out of which any of five of them could have leap-frogged them onto the podium.
The last race of the day counts for double points and it is this one that has, in past events in France and Italy, made all the difference to the final scores. Masirah played a safe game and took the boat home safely but it was Renaissance who was fighting for the difference between the second and third step on the podium with Gitana. Team Gitana and Renaissance were not only fighting for second and third for the Cowes iShares Cup, but also for second and third on the overall podium positions at the half way point of the iShares Cup circuit. Thus it was a nail biting finale for these two teams and the pressure was on as all the teams lined up for the start, only metres away from the thousands of spectators watching the action from the shore. In the end Gitana took first place and Renaissance could only manage a fourth, behind Masirah and Ecover. This sealed the podium places as Git ana took second and Renaissance took an admirable third.
Special guests on Masirah for the day’s racing were members of Formula One’s Brawn GP team. Each boat has a fifth man spot that gives an invited guest the chance to experience sailing at the extreme and get into the thick of it. Brawn GP CEO, Nick Fry, was on board for many of the races, ‘I believe that sport is a wonderful catalyst for pulling people together. To support sport at the highest level will encourage younger people and inspire them to be the best and I am sure that over time, more people from Oman, both men and women, will want to be part of this successful team. I applaud those in Oman that took this initiative which I am sure will bring major benefits over the coming years.’
Now that Cowes is over and the celebrations for both teams are finished, the Oman Sail team packs up both boats into their containers. Then both containers are loaded up and transported to the North German City of Kiel where the fourth leg of the iShares Cup takes place and Masirah will be hoping to maintain their dominance and Renaissance will be looking to knock them off the top spot and take some of the glory for themselves. The sponsors of Renaissance (Renaissance Services, Suhail Bahwan Group and The Wave) will continue their support of the team until the end of the iShares Cup circuit.