As the world’s financial woes continue, the iShares Cup continues to rock and roll. After a mostly light-air regatta of seventeen races, Yann Guichard and his Gitana crew won the first event of the first event in Venice, just ahead of James Spithill on BMW/Oracle and Loïck Peyron on one of the Oman boats. During the three days of racing, just a stone’s throw from the famous Piazza San Marco, the Gitana crew was at the front of the fleet amongst some high class competition. Guichard more than held his own against some well known helmsmen, including James Spithill, none other than the future helmsman of the US challenge for the America’s Cup, and Loïck Peyron. Yann couldn’t conceal his satisfaction: “It’s great! We were keen to be in Venice and race so we could find out what level we’re at. This initial victory is a real joy for the whole crew, as well as for the members of Gitana Team who have carefully prepared the boat since its arrival in La Trinité-sur-Mer at the start of March. Our success has a lot to do with our very good starts. After that you know what they say – speed breeds intelligence and vice versa! The racing was close, in more ways than one, with the boats in even closer contact than at most venues and very, very close to the canal walls, as this photo from Marc Lloyd shows. More pix here.