For Loick Peyron, who has brought Oman Sail to the top of the Extreme 40 pile, the penultimate day of the Hyères round of the iShares Cup was very frustrating. Masirah was leading going in and Renaissance, which Peyron skippers, was lying second; an incredible result for a team that was nearer the back than the front last season. It looked good for an Omani 1-2 until Mike Golding took off Renaissance’s rudder in the first race of the final day. With the port tiller arm almost sheered from the rudder, Peyron somehow managed to hand steer the port rudder, whilst moving the starboard rudder using the long tiller arm with his other hand. He took an incredible second, but the boat was out for the rest of the day.
In the protest room, Renaissance was awarded average points for the races they sailed before being fouled, so stayed in second position overall, but somehow they seemed to have lost an edge. They never sailed as well as they had been doing and, at the start of the last, double point race, Spithill used match racing tactics to pin Renaissance down at the start, the took them out to the far side of the course to push them down the leader board and make BMW Oracle’s position stronger. The tactics worked and, at the bottom mark Renaissance botched a kite drop and saw several boats go past whilst they sorted the mess. BMW Oracle sailed a textbook race to take the finish gun by a strong margin over Groupama, but it wasn’t enough to beat Masirah who took third place on the water but first overall with a safety margin of 10 points. Pic from Mark Lloyd and more pix from him and Thierry Martinez here.