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Santa Irene Club de Vela Newsletter - 21st October 2009

“The iShares Cup Regatta”in Almería Port was an unbelievable experience for the thousands that were there to see it all. 10 Extreme 40 Catamarans were there to decide the Winner of the Cup.

It was the last of the series which began in May 2009. The first venue was Venice, then on to Hyéres, Cowes, Kiel, Amsterdam to finish at Almeria and we were there!Houria and I decided we would take four days off.

We were invited to be there on Friday the 9th of Oct. to enjoy the hospitality of iShares and to meet the Skippers and Crews, all of them Top level professional Sailors. It was an absolute joy for me( a reasonable Club racer in my National 12 and Seafly back in the 50,60 and 70´s that was when I took up cruising)to meet Shirley Robertson, Hugh Styles, who race the “ iShares” Catamaran, Pete Cumming, Chris Draper, Mark Bulkley and David “Freddie” Carr, a big lad, Khamis Al Anbouri, the Crew of the Omani Catamaran “Masirah”.

The 10th, 11th , 12th were the iShares Cup racing days, already there had been over 100 races in the previous 5 events. We were there to see the last 18 – 6 races each day. I remind you the races are short, usually taking between 15 – 20 minutes for each one. It came down to the last day and the last race to decide the winner of the Magnificent “iShares Cup”. We were happy when the lads on the Omani Cat.”Masirah” crossed the Finishing Line – jumping for joy, knowing they were the “Winners”.

Half an hour later, about 6:30 pm, the Podium sailors were there, 3rd “Groupama”, the French team, 2nd “Gitana Rothchild”, a French team with Swiss connections, 1st and Winners of the iShares Cup”Oman Masirah”, with the Omani sailing team.

With the background of the the Castle and the good weather, I would guess it was one of the best venues of the series. For the Spectators, the start and finish of each race was there in front of them.

In fact , we could see the whole course, then as they gybed with the wind behind them, at the mark nearest to us, the Crews would acknowledge the cheering and clapping of the crowds as they sailed within inches of the dockside.

The Andalusian organization was Superb, with entertainment and festivities for the three days. Children's activities on the far side of the harbour, with free transport by train or boat. Adults were not forgotten, on Sunday evening there was a marvellous out door Concert, with the Almería Sinfonia Orchestra accompanying Lara Montiel, the famous Spanish singer, entertaining a massive audience, who appreciated the good music.

The good news is: this event the “iShares Cup” will be with us for the next 5 years, in Almería” and Houria and I will be there, In shaa Allah.

Hope to meet you at el “Rincon del Puerto” Garrucha, Sunday for coffee. Take care

John Talliss
Tel : 950 475 157
Movil: 658 548 790

Sailing News Sol Times - 14th October 2009

At last it arrived “The iShares Cup Regatta” racing in Almeria Port, we were there!

To see it all. Ten Extreme 40 catamarans, what a sight, racing in an area about 4 times the size of the Cuevas Canal.

This was “Formula 1 Racing”, the concept of “The iShares Regatta” is to bring the Sport of Sailing to the people, we could do that at Garrucha and Cuevas. This was Top-level racing with the World best sailors competing. You could shout and cheer Shirley Robertson as she tacked her “Cat iShares” so close to the harbour wall you could have passed to her one of my Energy Cakes.

The iShares 2009 series started in Venice the 1st of 6 venues through out Europe. The final venue was in Almeria. As members of the Media, Houri and I arrived there on Friday the 9th , an opportunity to meet the 10 Skippers and Crews. A total of 40 racing sailors, 4 to each boat plus one invited guest! In the case the two Omani Cats: “Renaissance” and “Masirah”, they are two young sailors from the Omani School of Sailing, learning the ropes. On Friday, 2 races were scheduled for the benefit of the Media, using a much bigger course than they would use for the Regatta.

Wetting our appetite for what was the follow on the 10th, 11th, 12th Oct. we were not disappointed.

Six races races were sailed each day, starting at approx. 2:30 pm and was all finished by 6:30 pm.

I would guess several thousand spectators were there during the 3 days,they could see it all. The count down to the Start, the Cats flying a hull, even in the light winds, then the Bang of the Gun as they crossed the Finishing Line.

During the period of the Series, there has been 118 Races and at the end of it all, it was down to the last Race to decide the Winner of the Magnificent “iShares Cup”.

On the podium were 3rd Groupama, 2nd Gitana Rothschild, 1st and Winner of the Cup, Oman Masirah. “Congratulations” to the Crew : Pete Cumming, Chris Draper, Mark Bulkley, David Carr (GBR), plus Khamis Al Anbouri.

Hope to see you all next year.

John Talliss
Tel : 950 475 157
Movil: 658 548 790

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