- A New Year, a new dawn and confirmation of the iShares Cup 2009 – excitement builds around the season ahead for this award-winning sailing circuit
- Over 20 professional teams have registered strong interest in the 2009 Extreme 40 circuit including returning teams from the previous iShares Cup seasons as well as new teams, skippers and nationalities.
- Once again, expect the world’s best sailors to be pitting their skills on the short, sharp race courses around Europe providing pure entertainment to the shore-side public – Olympic champions, America’s Cup titans and ocean racing heroes – essentially the best of the best coming together to compete, entertain and share sailing close-up in its most accessible and exciting format.
- Five, possibly six, events to be staged throughout Europe from May to October 2009.
The 2009 iShares Cup is gearing up to be another sensational season of racing and entertainment. A new phenomenon in sailing, providing grandstand viewing in the heart of Europe’s leading venues, the iShares Cup is fast and furious racing on Extreme 40 multihulls that push the sailors to the limit – and beyond. The iShares Cup has over the last two years become sailing’s hottest property.
Twenty-two pro teams have registered their desire to enter with the iShares Cup organisers, OC Events: “The enthusiasm for the iShares Cup is just growing and growing across Europe and around the world,” said Gilles Chiorri, OC Events Director. “The sailors love it because the racing is high-level and intense, the public love it because they can get really close to the action and for sponsors it offers a sensible value-for-money budget. It’s perfect for the current ‘difficult’ economic environment with a high return in both B2B and B2C terms, with the costs spread across multiple markets.”
There will be at least two new French teams – Groupama skipper Franck Cammas has already announced his team’s participation and skipper Erik Maris, who competed at the iShares Cup Hyères event in 2008 racing TWINS, is planning to step-up to a full season of racing in 2009 under a new boat name ‘Luna’. Plus two other potential French teams are lining up – one headed up by Yvan Bourgnon and another from a leading existing French sailing campaign.
2008 teams set to return are iShares (International), BT (International), Holmatro (NED) and the Oman Sail Team are expected to enter not one but two Extreme 40s for 2009. BMW ORACLE RACING is also considering entry in a full iShares Cup season following their participation at the Cowes event last year.
OC Events plan to issue the Notice of Race for 2009 and 2010 by the end of January so the teams can then officially enter the circuit – with entry numbers limited.