Alinghi lead iShares Cup at Hyères

Tommy Hilfiger flips

Day two of the iShares Cup at Hyères was the day of the comeback kids, the America's Cup defenders get in their Extreme 40 groove to win 3 out of 9 races and take the overall lead going into the final day. Also spectacular capsize recovery by Tommy Hilfiger - it was extreme racing on the very edge of control.

The race committee warned the teams to expect a big day on the water, and they certainly delivered - with nine rapid-fire races - in testing and gusty conditions.

America's Cup defenders Alinghi opened the day with a win, and went on to score two more firsts, taking them to the top of the overall points - a far cry from their disastrous start to the iShares Cup series when they capsized in the very first race of the season.

Skipper Ed Baird said, 'The guys did a great job today. We had so many different conditions, so many different types of situations and each time it seemed like I asked them to do something special they came through. We are learning a lot. It's exactly why we wanted to be here.'

Although Alinghi were able to stay out of trouble, all the skippers had to have their wits about them on a day that saw several near-capsizes and collisions. The most spectacular being USA team, Tommy Hilfiger, who pitchpoled their Extreme 40 in a bearaway just off the breakwater in front of the crowds, literally standing the boat on her nose before skewing round and landing upright.

Skipper Randy Smyth, 'To get the gennaker up the boys had to run forward and start hoisting, the moment they went forward we got a huge puff and they started running back but it was too late! Those three were all hanging onto the net like scared rats, but I just crawled over the side - I thought it was history! It was a new definition of extreme!'

TeamOrigin fought back fiercely today with three wins in a row to storm back up the leaderboard after yesterday's capsize, finishing the day in second place overall, seeing the 2007 iShares Cup defending champions finding their form. The crew of Oman Sail had a disappointing end to today, after sharing the overall lead going into today's racing, when their bowsprit was broken and they were unable to compete in the final four races of out nine today.

Tomorrow is the final day of racing in the second round of the iShares Cup and judging on today's performance, the podium is still open to attack.

Leaderboard

Alinghi 6 7 2 1 2 5 1 6 4 3 1 4 102
Team Origin 9 2 DNF 5 5 6 3 1 1 1 2 3 94
Volvo Ocean Race 4 6 1 11 4 1 2 3 2 2 9 7 92
BT 1 1 6 3 8 3 11 5 6 9 10 1 80
JPMorgan Asset Management 8 5 9 4 1 2 7 8 7 5 3 10 75
Team Aqua 3 8 4 6 3 8 4 7 9 8 8 2 74
iShares 10 4 7 2 9 4 5 4 3 7 7 9 73
Holmatro 5 DNF 5 7 10 7 6 9 5 4 5 5 64
Tommy Hilfiger 7 9 DNS 9 11 9 8 2 8 6 4 6 53
Oman Sail 2 3 3 10 6 DNS 9 11 DNS DNS DNS DNS 40
TWINS 11 10 8 8 7 10 10 10 10 10 6 8 36
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