Hyeres, in the region of Toulon Provence Mediterranee (TPM), is one of Southern France's most attractive cities and is set to host the second round of the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series in 2009 over the weekend of 3-5 July.
It will be the second year running that the iShares Cup returns to this famous coastal city renowned for good winds and hosting pre-Olympic regattas and world championship events.
In 2008 the venue lived up to its world-class reputation providing the Extreme 40 teams with spectacular conditions that resulted in some of last season's most striking images. The combination of regular mistral winds and glittering blue waters define Hyeres' trademark appeal.
The 2009 iShares Cup Hyeres-TPM event will, once again, offer the public, VIPs and media the chance to get close to the action with live race commentary throughout the three days of competition.
This year there is the added attraction of a strong French contingent led by French sailing superstars Franck CAMMAS
and Loïck PEYRON
. CAMMAS raced at the 2007 French event in Marseille and in Cowes in 2008, but is now back for a full iShares Cup season onboard his Extreme 40 Groupama; PEYRON will be competing for the first time - now part of the Oman Sail project - he will be racing Renaissance; and Yann GUICHARD
(FRA) will also be entering the fray onboard Gitana.
"We are proud to add the iShares Cup to the list of major sailing events in the town for the second consecutive year. The city of Hyeres boasts a great sailing venue, meaning several iShares Cup teams now come to train throughout the year. The unique race format will please the public, who we expect to arrive in large numbers this season,"
explained Monsieur Edmond BACCI, Deputy Councillor, Nautical Events, Hyeres.
At the 2008 iShares Cup in Hyeres-TPM, America's Cup winners Alinghi, led by American Ed BAIRD
, triumphed after three days of intense racing. The 18-race regatta went to the wire and the thrilling conditions of Hyeres challenged the crews every day - resulting in a number of heart-stopping capsizes and collisions.
The event did not disappoint the public who got to experience their first taste of the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series that is dedicated to delivering high-level competitive sailing within meters of the shore.
"Our host venues are expected to deliver first-rate facilities and support, a spectator-friendly venue that provides unique and challenging sporting conditions for the professional sailors, high-level city amenities and a passion for the sport," commented Gilles CHIORRI, OC Events Director, organiser's of the iShares Cup. "Hyeres-TPM certainly delivers on all these counts and their enthusiasm for the sport of sailing is not only historic but continues unabated so it is a pleasure for us to return to this premium sailing venue."
Rick ANDREWS, Head of iShares Marketing, Europe commented: "The sailing at last year's iShares Cup event in Hyeres was amongst the most dramatic of the season and we are delighted to be returning to such a renowned sailing venue."
The 2009 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series will begin its season at the stunning and historical location of Venice, Italy, before heading to Hyeres-TPM, France, then to the United Kingdom, before returning to Kiel in North Germany where crowds of over 80,000 watched the action last year, before the penultimate event in the Netherlands and then on to Almeria, Spain, for the final event of the season. The final two venue locations in Great Britain and The Netherlands will be announced shortly.
2009 Entries iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series
BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) - James SPITHILL (AUS)
BT (EUR) - Nick MOLONEY (AUS)
Holmatro (NED) - Carolijn BROUWER (BEL)
iShares (EUR) - Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR)
Gitana Extreme- Groupe LCF Rothschild (FRA) - Yann GUICHARD (FRA)
Groupama 40 (FRA) - Franck CAMMAS (FRA)
LUNA (FRA) - Erik MARIS (FRA)
Oman Sail Masirah (OMA) - Pete CUMMING (GBR)
Oman Sail Renaissance (OMA) - Loïck PEYRON (FRA)
The 2009 iShares Cup will visit:
Round 1 - Venice, Italy, 15-17 May
Round 2 - Hyeres-TPM, France, 3-5 July
Round 3 - Great Britain, 1-3 August
Round 4 - Kiel, Germany, 28-30 August
Round 5 - The Netherlands, 25-27 September
Round 6 - Almería, Andalucía, Spain, 10-12 October
The iShares Cup is an ISAF Special Event. Find out more at www.isharescup.com.