The unstoppable force which is the Oman sailing team in the iShares Cup was again winning applause from the crowds thronging the shoreline today.
With 11 wins in 20 starts, the red Masirah boat, helmed by Olympic bronze medallist Chris Draper, plundered its second series win after dominating in Hyeres last month.
As the skippers hammered up and down the short course off Cowes Green, there was also a queue of people lining up to join in as spare crew. "I love seeing boats going this fast," said Simon le Bon, the Duran Duran lead singer who once had to make a scrambled exit from his maxi yacht as it capsized. He joined double gold medallist Shirley Robertson for a race on iShares.
"Awesome, that's proper hi-octane adrenalin-pumping action, And it's a little faster than my usual adventures," added Ben Fogle after sailing with round the world solo sailor Mike Golding on Ecover.
Carphone Warehouse boss Charles Dunstone completed a hat-trick of class one wins, adding the Sir Walter Preston Cup to his trophy cabinet when, in his 52-foot Rio, he beat Peter Vroon of The Netherlands' Tonnere de Breskens by a corrected 68 seconds.
Tomorrow a clutch of big boys join the fray as Ialian Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli’s new STP65 Luna Rossa, American-entered sistership Rosebud, Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran and Hong Kong-based Karl Kwok’s 80-foot Beau Geste line up for what could be an assault on the round the island record.