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5 August 2005, 11:38 am
Lexus-Quantum Rules The Seas In The Offshore Race
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Breitling MEDCUP 2005
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Lexus-Quantum, skippered by Russell COUTTS (NZL), was the first Transpac to 52 cross the finish line after the 93.8 mile offshore race in the 24th Copa del Rey-Aguabrava in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The victory was double for the team, as the points are added to the result at the first finish line at the halfway point in the race, where Lexus also finished in first place.
Lexus is now top of the general rankings for the Copa del Rey-Aguabrava event, one point ahead of Caixa Galicia.

The offshore race, which is divided into two separately scored legs, with results registered at the line near the halfway point of the race, and then again at the finish line after almost 94 nautical miles, has demonstrated the close competition in the TP52 fleet. Also, it was evident that in a race of these characteristics the standard of the crew, and the careful choice of sails were crucial to achieving results.

After the first part of the race, where Lexus-Quantum came in first, followed by Caixa Galicia and Cristabella, the fleet headed towards the area of Cabrera. The breeze fell from 14 knots to close to six knots at Cabrera, and the competition between the fleet was evident throughout the course. Lexus dominated for most of the race, but Caixa Galicia were hot on their heels right up until Cabrera, where a problem with the code zero furler meant that the team lost a few positions. Lexus demonstrated their prowess throughout the close to 100 mile course, thrashing the rest with a double victory in each of the part of the race. It is easy to see exactly why the New Zealander at the helm is the holder of no less than three America´s Cup Trophies. Lexus tactician Mark REYNOLDS (USA) commented, 'The first windward leg was nice. We got around the first mark with the lead, then there were many close times all around the course. Sometimes we got ahead and we felt comfortable and they caught right back up again and then there was a couple of times when we were in a boat length of quite a few boats…it was scary.'

'The hardest part was the first little island, before the lighthouse island and it was dark. It was light for a while, and it got really tight, all the boats from behind caught up a little bit and we were only a boat length ahead at this point, and we were able to keep our lead.'

Second to complete the course was Cristabella, owned by John COOK (GBR), who have clearly achieved the desired results following the previous event, the Trofeo SM La Reina in Valencia, Spain. The team co-operation and the modifications made to the vessel seem to be key to the success of the British team. Cristabella were third in the first part of the race, behind Lexus and Caixa Galicia. The revitalized Greek Atalanti XV crew, with Dean BARKER (NZL) at the helm, and Paul CAYARD (USA) as tactician, managed to climb up a position in the second part of the race. They finished third, ahead of Caixa Galicia, who had lost their lead in the Copa del Rey-Agua, the fourth event in the Breitling MEDCUP TP52, which went to Lexus, with a four point advantage.

Orlando Olympus, with Francesco BRUNI (ITA) at the helm, finished fifth in both parts, whilst Movistar, with duo Vasco VASCOTTO (ITA) and Pedro CAMPOS (ESP) finished sixth, having gained a position in the second part of the course. The results have meant that Lexus-Quantum are dangerously approaching the leaders in the Breitling MEDCUP TP52 general rankings, which have so far been dominated by VASCOTTO and team, following their fantastic performance in Valencia. Lexus are just one point from the Chilean vessel.

Bribon, who are leading in the Corinthian (amateur) category, finished seventh, followed by their closest rival, the American boat Bambakou. Bribon stayed in the lead positions throughout the race, sailing close to land, yet an error, small as it may have been, meant that the vessel lost six positions. The close rivalry between the vessels is clear, and mistakes are heavily paid for in this competitive Circuit. Aifos finished ninth, Siemens tenth, and Balearia were the last to cross the line, showing it is still not quite up to its full capacity, having recently been launched.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Jorge Andreu/MEDCUP
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