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4 August 2005, 12:06 pm
Lexus-Quantum Rules Again
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Breitling MEDCUP 2005
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Lexus dominated the first part of the offshore race crossing the first finish line well ahead of the rest of the TP52 fleet in yesterday's offshore race, taking place as part of the Copa del Rey in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
At the end of the 93.8 mile course there will be another finish, which will mark the second classification and the end of the offshore race. The fleet were forecasted to finish around midnight last night. Second to cross the line was Caixa Galicia, also maintaining their position well.

After a good start and an excellent first upwind leg, Lexus-Quantum, skippered by three time America's Cup winner Russell COUTTS (NZL), had taken the lead, maintaining it as far as the mark which signals the first part of the classification. At this point the positions were registered and the points are calculated as if it were a complete regatta, although the boats must carry on to complete another race to complete the Offshore part of the competition. With ten knots of breeze, increasing to 14 knots, the fleet departed with Lexus imposing from the start. Caixa Galicia was towards the back of the fleet, but managed a good upwind leg to move into third place, very close to USA boat Bambakou, who Caixa overtook in the first downwind leg.

If the first leg was spectacular, even without position changes, the following leg was even better, a visual feast of competition. Movistar, who had been in fourth place, suffered somewhat due to a broken asymmetric spinnaker sail. The consequence was a crew member climbing to recover the sail from high up the mast, which meant the loss of various positions as they moved down into tenth place at the next mark. Orlanda Olympus were in fourth place, taking advantage of Movistar's bad luck. In this leg the choice of sail was a determining factor and played a big role in the fleet's positions.

Following the triangular course inside the bay of Palma, and rounding the buoy at San Juan de Dios, the fleet headed towards the island of Dragonera. On the way to the small island of el Toro (literally 'the bull') Lexus were still leading the fleet, although, the distance between them and the rest of the group were considerably shortened; Caixa Galicia, Movistar and Bribon. Rounding the mark at Dragonera Lexus was holding onto their lead, with Caixa Galicia almost 40 seconds behind them, and Movistar two minutes away from the leader, followed by Orlanda Olympus.

At the finish of the first part of the race, opposite the island of el Toro, halfway point of the complete race course, Lexus crossed the line first, followed by Caixa Galicia, second, Cristabella, third, Atalanti, fourth, Orlanda Olympus fifth followed by Bambakou, Movistar, Bribón, Aifos, Siemens and Balearia. The wind had dropped somewhat, and the fleet were facing a much tougher second part of the race, where anything may happen as both night and the wind fall…

Miriam Torres (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Lexus is in charge of the offshore race:© Jorge Andreu/MEDCUP
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