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3 August 2005, 11:20 am
Lexus Rules In The Bay Of Palma
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Breitling MEDCUP 2005
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

After a postponement of almost two hours, due to constant wind shifts, the start signal was given for the second day of racing in the 24th Copa del Rey-Agua Brava in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Lexus was the star of the day, achieving a lead of over two minutes ahead of the vessel that came second, Movistar-Pisco Sour.
In second place, Movistar-Pisco Sour moves to the top of the rankings for the Copa del Rey, as well as maintaining her lead in the Breitling MEDCUP TP52 general rankings. Caixa Galicia, moves down into second place, one point away from the leaders, after finishing fourth yesterday.

Soon after the long awaited start, with a north easterly breeze of 13 knots the fleet divided into two groups. The first stayed towards the right side of the course, lead by Lexus, although Balearia were even further to the right, the lack of speed compared with the rest of the boats, that have been optimized for months now, meant that the vessel was not able to keep up with Russell COUTTS (NZL) and his crew on Lexus.

Atalanti, with Dean BARKER (NZL) at the helm, was second to take the first windward mark, closely followed by Cristabella, Movistar, Caixa Galicia and Balearia. The group who decided to opt for the left of the racecourse were lead by Siemens, followed by Bambakou and Orlanda-Olympus, who was forced back over the line after a false start. The four vessels took the buoy almost at the simultaneously, providing one of the most spectacular scenes of the day. Bribon and Aifos were last to pass the buoy.

From there on, Lexus focussed on increasing her lead, getting further and further ahead of the fleet, who were fighting for positions behind them. Movistar and Caixa Galicia were entwined in a ferocious battle in the downwind leg, luffing up against one another, a few metres away from Atalanti, in second place. Bribon were also close to spectacular downwind, as they gained positions, coming in half a boat length away from Cristabella, fighting for the fifth place. On the other hand, Siemens moved into last place, and Bambakou, with a broken spi, lost a few positions, but recovered somewhat in the last upwind stretch, moving into sixth place.

The amazing similarity in performance between the vessels was more than obvious, yet again at the next buoy, following the last upwind stretch. Lexus were still first, with Movistar in second place, Atalanti in third, followed by Orlanda, Cristabella, Bribon, who were all battling for positions at the buoy, with scarcely a quarter of a boat length between them.

The last downwind stretch confirmed Lexus' lead, as the team finished 2 minutes and 13 seconds ahead of Movistar. Winning skipper COUTTS commented, 'This has been a very tactical regatta, and we made the right decisions regarding the wind shifts. The guys have done a great job, and we are really happy with the boat. We are starting to reap the rewards of the work put in to improve the boat and the sails during the season.'

Movistar is being co-skippered by Vasco VASCOTTO (ITA) and Pedro CAMPOS (ESP) in Mallorca. The duo seem to be giving the desired results, as they place themselves at the top of the general rankings. VASCOTTO seemed content with the day's racing, 'We are very happy. Today's [Yesterday's] race was very, very complicated, but the key to winning the Copa del Rey is consistency, as you can see. We're ahead with two second places in two races. Truthfully, I'd sign up right now for getting second place in all of them.'

In third place were Atalanti XV, owned by ISAF Vice-President George ANDREADIS (GRE), followed by Caixa Galicia, Cristabella, Balearia, Orlanda-Olympus, Bribon, Siemens and the Spansih Royal Navy vessel Aifos

The programme for today is an offshore race.

Miriam Torres (As Amended By ISAF). Lexus leads the way:© Jorge Andreu/MEDCUP
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