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15 July 2005, 10:49 am
Azure De Puig And Don Alvaro Lead At Halfway Point
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Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship 2005
Mahón, Menorca, Spain

Day two of the 2005 Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship in Mahón, Menorca, Spain went into the small hours of the night yesterday as the competing yachts battled against each other in the 70 miles coastal race around the island.
By approximately 1700 hours local time yesterday evening, the fleet had reached the halfway point off Ciudadella. The Italian Don Alvaro owned by Francesco SICULIANA, led the Corinthian division on corrected time. Marta Mas BORRELL's Azur de Puig, of Spain, was first on corrected time in the Non-Corinthian division. Competitors will be awarded two scores for the coastal race, one for the order of rounding at the half-way mark, and the other for the finish line. Both will be based on corrected time, and combined to determine overall scores for the race. If all the competitors had completed the coastal race by 0400 this morning, the race committee plans to run a windward-leeward race today at 1600.

The 42 boats competing got off the line at approximately 1250 yesterday in a six knot southeasterly breeze which built to a steady twelve knots. The Spanish JV 57 Tau Ceramica, owned by Javier DOMINGUEZ BANDERAS and skippered by double Olympic gold medalist Theresa ZABELL (ESP), was first to the halfway mark, but in fourth place in the Non-Corinthian division based on her handicap. She was followed by the Spanish Farr 54 Cam, owned by Olympic medal winners Fernando LEON (ESP) and Kiko SANCHEZ LUNA (ESP). BORRELL's B&C Azur de Puig, with America's Cup veteran Dee SMITH (USA) calling tactics, was third, but leading on corrected time.

'The fleet covered 35 miles since the start,' commented Race Committee Member Joaquin GONZALEZ DEVESA. 'After Ciudadella, the fleet will have to tackle a long upwind beat, so the pace will slow. I think the first boat will finish around 0200., although, it's hard to make predictions as the wind might die, and it's a known fact that, during the night, anything may happen.'

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Puerto Calero Hesperia chasing La Maison De L'Elephant:© Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
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