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23 September 2005, 11:49 am
Victories For Pisco Sour And Caixa Galicia
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Breitling MEDCUP 2005
Porto Rotondo, Sardinia, Italy

Spirits were slightly dampened at the start of the second day's racing in the last event in the Breitling MEDCUP, as persistent showers and a distinct lack of breeze took over the Sardinian Emerald Coast yesterday. However the conditions providing no distraction to circuit leaders Pisco Sour, who scored a first and second place to reinforce their standing as the top TP 52 team.
The atmosphere on the quay of the Porto Rotondo Yacht Club in Sardinia, Italy left no doubt that despite the bad conditions there were still plenty of nerves for the nine teams competing, as the crews prepared themselves to fight hard for those final positions in the Breitling MEDCUP 2005 rankings.

Light unstable winds dominated in a heart stopping day of racing for the TP 52s. The winner of the day was Pisco Sour, who were fast and furious against the rest. The Chilean vessel is owned by Cousiño, Matte and Orlyi and has Italian Vasco VASCOTTO at the helm, and the team are currently leading in the general rankings of the circuit. Caixa Galicia, with John KOSTECKI (USA) as tactician, gave a great performance to win the second race with more than a minute's advantage over Pisco Sour.

After a postponement of almost one hour, the fleet took the start line of the first windward-leeward race of the day. Tensions were high from the very start of the race, as Lexus, with America's Cup winner Russell COUTTS (NZL), and Pisco Sour, with VASCOTTO went head to head in a battle for the lead. There were two boats that stood out at the start - on the one hand Lexus for their determination, whilst closely marking the leaders in the Breitling MEDCUP, Pisco Sour, and on the other hand the US boat Sjambok, with Gavin BRADY (NZL) as skipper and Dee SMITH (USA) as tactician, for other reasons who performed a false start which positioned them at the back of the fleet for the rest of the race.

VASCOTTO and COUTTS's match racing experience was clearly a deciding factor in the first upwind leg, reflected in the head to head race between the two vessels who took the first mark in first (Pisco) and third (Lexus-Quantum) place, with Caixa Galicia pushing themselves cleverly in between the two to take the mark in second place. In fourth place was the Irish vessel Patches, who have Olympic star Ben AINSLIE (GBR) at the helm, followed in fifth place by a superbly driven Aifos.

In the next leg, the Chilean vessel Pisco Sour reinforced their lead, and Lexus overtook the Spanish team Caixa Galicia who fell back a position following a good tactical call by Patches. Aifos were in fifth place at this point, ahead of Bribon who had HM King Juan Carlos of Spain at the helm. As the boats were setting course for the second upwind stretch a sudden change in wind direction which allowed the TPs at the head of the fleet were hoisting their spinnakers, forced the Race Committee to declare the race finished. In this first windward-leeward race, Pisco Sour took a great win after a tough attack from COUTTS and team who finished in second place, followed by Caixa Galicia, Bribon, Patches, Aifos, Orlanda-Olympus, Sjambok who gained a position, and Balearia in last place.

In the second race of the day things took a sharp change, as Caixa Galicia made all the right decisions to take the first mark in first place with an amazing one minute advantage over Sjambok, Pisco Sour, and Bribon, whereas Lexus seemed to not quite able to get the tactics right and put themselves in last place at this point. Surprise struck in the third buoy as COUTTS gave everyone an example of his magic touch, by getting up into fourth position behind Pisco Sour, and the USA's Sjambok. Bribon finished in fifth place, followed by Patches, then Aifos, Orlanda and Balearia. After plenty of position changes at the back of the fleet the three leaders crossed the finish line with Spain's Caixa Galicia in first place followed by Pisco Sour.

Miriam Torres (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Caixa Galicia:© Jorge Andreu/MEDCUP
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