Orlanda-Olympus are only three points behind, with Caixa Galicia four points away from them, after their best day's racing yet. Lexus, who won the first race are paying a hefty price for their inconsistency, and have moved down into fourth place.
The extremely light winds (less than five knots at the end of race two) marked an almost perfect day for Caixa Galicia, who was second and first in today's races. Lexus, skippered by Dean BARKER (NZL), was first in the first race, but got the eighth place in the second one.
Yesterday's conditions were of a light breeze ranging between seven and ten knots, and varying up to 20 degrees to the east, in a first race that saw Lexus fighting hard against a strong Caixa Galicia in a battle which went on throughout the whole of the race.
A general call to all of the boats at the start, followed individual calls to no less than four of the vessels - Aifos, Bambakou, Leche Pascual and Atalanti XV, who were all ordered to repeat the start. This meant a considerable loss of time compared with the other group of six boats who had commenced an excellent upwind course.
Siemens, skippered by Jim ALLSOPP (USA), decided to stay to the left side of the course, and thanks to the ten degree wind shift to that side, they managed to reach the windward buoy in first place. However ALLSOPP's team could not seem to hold on to the position and ended up giving away the lead to come in eight place. Lexus and Caixa Galicia raced fiercely against one another to win the race for the lead position that Caixa Galicia had snatched from the hands of Siemens in the first downwind course. Lexus played a better hand, and in the second upwind stretch at the second windward buoy they were winning, only a few metres away from a threatening Caixa Galicia who were by no means willing to let Lexus get away from them.
In the end, Caixa Galicia were unable to fend off the unstoppable Lexus, who now have their second victory in the Breitling Regatta. Caixa Galicia came in a respectable second, followed by the Italians Orlanda-Olympus, skippered by Lorenzo BRESSANI. Bribon, with HM King Juan Carlos of Spain at the helm, were trailing behind during the first upwind course, but made a spectacular recovery from their eighth position to finish fourth. In fifth place were Britain's Cristabella, followed by Leche Pascual, Bambakou, Siemens, Atalanti XV and Aifos who finished last in this first race of the day.
In the second race of the day the stars were the Caixa Galicia team, who lead the fleet right from the first windward mark, until the end of the race. Their advantage was such, that they managed to get over a minute ahead of the Cristabella, who came in second. The sharp changes in wind direction, with shifts to the east meant a constant change in positions for most of the fleet. Then the sudden fall in breeze forced the Race Committee to shorten the race by one leg, meaning the boats finished in an agonising downwind course.
Lexus performed a fantastic start sweeping past the rest of the fleet in the first upwind course. However, an unstoppable Caixa Galicia positioned themselves ahead of the fleet as they passed the windward mark and held on to the lead throughout the race. Lexus were only half a bowline behind and it looked like they were ready to re-enact the close battle for the lead fought during the first leg. However, BARKER suffered after a difficult downwind course, which left them trailing in sixth place. Bribon were not quite on track either as they moved into seventh place at the third buoy, to later recover to finish sixth. Cristabella's fantastic performance is well worth noting, as they were eighth in the first mark and managed to finish in second place behind the Spanish Caixa Galicia team, with John KOSTECKI (USA) onboard as tactician.
In third place were Leche Pascual, who climbed up from sixth place. The Leche Pascual team's consistency in performance has put them at the top of the rankings, where they have been for quite a time now, since their fantastic regatta in Valencia.
Aifos, which is skippered in this event by Luis GALNARES, were among the few vessels that have sailed a fairly consistent regatta, and finished fourth in this second race. Bambakou, with owner-driver John COUMANTAROS, finished fifth, followed by Bribon, Atalanti XV and Lexus, who came in eighth, who, like Orlanda-Olympus, ninth, have been sailing very irregular races. They have been combining great races in leading positions with very weak performances, such as today's.
Siemens just do not seem to be able to optimize their boat's performance and came in last in today's second race.