Mon, May 01, 2006 - Page 18 News List

`Movistar' shines during Baltimore's port regatta

AP , BALTIMORE, MARYLAND

A movistar crew member climbs down the mast after making a repair during the Baltimore in Port race on the Chesapeake Bay, Saturday. Movistar won the race.

PHOTO: AP

Spanish entry movistar took advantage of light winds and won the Baltimore in-port regatta of the Volvo Ocean Race Saturday, taking the lead on the first leg and staying in front the rest of the way.

"We're quite slippery in under 10 knots so the conditions certainly favored us today," movistar captain Bouwe Bekking said. "We would rather have seen 20 knots because that's more exciting for the spectators, but we weren't entirely unhappy with what we got."

Movistar earned 3.5 points for the victory and further solidified its second place position in the overall standings.

Brasil 1 was second, just ahead of US entry Pirates of the Caribbean. Movistar got a poor start and was immediately forced to the right side of the windward-leeward course. That proved a fortunate break since the right turned out to be favored and the Spanish team moved into second behind Ericsson Racing by the first windward mark.

Bekking made another good call on the first downwind leg, jibing to the left side of the course and again picking up better breeze.

Movistar rounded the mark just ahead of Brasil 1 and Pirates of the Caribbean and never trailed thereafter.

"We jibed early and got a good shift. We came in on starboard, which was a nicer angle speed-wise and gave us rights on Brasil and Pirates," Bekking said.

Movistar had better boat speed than the other six boats in the fleet the rest of the way and steadily increased its lead, finishing five minutes ahead of Brasil.

"It felt good to stretch be able to stretch it out on the fleet," Movistar crewman Jonathon Swain said. "This is a big lift for the team. It shows that all the hard work is paying off. We picked up valuable points today."

Brasil 1, skippered by Torben Grael, posted its second runner-up finish in an in-port race. The Brazilians rounded the first leeward mark in second and never relinquished that position.

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