A duel emerges between Artemis and Caixa Galicia in Hyeres, France 12/9/07

In what promises to be an engaging duel for the overall 2007 Breitling MedCup title, it was Russell Coutts and the crew of Torbjorn Tornqvist’sArtemiswho seized the upper hand after the first two races of the Hyeres Trophy.

Tied with Vicente Tirado’sCaixa Galiciagoing into this regatta, Coutts eased four points clear thanks to their first and second places yesterday.

There was a long wait for the breeze to fill in and settle, but the fleet was finally rewarded with 7-10 knots of South-Easterly wind which saw the first race start around 16:00, the second at 17:35.

Artemistrimmer Ross Halcrow explained: “I think both boats [Caixa,Artemis] are really pretty similar in speed. We had two good starts, and it is then always a little easier to make yourself look quick in these conditions, but really I don’t think there is much between the two boats.”

“We have a few new sails here, working sails and special sails for the coastal race,” confirmedArtemisskipper Chris Hoskings. “Other than that, [as well as] a good servicing of everything, a good wet sanding of the bottom of the boat and the foils, we have not done anything significant since Portimao.”

Standings after two races, Hyeres Trophy, France:

1.Artemis(T Tornqvist SWE Judel Vrolijk 2007) 3pts (2, 1)
2.CxG Corporacion Caixa Galicia(V Tirado ESP Botin & Carkeek 2007) 7pts (4,3)
3.Siemens(A Roemmers, ARG Judel Vrolijk 2007) 10pts (9,1)
4.Stay Calm(S Robinson, GBR Judel Vrolijk 2007) 10pts (6,4)
5.Valle Romano Mean Machine(P de Ridder, MON Judel Vrolijk 2006) 11pts (3,8)
6.Mutua Madrilena(V Vascotto, ESP Botin & Carkeek 2007) 13pts, (2,11)
7.Patches(E Conneely, IRL Reichel Pugh 2007) 13pts