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by Press Office on 25 Oct 2000
"Zephyrus IV" Smashes Middle Sea Race Course Record by 8 Hours

Riviera di Rimini's Course record established two years ago has just been
smashed by Robert Mc Neil's Maxi Turbo Sled "Zephyrus IV". She managed to
wipe off 8 hours from the previous record to cross the finish line after
64hrs, 49mins and 57seconds at sea to establish the new course record for
the Middle Sea Race at an average speed of 9.44 knots.

"The crew on board Zephyrus IV were great. The Middle Sea Race course is
really impressive and the boat and sailing conditions, well, simply amazing.
We had a great day on Sunday when we sailed from Stromboli to Faviniana. We
set our largest asymmetrical and sailed at an average speed of 17 knots for
the whole day." Robert McNeil said. The hardest part of the Middle Sea Race
was our return leg from Lampedusa to Malta. "As soon as we went round the
Island of Lampedusa, we encountered winds in excess of 35 knots and waves of
some eight metres in height. I was expecting the rig to collapse at any
time. This must be the fourth mast we have installed on "Zephyrus IV" and I
didn't feel like having to buy a new one again.

John Bertrand also had words of praise for his crew. "This must be one of
the best races I have ever sailed. The crew did everything that was
expected from them, and more. We did however, have a scary moment on our
last leg from Lampedusa to Malta. A massive wave nearly swept a crewmember
overboard. Thankfully, he was holding on to the main sheet for his life and
we managed to get him back on board, safe and sound."

Speaking to journalists on the pontoon in the early hours of the morning,
Lorenzo Bortollotti said that the new course record could be quite difficult
to beat. "Zephyrus IV" is an amazing boat and the crew really worked hard".
Lorenzo was on "Sagamore" for last years Middle Sea Race as a tactician and
has again been engaged by Jim Dolan for next years' event, confirming that
the blue American Maxi would return in 2001.

"With the Cape Town to Rio Course record and now the Middle Sea Race Course
Record, I think I can say that we had a great year." "We shall do our utmost
to be back next year to defend this title." Robert Mc Neil said.

"Zephyrus IV" is a Turbo Sled Maxi from the drawing boards of Reichel-Pugh

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