Artemis heads the field after five Audi Medcup races

In boisterous conditions off Marseille, the Oracle-dominated duo of the Swedish boat Artemis and the brand new, but soon to be mothballed USA17 were lying first and third overall last night after five races of the Audi Medcup.

Splitting them was the King of Spain's Bribon, skippered by Team New Zealand's Dean Barker, but he was unable to stop his former skipper, Russell Coutts from guiding his owner Larry Ellison and America's Cup recruit James Spithill to a powerful win in the first race of the day, with Artemis second.

The pair is split in the table by Bribon, but the second race of the day belonged to the American boat Quantum, Terry Hutchinson pushing up to fourth overall.

Mike Slade's 100-footer Leopard knocked eight hours off the west-east transatlantic record for yachts using power-assisted winches. She covered the 2,925 miles in 7days 19hrs 21mins, beating the time set by the 246-foot Phocea 20 years ago. "We are absolutely thrilled," said Slade, whose crew had to cope with a collision with a Sunfish and avoiding icebergs drifting dangerously south.

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