RICK and Inge Strompf's cruiser-racer X-Rated staked an early claim yesterday for back-to-back line honour victories in the 10th edition of the biennial Dunhill San Fernando Race which has attracted a fleet of 34 craft. But with the 20-knot northeasterly winds which surprisingly sprung up for the start on Wednesday slowly petering out, X-Rated was expected to steadily fall behind the sensational time of two days and 10 hours she set two years ago. X-Rated was unable to shake off a determined gaggle of challengers yesterday led by Xiphias, Bimblegumbie, Moonblue and Mad Max, all boats over 40-foot who took full toll of the early gusty conditions. A 51-foot X512, X-Rated was only one nautical mile clear of Xiphias, a 44-foot X442, also designed by Jeppesen. Adrian Bell and his crew on Xiphias underlined that their performance in the Lemas Race, an overnight prelude to the San Fernando Race, when they took top honours in 30-knot winds was certainly no flash in the pan. Only a mile astern of the two X-class boats was Keith Jacobs aboard his Dubois 43, Bimblegumbie; Peter Churchouse was another six miles astern at the helm of his new Warwick 45, Moonblue. The predicted dog fight between Ton Scott's J35, Fast Company (formerly Skysong), and Neil Pryde and Mark Dagge's Mumm 36, Boogie Flash, appears right on the mark with the pair quite possibly within eyeshot yesterday. On corrected time, the all-Chinese crew aboard the Cardinal 46, Tipsy Too, were narrowly holding sway over the Sigma 38, Vengeance, and Mad Max.