Archives for June 2017

Los Cabos Open Tennis Tournament Returns This Summer

There are only two professional tennis tournaments played each year in Mexico. 

The first is the Mexican Open, a staple of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour since 1993, and a rite of spring in Acapulco since 2001. The second is the Los Cabos Open, an ATP mens singles and doubles competition that premiered in 2016 at a newly constructed tennis complex just outside Cabo San Lucas.

The Los Cabos Open returns for its sophomore edition July 31 – August 5, bringing back some of the world’s best players to compete for nearly $800,000 in prize money, and offering plenty of off-the-court festivities, from high-end food and drink concessions to invitation-only special events (last year’s media cruise showcased top players volleying on a luxury yacht based tennis court in front of Land’s End).

The primary forces behind the first Los Cabos Open were banking and financial services giant Mifel, and Cinemex, the largest movie theater chain in Mexico. Both return as primary sponsors in 2017, and will help to grow the impressive facilities that have sprung up around the event.

The tournament host is again Delmar International School, a private bilingual educational institution, where last year six separate courts – including a 3,500 seat stadium and a 1,000 seat grandstand – were specially built, as was an enormous exhibit area and food concession center featuring spectacular Land’s End views. Attendees will not only enjoy brilliant tennis, but be able to sample movie quality Cinemex popcorn, savor fresh local seafood, and sip world-class wines from Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe. Players and special guests, meanwhile, will be lodged at the nearby Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar Resort.

Last year, mammoth-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic beat major champion Feliciano Lopez in the singles final. Lopez, a dashing Spaniard with major championship credentials (he won the French Open doubles in 2016 with countryman Marc Lopez), was the media darling of the first event, fawned over by the Spanish speaking Los Cabos press corps. He returns in 2017, as do six other players ranked in the top 100 internationally. Thomas Berdych, a former Wimbledon finalist currently ranked 14th worldwide, joins Lopez as the marquee attraction.

Tickets for this year’s event are available by the day or week at www.abiertoloscabos.com, or at select box office locations like Koral Concierge in San Jose del Cabo. For stylish accommodations during tournament week, peruse the private villa options at www.loscabosvillas.com.

Photo courtesy of Abierto Los Cabos.

 

Los Cabos Fishing Report – June 26, 2017

June 25, 2017

The official start to summer season began this week, though at this time the climate feels cooler that you would normally expect at this time. With high temperatures averaging in the mid to upper 80s. The conditions for this entire past week was dominated by persistent swirling southern winds, gusting to 30 mph at times. These relentless winds have turned over the ocean conditions entirely, the week before we saw ocean temperatures reaching up to 80 degrees in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and further north, presently water temperatures in this same region are now in the 69 to 70 degree range, all the way to Punta Colorado and some fifteen miles or more offshore.

So sportfishing fleets have been searching hard, with only so many options available. The conditions on land actually felt pleasant, agreeable temperature, though until these winds patterns settle down, we will be plagued by cooler water conditions from the Pacific, as well as currents being greenish for the first few miles out, eventually things will rebound, but for now it is a waiting game and mainly fishing closer to shore for what fish species might be cooperative. Bait supplies consisted of mullet and caballito, surf conditions increased some and this made in more challenging for the bait netters to find mullet, caballito were being netted inside the marina channel where it was calmer.

With ocean water temperatures progressively cooler all week, and moving farther offshore the all-around action became more limited. Earlier in the week there were fair numbers of roosterfish found trolling baits along the shoreline, some roosters to 50 lb. were reported, also jack crevalle and a handful of sierra. A few dogtooth snapper to 20 lb. were landed, as well as various structure species, island jack, pompano, yellow snapper, huachinango, leopard grouper, broomtail grouper, amberjack, bonito and triggerfish. No huge numbers, but decent variety and all quality eating fish. As the week went on the bite fell off, cooler water shut down the roosterfish and choppy conditions made it tough to even try and fish the bottom structure.

A few yellowfin tuna to fifty pounds were landed, these from the grounds from Iman to San Luis Banks, on yo-yo jigs or various baitfish. Also limited number of dorado earlier in the week before water temperature cooled so much. A few wahoo strikes were reported as well, so these pelagic gamefish are still in the area and as conditions recover the action will surely turn back around. These weather patterns are becoming even more unpredictable and can be discouraging, but will recover soon enough, just can be very unfortunate for anglers that arrived during this time frame.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 60 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 striped marlin, 5 dorado, 13 amberjack, 9 island jack, 4 pompano, 44 bonito, 9 yellowfin tuna, 30 yellow snapper, 6 barred pargo, 12 leopard grouper, 3 dogtooth snapper, 1 broomtail, 32 huachinango, 12 jack crevalle, 22 roosterfish, 1 parrot fish, 8 sierra and 35 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

Eric Brictson / Operator

619 488-1859

Los Cabos (624) 142-1147

e-mail:gordobanks@yahoo.com

WWW.GORDOBANKS.COM

Wine Culture Flourishes in Los Cabos

When Ralph Amey published his benchmark guide Wines of Baja California in 2003, there were fewer than two dozen wineries in Valle de Guadalupe and the smaller grape growing valleys located between Ensenada and Tecate. Thirty-five years before that, the grand total was four.

Today, there are well over 120 wineries, and publications as august as Vogue and The New York Times have compared the region to Northern California’s Napa Valley.

What does this Baja California wine boom – in both quantity and quality – mean for visitors to Los Cabos, some 700 miles further south in Baja California Sur?

Cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo may set the peninsular standard when it comes to hotels and resorts, but when it comes to hospitality bedfellows like food and wine, they often follow the trends set in northern Baja communities like Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada.

The Baja Med movement which developed in the early 2000s – pioneered by Tijuana chefs like Miguel Ángel Guerrero and Javier Plascencia – exercised (and continues to exercise) a profound influence on the Los Cabos dining scene, most notably in the emphasis on local and organic produce, farm-to-table restaurants, and creative international fusions. The success of the peninsula’s wine industry, which is responsible for upwards of 90% of all Mexican table wines, has also affected hospitality trends in Los Cabos.

Although a few hardy souls are attempting to harvest grapes and bottle wine between Los Cabos and La Paz, hotter temperatures and a lack of the peculiarly saline water that gives the Valle de Guadalupe its distinctive terroir ensure the wines of El Sur will never rival those being made near La Frontera.

No, the real inroads made by Valle de Guadalupe producers in Los Cabos are their prominent billing in five-star cartas de vino, spots previously reserved for high-profile wines from France, Italy, Argentina, Chile and the U.S.  These Baja based wines are also being heavily promoted to visitors who once thought little of pairing their dinners with a lime-wedged bottle of Corona, or a salt-rimmed margarita.

Tadd Chapman’s Don Sanchez in San José del Cabo is not just one of the city’s finest restaurants, it’s a legitimate wine destination, with an onsite sommelier and a carry-out shop featuring over 300 labels. Solomon’s Landing offers monthly wine pairing dinners on the Cabo San Lucas marina boardwalk during high tourist season, and the Los Cabos Winery offers tasting flights near the town square.

Resorts too are jumping on the bandwagon. The Resort at Pedregal’s annual The Art of Taste Festival brings chefs as well as sommeliers from around México and beyond, and Grand Fiesta Americana boasts a wine themed spa, SOMMA WineSPA, with treatments and therapies built around wine varietals such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vinotherapy, anyone?

Photo of a Valle de Guadalupe vineyard courtesy of Cbojorquez75 and Wikimedia Commons.

Los Cabos Fishing Report – June 18, 2017

June 18, 2017

It is starting to feel more like summer with each passing week, though the climate is still very comfortable, high temperature near 90 degrees. Some scattered tropical clouds now appearing, there was a Tropical Storm Calvin last week off of the southern Mexican coast, did bring heavy rainfall to isolated areas, but here in Los Cabos we were not impacted at all from this system. Ocean swells have been light to moderate, water temperature are reaching 78 to 80 degrees in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and to the north, this is also where the clarity of the ocean has been the clearest, attracting more pelagic gamefish.

Just coming off the full moon phase from last week, conditions are settled down in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, though the Pacific has had more wind, with much cooler water temperatures and greener currents, not the deep blue waters being found north of Punta Gorda. Update on water clarity turning green after strong south sinds on Friday, this did slow down the action and now we will wait for conditions to rebound as winds reside.

Bait suppliers are mainly dealing caballito and mullet now, offshore grounds are seeing more bolito move in and some reports of chihuil also being present. All around action showed favorable improvement in recent days, still no huge numbers of any particular species, but always a great sign when we see billfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado and roosterfish all being found on a daily basis. Most consistent grounds were from the Iman and San Luis Banks, north to Vinorama, this is where the water is clean and blue, with lots of baitfish schools present, which in turn means that the gamefish have more than enough natural food source to gorge themselves on and are not always hungry and aggressive in striking what anglers offer.

Yellowfin tuna are scattered throughout offshore grounds, though best chance at hooking into a 40 to 60 lb. yellowfin was in the vicinity of San Luis Bank and the bait of choice was either caballito or bolito, either while drift fishing or slow trolling. Other tuna in the 10 to 25 lb. range were randomly striking trolled Rapalas, hoochies, yo-yo jigs, etc. Though the better grade of tuna were striking mainly on the larger live baitfish. Though these fish were limited in numbers, with anglers very fortunate to land one or two of them.

.Inshore action is now dominated by roosterfish, with many fish in the 20 to 60 lb. class landed, as well as a handful of even larger fish reported. A bit sporadic as to where the best action might be found on any given day. Also mixed in are some jack crevalle to over 25 lb., as well as some late season sierra, a few nice sized fish close to ten pounds. Not much reported for inshore dogtooth snapper or amberjack, we are expected this annual bite to start up anytime, with schooling mullet now found along the shore line, this attracts larger gamefish.

The highlight of the week has to be the dorado action, after seeing very few of these popular gamefish for months, this week we finally saw more significant numbers, especially later in the week around the same San Luis and Iman Bank areas. Many charters were accounting for three or four dorado per outing, which would have been unheard of during previous weeks. Sizes were respectable as well, most of these dorado were in the 10 to 17 lb. range. These fish were striking best on slow trolled baits, but a percentage were also taken on lures. Wahoo are becoming more active as well, with many fish cutting mono leaders used while targeting tuna, some wahoo to 30 lb. were landed on caballito, as well as trolled Rapalas, many more wahoo were actually missed than were caught.

The main concentration of striped marlin was found around the 1150 spot further offshore, though marlin were also encountered near San Luis  and Iman Banks on some days. Also there were a couple of reports of swordfish sightings further offshore as well.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 77 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 8 striped marlin, 16 wahoo, 68 dorado, 3 amberjack, 5 pompano, 28 bonito, 58 yellowfin tuna, 14 yellow snapper, 12 barred pargo, 15 leopard grouper, 34 huachinango, 18 jack crevalle, 75 roosterfish, 22 sierra and 65 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

Eric Brictson / Operator

619 488-1859

Los Cabos (624) 142-1147

e-mail:gordobanks@yahoo.com

WWW.GORDOBANKS.COM

Extreme Sailing Series Premieres in Los Cabos This Fall

For the first time ever, the Extreme Sailing Series is coming to Los Cabos. The upscale yachting event is

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 7. Lisbon. Portugal. 6th October 2016. Credit – Lloyd Images

scheduled to take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2017, and looks to be a perfect fit for a region that is increasingly positioning itself as both a global travel destination and a luxury lifestyle leader.

The Extreme Sailing Series was originally founded in 2007, and has been staging high-profile events around the world ever since. One of its primary allure for sailing fans has been its ability to bring together different categories of sailors – from America’s Cup competitors and their billionaire backers to Olympic heroes and around-the-world soloists – and let them compete on an even playing surface. This has been accomplished by requiring all participants to sail the same boat, a GC32 class catamaran. These 40 foot seagoing missiles are constructed of high-tech carbon fiber (think incredibly light and incredibly strong), and capable of speeds up to 46 miles per hour across open water.

Los Cabos is the final stop on the 2017 tour, the final test of champions. Even more exciting, perhaps, is that the series is also the leading proponent of what is called stadium racing. No, there is no actual stadium involved; the concept, rather, is that all the racing action takes place within view of land (or Land’s End). Stadium racing was immediately applauded when it appeared on the scene, since traditionally fans, friends and family had only had good views of the action at the very beginning and very end of a yacht race. Stadium racing made racing much more spectator friendly, and allowed for innovations and upgrades like leader boards, VIP seating, food and beverage access, and in-race commentary.

What stadium racing means for visitors to Cabo San Lucas this fall is the equivalent of a free front row seat to one of the world’s truly big-ticket sporting events. Pack your picnic basket with organic Miraflores grown fruit, Oaxacan cheese and some fine wine from Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe, spread out a blanket along the shore, and watch as some of the world’s most expensive ships indulge in a sort of high-speed, wind-aided ballet.

To find out more about the Extreme Sailing Series, which will be sponsored by German software giant SAP, go to www.extremesailingseries.com. To find out more about ways to upgrade your picnic viewing experience, visit www.loscabosvillas.com.

Photo courtesy of the Extreme Sailing Series.

 

 

 

 

Los Cabos Fishing Report – June 11, 2017

June 11, 2017

As we move further towards the official start of the summer season the climate is progressively warming, though conditions remain very comfortable, with high temperatures averaging about 85 degrees, mild considering the time or year. Winds have been predominately from the Pacific, out of the southwest, in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and further north ocean conditions have been much calmer, this is also where the ocean temperatures are reaching up to 80 degrees, while on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas the water temperatures are in the 67 to 70 degree range. So all of the fishing activity is now on the Sea of Cortez side of the Peninsula, from Chileno towards Vinorama. Very green water on the Pacific, with the cleanest blue water now found north of Punta Gorda and towards the San Luis Bank.

Bait supplies are mostly consisting now of caballito and mullet, only very limited amounts of sardinas are being netted, they commonly migrate elsewhere this time of year as the warmer currents move in. More schools of bolito are moving onto the offshore fishing grounds, always a very favorable sign, as they are a preferred food source for many gamefish.

The action for striped marlin was much improved this week, though now with the full moon phase these fish can become more finicky during daylight hours. One of the more productive spots was the 1150 area, with many charters reportedly having three or four hooks ups per outing, the stripers were coming up on trolling lures and rigged baits, as well as being spotted tailing on the surface and striking on dropped back baits, sizes ranged to 130 lb. The billfish were found spread out through the region, but not as numerous as they were on the grounds further offshore.

With the warmer water we are finally seeing some dorado appear, still no significant numbers, but at least they are showing up on a daily basis, most of them weighing in the 5 to 15 lb. range, there were a few reports of larger bulls hooked up and lost. Wahoo were also in the mix, anglers reported hooking into these speedsters while trolling various baits as well as on Rapalas, again no numbers, but a chance at a couple of fish, weights ranged from 20 to 35 lb.

Yellowfin tuna often become more picky during the full moon period, but they are definitely in the area, most of these fish are now concentrated from the San Luis to Vinorama areas, ranging from smaller footballs to over 60 lb. Best chance of hooking a nicer sized yellowfin  was while slow trolling with live caballito. The tuna were shy though and anglers were fortunate to land one or two, striking more frequently on lighter leaders

With the large influx of schooling mullet along the shorelines, this has brought in increased numbers of roosterfish, last week we saw a lot of fish in the 15 to 25 lb. class, but in recent days we have seen some much larger roosters, included an 80 lb. class fish that was successfully landed and carefully released.

Not all that much bottom fishing going on, as more anglers were now opting to targeting other available species. So far we have yet to see the amberjack and dogtooth appear close to shore over the rocky structure, but we are expecting that this action could happen at any given time, as this is the normal time frame in the coming weeks, with water temperatures now near 80 degrees, that means anything can happen at any time.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 62 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 13 striped marlin, 11 wahoo, 14 dorado, 1 amberjack, 8 pompano, 3 bonito, 38 yellowfin tuna, 9 yellow snapper, 4 barred pargo, 8 leopard grouper, 5 island jack, 12 surgeon fish, 26 huachinango, 15 jack crevalle, 55 roosterfish, 1 yellowtail, 12 sierra and 55 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

Eric Brictson / Operator

619 488-1859

Los Cabos (624) 142-1147

e-mail:gordobanks@yahoo.com

WWW.GORDOBANKS.COM

Summer Means Fishing Tournaments Galore in Los Cabos

Bisbee’s trio of annual fishing tournaments in Los Cabos get plenty of attention, and with good reason. Not only have they set the standard for regional big game sport fishing competitions, they hand out the checks to prove it:  from the six figure payouts at the East Cape and Los Cabos Offshore to the million dollar plus windfalls that earned the Black & Blue its nickname as “the world’s richest fishing tournament.”

But despite their deserved fame, those are only a few of many fishing tournaments staged in Los Cabos during the late summer and early autumn months. Here are five more that every Baja bound angler should have marked on his or her calendar for 2017.

 21st Annual Stars & Stripes Golf & Fishing Tournament

Five days of world-class golf, fishing and entertainment are the lures, but the biggest payouts at this annual tournament in San Jose del Cabo are for charity. Over the last two decades, Stars & Stripes has raised over 23 million dollars for worthy causes. Hilton Los Cabos hosts again this year, with festivities scheduled from June 22 – 27. Mickey Thomas of Jefferson Starship and Kelly Hansen of Foreigner headline the visiting “Rock Star Collective.”

Ultimate Waterman’s Challenge

Fishing is only a part of this first ever challenge, and it’s not the kind you probably think. Former pro surfer Tim Curran and adventure company Mansa Vida are sponsoring this brand new contest, whose purpose is to identify and celebrate those with the all-around nautical mastery to be called “watermen” or “waterwomen.” Spearfishing is one of the competitive categories, along with swimming, surfing, stand up paddle boarding and prone paddling. The event will take place from July 12 – 17, and is hosted by The Cape: A Thompson Hotel, a boutique luxury property overlooking surf mecca Playa Monumentos.

 13th Annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out

If you don’t own a brand new, fully loaded 4×4 pickup truck before the annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out, you could when it’s all over. All you have to do is reel in the heaviest dorado on Saturday, July 15. Second place, third place and side jackpots are also on the line – last year they tallied over $80,000 – as are over $20,000 in raffle items. Dinner and live music accompany the post-tournament awards ceremony at Hotel Palmas de Cortez in Los Barriles.

 Señoritas Blue Water Classic

That’s right, the inaugural Señoritas Blue Water Classic is for ladies only! The organizers of this newly launched tournament on the East Cape feel women are a force to be reckoned with in the fishing world, and they aim to prove it by writing big checks to the distaff teams that haul in the largest marlin, tuna, wahoo and dorado. The event is scheduled for July 20 – 22, with final weigh-ins followed by an awards ceremony at the historic Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort.

 East Cape Gold Cup Wahoo Jackpot Tournament

Like the East Cape Dorado Shoot Out, the Gold Cup rules are pretty cut and dried. Catch the fattest wahoo on Saturday, August 26, and you’ll drive away in a brand new Volkswagen Golf with a bag full of dinero. Over $100,000 total in cash and prizes are on the line for this one, which like many of the summer events takes place on the Los Cabos municipality’s gorgeous East Cape. Traditional regional hotel brand Van Wormer Resorts is the host, with the awards ceremony to be held at Hotel Palmas de Cortez in Los Barriles.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort.

Call Los Cabos Vacation Rentals @ 1-888-655-4548 for Los Cabos Accomodations

 

 

Los Cabos Fishing Report – June 4, 2017

June 4, 2017

As we progressed into a new month, we did see an increase in visiting tourists, many school sessions are now finishing up and more families are now beginning to plan their vacations. Weather patterns continue to be slightly cooler than what would be normal for this time of year, we are feeling some marine moisture, with breezes coming from both the Pacific and the north keeping the climate very comfortable, though we all know that the heat of the summer will be arriving soon enough. Great time to visit now, ideal weather and crowds are moderate, the fishing action also seemed to be finally getting on the right track.

Ocean conditions varied greatly from the Pacific and in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, with Pacific water being very green and cold, as chilly as 65 degrees, while in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and towards Los Frailes, water temperature were into the upper 70s, even up to 80 degrees in areas, also water clarity was much better, clean blue water found within a couple of miles of shore. Bait supplies consisted of sardinas, caballito and now large schools of mullets are appearing along the local beach stretches, behind schedule this season, also reports of bolito and more skipjack schooling on the offshore fishing grounds. All this is very encouraging for a great month of fishing action to come.

Roosterfish action rebounded in full force in recent days, as the influx of baitfish has also attracted the greatest numbers of roosterfish that we have seen so far this season, hot spot was off of Cabo Real, as well as off of the many other of favored beaches. Anglers had best success while slow trolling mullet or caballito outside the surf zone, many roosterfish to over 30 lb. were landed and we expect in coming weeks that even much larger fish will arrive. Please remember that these prized fighting trophy fish should be released with proper care when at all possible, as these gamefish are not known for their eating qualities, but rather for their fighting stamina, we should all help preserve this unique fishery for future generations. Same inshore grounds are producing late season sierra to 8 lb. and some hog sized jack crevalle to 25 lb.. We expect that the dogtooth snapper will be more active along the rocky shoreline stretches in the coming weeks, now that their favored food supply of mullet has arrived.

This weekend is the traditional holiday of “Dia de la Marina”, always an event heavily celebrated out of the La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos area, with nightly dances, crowning of the princess, dorado tournament and many other events planned, be aware or the heavy crowds and very limited parking areas. Dorado are very scarce, but an occasional fish is being found, so the stakes will be wide open for any team that is fortunate to land any size of dorado. Surf fishing events are held as well, a couple of large snook were landed this week off the shore, as well as a few halibut, so the shore fishing action could be interesting.

Yellowfin tuna action is spread out, some fish being found on trolled lures in the direction of Cabo San Lucas and other action near San Luis to Vinorama. The bite had become very slow early in the week, but rebounded as the week progressed, drift fishing with sardinas, strips of squid or chunks of skipjack all produced, as well as slow trolled caballito, no big numbers, but quality fish averaging 30 to 50 lb. One larger yellowfin to over 100 lb. was reportedly taken by a local pangeros during a late afternoon trip. When targeting the tuna anglers were lucky to land a couple of these fish, with others possibly lost, though catching a couple of these was a great trip.

Shallow water bottom action was very good now for such exotic species as surgeon fish, island jack, yellow snapper, barred pargo and some leopard grouper, amberjack and plenty of triggerfish in the mix, not many large bottomfish now, but all very quality eating, great time to load up on some of the finest eating fillets.

Not many striped marlin being hooked up, though quite a few were being seen tailing on the surface, but were not aggressively striking lures or baits at this time, this action could break loose on any given day, because decent numbers of the striped marlin are in the area, from the 95 and 1150 spots, to closer to shore as well. Early in the week there was a lot of wind on these grounds to deal with.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 wahoo, 1 dorado, 26 yellowfin tuna, 6 amberjack, 32 yellow snapper, 18 barred pargo, 19 leopard grouper, 32 island jack, 84 surgeon fish, 16 huachinango, 3 African pompano, 18 jack crevalle, 3 dogtooth snapper, 75 roosterfish, 38 sierra and 85 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

Eric Brictson / Operator

619 488-1859

Los Cabos (624) 142-1147

e-mail:gordobanks@yahoo.com

WWW.GORDOBANKS.COM

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