Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Rolex Middle Sea Race - A struggle to the finish

by KPMS on 26 Oct 2011
ALEGRE, GBR - Rolex Middle Sea Race 2011 © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2011, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, is currently underway. Over the night and into this morning, a dozen boats crossed the finish line in Marsamxett Harbour after struggling on the ten-mile leg from Comino to the finish.

The breeze had been solid on the leg from Lampedusa, and then drops off dramatically as yachts reach the Maltese archipelago, making for a tactically challenging last ten miles, for crews bent on getting to shore for a good meal and hot shower.

The 606-nautical mile race has had its share of plenty of wind, as well as a few ‘parking lots’ and extremely light conditions which requires all crew, not just the tactician and navigator, to be vigilant about their positioning on their boat and spotting breeze on the water.


The bigger boats such as Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), managed to get around the course with the breeze as did Rán (GBR) and Alegre (GBR), and Med Spirit (FRA), which arrived yesterday. But after dark, the wind went light and remained so through midday today.


Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán (GBR) has a Class 1 win locked up, but their current status as overall handicap leader may be temporary. For now they can only sit and wait to see if any other contenders can top her on the leader board. According to rounding times at Lampedusa, that would be down to the Corby 36, AOC Rockall (GER) and local Maltese J/122, Artie co-skippered by Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard. Artie is currently 23 nautical miles from the finish, doing 6.5 knots and must cross by 18.28; Rockall is 33 nautical miles away, making 6.5 knots and needs to finish by 20.41. While both finishes are mathematically possible, it depends upon the wind holding – and especially for this race edition, the weather has been anything but dependable.


Alexis De Cenival, main trimmer on board the Marten 49, Speedy (GER), described various weather conditions over the course of the race. De Cenival said, 'We stopped for six hours around Stromboli, with no wind, and after we had big clouds and 25 knots. It was a tricky race. The weather was not what was expected at all. The forecasts we had before the race were all wrong, so we had to figure it out during the race. The weather was mostly light and you needed to be on deck to try to find the wind. We were on the wind for 120 miles, and you need all the crew on the rail to get the weight. So we didn’t sleep much, we tried to do a watch system, but you really need the weight outside – you can see 0.3 of a knot faster when you have the guys on the rail.

'It was very light from between the islands (Comino and Malta) to here with big waves against the wind, so it was difficult. It took us 45 minutes to get the last half-mile, so there was a little tension on the deck this morning.'

The first Maltese boat – defined as a boat having a Maltese resident as skipper and the majority of the crew being Maltese - is expected to be in this afternoon, as currently looks to be a drag race between the J/133, Oiltanking Juno and Artie.

Apart from the Russian entry, the 43-foot Skipperclub, which is currently off San Vito lo Capo, the last of the fleet has reached Pantelleria with 190 nautical miles to sail to the finish.

Event Notes
A total of 70 yachts started the 32nd Rolex Middle Sea Race on Saturday, 22 October; to date, three boats have retired: the Class 40 Pogo 1 (GER), Comanche Raider II Gasan Mamo (MLT), and Ali Raja Bluorange (ITA), and 19 boats have finished as of 12.00 CEST.

The course record set in 2007 by George David's 90-foot Rambler (USA) stands at 47 hours, 55 minutes, 3 seconds.
The final prize giving is at 12.00CEST on Saturday, 29 October at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Rolex Middle Sea Race website

Related Articles

So, thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted today at 9:01 am
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Kilwell - 1Henri Lloyd 50 YearsPantaenius - Worldwide Support