Please select your home edition
Edition
BandG Zeus3 AUS 728x90

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Tactically challenging developments loom

by KPMS on 22 Oct 2012
Spinnaker duel between XP-ACT (MLT) and ZENHEA TAKESHA (ITA). © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com
With the 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race now underway, a tactically challenging and meteorologically intriguing race is developing. Thirty hours into the contest, all 83 yachts are still racing with the bulk of the fleet negotiating the infamous Strait of Messina. Leading the fleet, and midway between the Strait and Stromboli, are the 30.48m/100-ft Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), and two 21.94m/72-ft Mini Maxis Rán 2 (GBR) and Stig (ITA). Currently sailing at a meager two knots, the three are separated by less than one mile.

Esimit Europa 2 has not broken away from the pack in the manner she has become accustomed to in previous editions. The first night proved frustrating for Igor Simcic’s crew, caught in a fading breeze that allowed her rivals to close in. On the approach to the Strait this morning, Rán 2 took advantage of a positive current to close the gap on Esimit, and even take the lead. By midday the two boats were only 100m apart exiting the Strait together, destination Stromboli.


'We enjoyed some good breeze through the Strait and are very satisfied with our progress. However, we expect conditions to be very light on the stretch to Stromboli,' reported the crew on Esimit.

Steve Hayles, navigator on Rán 2, confirmed: 'It was a very tricky first night. The smaller boats made quite a big gain at one point. Our long-term strategy was to be furthest offshore. We made a considerable loss initially but managed to stretch away this morning. The race is going to be a bit like an elastic band. It’s about trying to stay on the right side of your competitor and focused on where next breeze is coming from. For us the focus is staying ahead of Stig.' The Italian boat lost ground during the morning but were able to close the gap after exiting the Strait.

Further down the fleet, things are equally intense. Philippe Falle, skipper of the 13.10m/43-ft Trustmarque Quokka (GBR), added: 'It was quite a tactical night, pushing and trimming hard. It was an important night to get right. This is one of those races which will see a lot of bungee effects.'

18 yachts have now passed the Strait of Messina. The current advantage on handicap belongs to defending champion – Lee Satariano’s J/122 Artie (MLT). It is a precarious lead as the fleet heads into the second evening and a frustrating search for breeze.


Rolex Middle Sea Race website

BandG AUS Zeus3 660x82Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82Sail Exchange 660x82 1

Related Articles

Oman Air team sign-off looking ahead to the ESS final in Mexico
The Oman Air Extreme Sailing Series team signed-off in San Diego secure in second place overall in the season The Oman Air Extreme Sailing Series team signed-off in San Diego secure in second place overall in the season and with their sights set on the finale in Mexico.
Posted today at 3:28 am
Volvo Ocean Race - Images from the first day and night of Leg 1
Images for the first day of racing and heading into the night of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race Images for the first day of racing and heading into the night of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race as the fleet sail from Alicante to Lisbon by way of Madeira.
Posted today at 1:05 am
Volvo Ocean Race - Full replay and images from the Start
Full video replay and images from the start of the Volvo Ocean Race a few hours ago in Alicante, Spain. Full video replay and images from the start of the Volvo Ocean Race a few hours ago in Alicante, Spain.
Posted on 22 Oct
Team Brunel reports on start of Volvo Ocean Race
The bay off the Alicante sea front was crowded with hundreds of spectator boats, ringing a short inshore race course The fleet of seven of the best sailing teams in the world including Team Brunel started Leg 1, a 1,450 nautical mile sprint to Lisbon, Portugal in bright sunshine and a 15-20 knot Easterly breeze.
Posted on 22 Oct
Intensity and action at highest level as Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 starts
The fleet of seven of the best sailing teams in the world started Leg one, a 1,450nm sprint to Lisbon, Portugal The highlight came on the approach to the final turning mark before leaving the bay, when Dongfeng Race Team came screaming in on a collision course with Team Brunel and MAPFRE, both of whom were forced into a quick gybe to avoid the right of way Chinese boat.
Posted on 22 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Day 2 – The calm before the storm
While the going has been slow so far, gale force winds are still forecast to arrive during the small hours of Monday. Pressing on through the sticky conditions, Rambler had reached Stromboli this afternoon with the majority of the fleet still to pass through the Messina Strait.
Posted on 22 Oct
2017 Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race - it's a wrap
'This race is the best - this is our second time, and I'm sure we'll be back!' Michael Lunn’s Azuree 40 Lion Rock was the last boat to sail into Nha Trang, Vietnam, this afternoon at 13h 45m 45s, putting her in fourth place in IRC Racer 1 division
Posted on 22 Oct
Vestas 11th Hour Racing begin the Volvo Ocean Race
The first ocean leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal started on Sunday. The 1450nm course will take the seven competing teams through the Strait of Gibraltar and around the small island of Porto Santo, close to Madeira, before heading directly to Lisbon.
Posted on 22 Oct
Volvo Ocean Race – Tienpont back to skipper team AkzoNobel for Leg 1
A total of eight sailors will be on board for the 1,450 nautical mile leg to Lisbon – including Dutchman Tienpont. On Friday evening, Tienpont won an arbitration judgement allowing him to return to the team and just hours before start time, the team submitted an updated crew list with Tienpont leading a newly constituted squad.
Posted on 22 Oct
Volvo Ocean Race – The dock walk in Alicante
Interviews with plenty of sailors as they board their boats, including David Witt who has 'lent' AkzoNobel a crew member It's go time! The first confirmation on the AkzoNobel crew list following Tienpont winning his court case and return to the team, leaving Brad Jackson and Jules in Spain.
Posted on 22 Oct