Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

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

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
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. 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 many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 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
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 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
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNorth Technology - Southern SparsT Clewring J-class