sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Rolex Middle Sea Race - Sailors commit to conquer the challenge
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Sailors commit to conquer the challenge

'RÁN 2 (GBR), ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) and STIG (ITA),rounding the mark at the start of the 33rd Rolex Malta Sea Race.'    © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo

Rolex Middle Sea Race. Offshore racing is very competitive, mentally and physically testing, and, frequently unpredictable. Confronting long days at sea and challenging a three dimensional playing field, where the weather, the sea state and the occasional landmass influence tactics and strategy, requires detailed preparation and planning.

The entrants taking part in the 2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race – one of the world’s great offshore races and a relative of other established classics like the Rolex Fastnet and the Rolex Sydney Hobart – have made a significant investment and commitment in their pursuit of conquering the race. Sponsored by Rolex since 2002, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club. First run in 1968 the competition exudes virtues of drive, determination and dedication.

Start of the 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race (Group 6 - Purple) from Saluting Battery -  © Rolex- Kurt Arrigo  

Success in sport is strongly linked to proper preparation. The crew of reigning Rolex Middle Sea Race champion, the Maltese yacht Artie, has focused firmly on the 2012 race immediately since winning the trophy last year. 'You don’t want to leave any stone unturned,' explained co-skipper Christian Ripard, before setting off on the 606-nm course that begins and ends on the island of Malta. 'We’ve been working on the boat literally since the finishing the event last year and all through the winter. We’re always trying to improve.' Artie’s crew has invested countless hours in their desire to become the first boat to retain the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy since 1980.

Preparation can focus on the finest of details. 'On a long race and with competition so intense you can’t afford to lose even ten seconds an hour,' explained the event’s legendary competitor Arthur Podesta, who has competed in all 33 editions of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. 'For example, I keep updating our sails - each year an old one is replaced by a newer version.'

While local participants are able to concentrate on fine-tuning their boats, the logistics involved in moving foreign boats, plus associated equipment and crew, poses and additional problems and requires careful planning, particularly to an island. The vast majority of entrants have arrived from elsewhere in the Mediterranean, some in a highly competitive manner.

The pan-European crew of Slovenian registered yacht Esimit Europa 2, line honours winner at the past two Rolex Middle Sea Races, made maximum use of the passage to Malta. 'One of the training opportunities we took advantage of was racing the 700-nm stretch from Trieste to Malta in bringing the boat and full crew here. This enabled us to fine tune everything such as the positions and the watch system so we can be ready for the offshore race,' explained Spanish navigator Juan Vila, who has competed in both the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race.

ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) - 2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race -  © Rolex- Kurt Arrigo  

Tim Powell oversees the logistical operations for Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán 2, and sailed the yacht from Palma, Spain following an active season on the Mediterranean inshore racing circuit. 'It’s a travelling roadshow with these boats,' explained Powell. 'The easiest part is the boat getting here but then we have two 40-ft containers which need to be transported and with Malta being an island it’s a bit harder.' Once boat and containers were united, Rán’s 16-strong professional crew spent the week before the race organizing and preparing the boat’s sails and racing gear.

For a fully professional team an offshore race is an extension of an already intense season of competition. Physical preparation is a vital component. 'It is in everybody’s own interest to stay fit and the crew all have their own training programmes,' explained Powell. 'Everybody knows the job they need to do and the fitness level that they need to reach.' For most this means punishing hours in the gym, and keeping a careful eye on their diet.

Food remains equally important during the race, and for the professional race boats there are additional components to consider beyond nutritional value – weight and ease of preparation: 'Food on the boat is mainly freeze dried and light to carry. We add hot water, leave it for half an hour and it is ready to eat.' Protein and energy bars are commonly used to provide a vital boost between main meals.

For the Corinthian crews, nutrition is an equally significant focus. Podesta, skipper of Maltese yacht Elusive, appreciates the importance of hydration and replenishment. Elusive races both with dry food and more substantial pre-cooked meals. 'In the ten days before the race we prepare a variety of meals and then the day before we put everything in the deep freeze of the boat in the order of what we’d like to eat first,' he explained. 'I’m very fussy about eating good food on the race. If you don’t eat well, morale goes down!'

Sleep is another essential element. Most crews execute a watch system that dictates who rests when, enabling members of the team to catch a few hours’ sleep when possible. Not all crews enjoy this luxury to the same extent. Spare a thought for the ambitious French duo of Remy Gerin and Bernard Jeanne sailing Faiaoahe double-handed. Having to plan and execute all manoeuvres with just the two of them means sleep will be at a premium. 'The preparation is in the head of the crew,' explained Gerin. 'It’s important to get lots of rest before and anticipate changes in conditions as soon as possible.'

When light airs are forecast ensuring a boat is as light as possible is frequently part of the final preparation. 'We have our own water maker onboard so we don’t have to carry 300 kilos [of water] around,' revealed Powell. 'We analyse sails, spares, food. Whatever we can do to save a few kilos is going to benefit us in the long run.' Kuka Light of Switzerland was designed to be as a light, small, and fast as possible. Even this is not enough for skipper Mitch Booth: 'We have minimized everything that we can possibly take and reduced the crew from seven to six. We couldn’t have done much more.'

COMANCHE RAIDER II GASANMAMO (MLT) exits the Strait of Messina in breeze. -  © Rolex- Kurt Arrigo  

Offshore racing is renowned for the navigational challenges it poses. The Rolex Middle Sea Race course pits the fleet on a mammoth anticlockwise loop around Sicily involving numerous ‘corners’ that introduce fresh challenges. Analyzing the forecast weather is a critical part of any crew’s preparation, both in terms of planning race strategy and ensuring the boat is ready to face the predicted conditions. 'Generally speaking we start talking amongst ourselves about a week out and discussing what wind conditions we’re going to have,' explained Powell. 'We try and work out what we need to focus on in the training. When we’re 24 hours out and we’ve got the boat sorted, we focus on the weather and the finer details of what we’re going to expect around the race track.'

It is an approach echoed by Vila. 'From the navigation standpoint we start preparing more intensely from three days before the start; focusing on the start itself and then the race. A month out we study historical statistics but mostly the experience of having done the race before often dictates how you plan your sail inventory.'

'A lot is weighing on the navigator - he has a real headache managing the wind shifts,' advised Ripard. 'Their job is full-time and most of the time the navigator will be awake with a lot of decisions to make.' 'I’ve been monitoring the weather for the past three weeks and more intensely as the start approaches,' added Podesta. 'Weather prediction is one of the most difficult things. It’s a winter race during a time of change. The man that predicts a perfect weather forecast is more than an Einstein!'

Ultimately no two offshore races are ever the same, and for all the preparation that is invested, crews still need to adapt and remain humble in confronting the elements. As Edmund Hillary, the first man to successfully climb Mount Everest once said: ‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.’ For the crews engaged in the Rolex Middle Sea Race that challenge is constant.

'This race is the most challenging we do in terms of changeable conditions. You might think you know everything but for sure you won’t!' counselled Powell, as Rán 2 set off to try and add success at the Rolex Middle Sea Race to her multiple victories at the Rolex Fastnet.

Rolex Middle Sea Race website


by KPMS

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103128

2:57 PM Tue 23 Oct 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race

Related News Stories:

21 Oct 2012  Rolex Middle Sea Race - Record number attacks the start
20 Oct 2012  Rolex Middle Sea Race - New record for race starters expected
18 Oct 2012  Rolex Middle Sea Race - 33rd edition all set
17 Oct 2012  Rolex Middle Sea Race - Coastal Race action on the horizon
03 Oct 2012  Rolex Middle Sea Race - International fleet headed for Malta
23 Jul 2012  Rolex Middle Sea Race preview






News - USA and the World

There are so many ways that the Dongfeng Race Team could have lost the chance to win the light-air marathon from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China. Leading from the first 24 hours to the finish, 23 and a half days later, 5,403 nautical miles sailed and eight different gulfs, oceans and seas, is not necessarily the most advisable way to try and take the spoils. ... [more]  

At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, if the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing. ... [more]  

On day 2 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, the rainstorms of yesterday vanished but the excellent wind conditions remained in place on Biscayne Bay. A more conventional day of racing saw US Sailing Team Sperry athletes finish the day in the top 10 in 5 Olympic classes and 2 Paralympic classes. ... [more]  

Bringing Dragon Sailors from around the world to Antigua. Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and the Inn at English Harbour, will host the second Annual Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge with nine races scheduled to take place over five days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. ... [more]  

Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden was on Sydney harbour last Sunday and captured these images from Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championships ... [more]  

New Zealand short-handed sailor, Conrad Colman is on his second two handed round the world race, this time aboard the Spirit of Hungary with Nandor Fa sailing in the Barcelona Round the World Race: I had noticed a couple of chafing zones on the mainsail so I prepared some patches and the Dr. Sails flexible epoxy glue so we could drop the main quickly ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami- Photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - It may have been a day late for Australia Day, but on the second day at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the Australian Finn sailors were on a charge with some sparkling performances. Giles Scott (GBR) still leads after winning the opening race of the day, while Jake Lilley (AUS) won the second and moved up to second overall. Ed Wright (GBR) is in third. ... [more]  

2015 Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race is set to begin Friday, February 6. The 32nd edition of the venerable Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race will start in Port Everglades, Florida, and send its 12-boat fleet on a challenging 811 nautical mile course to Montego Bay, Jamaica. George Sakellaris’s (Framingham, Mass.) 72-foot Shockwave will be the largest boat competing, so it should be interesting to ... [more]  

VX One momentum is growing with ever larger fleets showing the pure fun and easy performance of this true thoroughbred one design. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: A warm and colorful welcome for Team SCA into Sanya by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL, Auckland, NZ
The all-female crew, Team SCA, arrived to a warm and colorful welcome including fireworks, Chinese dragons, orchid garlands and traditional costumes into the city of Sanya on Hainan Island in southern China early Tuesday evening (local time). 'It was a really different leg. I wouldn’t say it was hard in terms of the physical side but it just had lots of things coming at all angles ... [more]  

Touch2Play had the great fortune of participating in what would be the largest yet gathering of J88’s to date. Quantum Key West Race Week would serve as a chance to see how boats lined up against one another in conditions that covered the full range. For this event we had Rob and Sandy Butler, Steve Leibel, Keven Piper, Coleen Walsh and myself, Larry Huibers. ... [more]  

As the Barcelona World Race leaders race to the Crozet Islands, once again their paths have diverged – Neutrogena around 200 miles to the south-west of first-placed Cheminées Poujoulat on the water, and gaining around 40 miles in the past 24 hours. ... [more]  

For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will announce on Saturday (31 January) at 10:00 CET the final line-up of sports. ... [more]  

On a high octane first day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on Monday (26 January) Giles Scott, Alison Young and the Paralympian Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas saw the best possible start to their 2015 sailing seasons with double race victories. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

RC44 World Championship Leg 1 gets underway on 24th March until 29th March 2015. The RC 44 Class is unlike any 40 foot sailing yacht ever designed, and the reason for that is simple. She is a high performance one design yacht created for top level racing in international regattas. If one was to compare this concept to racing cars, then we would be talking about the F1, NASCAR or similar. ... [more]  

On Day 1 of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta, featured the full range of what sailing in Miami has to offer. Over 850 sailors enjoyed strong breeze for the duration of the day, in addition to a brief but powerful rainstorm. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Giles Scott (GBR) said last week that he hoped his unbeaten run would continue, and based on Monday’s form at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the 2014 World and European Finn Champion is giving it a pretty good shot ... [more]  

ISAF Olympic classes regatta Miami 2015 images provided by photographer Ingrid Abery. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica won a Leg 3 podium place in China after some of the closest racing ever seen in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Turkish-American team protected their position in the final stretch to Sanya, carefully navigating a course peppered with fishing boats along the Vietnamese coast and across the South China Sea to cap off a well-sailed leg to clinch third. ... [more]  

The finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Sanya, China just before noon on January 27, 2015 marked an unbelievable end to a magnificent leg for Dongfeng Race Team. After leading the fleet virtually all the way from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China, over more than 5,000 miles of intense ocean racing, Dongfeng finally crossed the finish line in first place ... [more]  

Winner of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng, have released footage taken from a drone launched from the Volvo Ocean Race yacht, as she sails in light airs on the last days of Leg 3 of the race. It is believed to be the first time a drone, launched from a competitor, has been used in a major ocean race. ... [more]  

World sailing history was created earlier today when Dongfeng Race Team became the first Chinese yacht to have a win in a premier trans-ocean racing event. Her win was also a first in the 41-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race. At 1131hrs UTC the Chinese flagged entry emphatically won Leg 3 in their home port of Sanya to take the overall leadin the 40,000nm event with six stages to go. ... [more]  

On the morning of the 26th of January, the Maersk Line ship MV Stockholm delivered the Team Vestas Wind's damaged VO65 to the port in Genoa, Italy. From here she will be taken to the Persico building facilty where the rebuild of the wrecked boat will be undertaken. The team's goal is to rejoin the race in Lisbon, Portugal in June, 2015. ... [more]  

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is considering backing Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup bid, in a move that would propel the fortunes of the Olympic gold medallist yet further. Sir Ben is believed to have asked the Virgin billionaire to consider backing the venture when he and his new wife, Georgie Thompson, spent time on Sir Richard’s Necker Island in January. ... [more]  

To the 91st 2015 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race significant changes have been made in order to enhance the race experience, and by the looks of it, sailors are embracing them wholeheartedly. ... [more]  

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview by Alpari World Match Racing Tour
The final event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Monsoon Cup Malaysia, is to take place in its new home of Johor, the southernmost state of Malaysia, over 10th-14th February. In addition to being the grand finale of the Tour, the event will also see the 2014 ISAF Match Racing World Champion crowned. ... [more]  

In the Barcelona World Race the two lead boats are preparing for a gruelling 3,500-mile game of chase across the Southern Ocean, until the next natural gateway of the course, Cape Leeuwin in south-west Australia. ... [more]  

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA. During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. ... [more]  

40 year old Charles Caudrelier the skipper of race leader Dongfeng was a major figure of the winning French team Groupama in 2011-12 . With the Dongfeng team now approaching Sanya, almost unstoppable, its worthwhile hearing from Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad who is hugely pleased with the current on water situation. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Last day drag race to Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Tense onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Dongfeng Race Team pushing hard!
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Countdown begins
Volvo Ocean Race: Donfeng set to create a piece of sailing history
Barcelona World Race - First of the iconic Great Capes has been passed
Classic 18fters racing on Sydney Harbour
Volvo Ocean Race - Can Dongfeng still hang on for a Sanya win??
Stephanie Roble, 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year
Barcelona World Race - Taking advantage
Oakcliff Awarded Joe Prosser Award at US Sailing NSPS 2015
20 Nations head for 2015 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 500 miles to go
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Fantastic finish
Barcelona World Race: Weather beacons launched midrace
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race – Gala prizegiving marks end of event
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5 images by Ingrid Abery
Volvo Ocean Race Leader - Dongfeng - the right place at the right time
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Notice Of Race online   
Currently doing scheduled maintenance.   
Volvo Ocean Race: Changes to Team Vestas Wind crew   
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: Highlight video released   
America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges complaint against Tienpont   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 4 images by Ingrid Abery   
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team preview   
Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 - A great day   
Volvo Ocean Race: Jump seat and Pro-Am race spots up for auction   
Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall   
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng? Race Team suffer? damage   
America's Cup: Italy to host first America's Cup World Series regatta   
Breeze and Sunshine at Quantum Key West Race Week   
Images of the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week - Day 1:   
2015 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race – Three records broken   
St.Maarten Heineken Regatta - Simplified logistics and fun themes   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery   
Millennium Cup: Racing in the picturesque Bay of Islands   
Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away   
Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT