Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

Rolex Middle Sea Race concludes with prizegiving

by Regatta News on 26 Oct 2008
SPIRIT OF AD HOC, Thierry Bouchard, overall winner of the 29th Rolex Middle Sea RAce © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com

The 29th Rolex Middle Sea Race drew to a close today with celebratory prize giving held under the vaulted ceilings of La Valette Hall, formerly the Sacra Infermeria's Great Magazine Ward, built by the Knights of St John, and a venue worthy of the epic sea battles fought over the past week on the racecourse.

The overall victor in the struggle was the forty-foot Spirit of Ad Hoc from France - an appropriately sized yacht - given 2008 is the fortieth anniversary of the first ever race. Thierry Bouchard and his crew accepted the magnificent Rolex Middle Sea Race trophy and a Rolex Yacht Master chronometer with a deep sense of satisfaction for a job well done. 'We truly enjoyed this race,' said Bouchard. 'It is an adventure and a test in every respect.'

Like all the smaller yachts, Spirit of Ad Hoc endured two days of frustration and disappointment as the windless northern coast of Sicily scratched at the patience and stoicism of all competing crews, threatening to rupture the bubble of composure required to succeed in a 606 nautical mile race. The last two days of the race, from Favignana to the finish were in complete contrast. Wind from the southeast led to short, sharp seas that made for an uncomfortable ride all the way home. All the crews reported the jarring motion of their boats and the way in which it sapped strength. Those that took it squarely on the chin and kept the faith won through. Thierry Bouchard and his tough crew won by forty-minutes on corrected time from Chestress 2 (ITA), another yacht that had given its all only to be pipped at the post.

The second mighty contest played out on the waters of the Tyrrhenian and Middle Seas was for Line Honours. There were a number of yachts in excess of sixty-five feet that crossed the start-line with half an eye on the prize for being first home. In the end it was three yachts that truly took up the challenge - the Mills 68 Alegre (GBR), Jim Swartz's Moneypenny (USA) and Roger Sturgeon's Rosebud/Team DYT (USA). Over first part of the race the lead changed a handful of times as all three sped towards Messina and on to Stromboli. From the volcanic island to Trapani the destiny of the RLR Trophy and Rolex Yacht Master chronometer awarded for Line Honours was on a knife-edge. Patchy wind led to a combination of edgy crews, big gains, big errors and big losses. Rosebud/Team DYT fell by the wayside at the Bay of Castallammare, a location on the course cursed with bad luck in 2007 following the loss of the Australian yacht Loki at the same point last year. It was here that Alegre and Moneypenny executed a pincer movement that saw one ride the tide to the south of Sturgeon's STP 65, whilst the other hopped from patch of wind to patch of wind to the north. With 250 nm to go no one was betting against the lead changing again, but it was not to be. Andy Soriano's Alegre crossed the line on Wednesday morning at 0720 CET with Moneypenny snapping at her heels.

Amongst the local Maltese boats intense, but friendly rivalries exist and whilst it has been five years since a Maltese yacht has won the overall prize a core group of racers go into the event each year with the ambition, attitude and hope to be the one to break the deadlock hold of foreign-flagged crews. This year was to be no different and, make no mistake, this year the Maltese entrants absolutely held their own in the race for the overall crown. At Pantelleria, four were in the top ten on corrected time at the transit - Ivan Mellia's Windriven, Arthur Podesta's Elusive Medbank, Jackie Scicluna's Airmalta Falcon and John Ripard Jr's Lazy Duck. Windriven's chances were swept away in the vicious 55-knot squall that hit those of the fleet near to Pantelleria on Wednesday. At the close it was Elusive Medbank that came the nearest, finishing third overall, a mere forty-minutes off the pace set by Spirit of Ad Hoc. Winner of the Malta Maritime Trophy for first boat across the line having a Maltese Skipper and a majority of Maltese Crew members, was Jonas Diamantino and Gasan Mamo Comanche Raider II. Diamentino is already thinking of next year and what he has to do to shave of the hours between his boat and the overall win. 'Given the winds I'm sure we can do it,' said Diamentino, 'I have the boat, we know what we need to do to optimize her and we know what we need to do as a crew next time. We'll give it our best shot.'

The MMA Award was presented by Dr. Austin Gatt, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications, who has been instrumental in assisting the Royal Malta Yacht Club's move to new premises later this year. Dr Gatt was extremely complimentary about the race, the participants and the efforts of the club. In his remarks he encapsulated the importance of the Rolex Middle Sea Race to the Maltese sporting calendar and islands in general, saying simply, 'you have made Malta proud.'

Other award recipients were the 15-year old Eugene Egan from Ireland, a crewmember on Legally Brunette (IRL) who was presented the Youth Cup for the youngest participating crewmember by Mr. Bernard Vassallo, Chairman of the Malta Sports Council; High Q1 and Hans Nagel took home the Captain Morgan Trophy in the Multihull class and the John Illingworth Trophy for first boat on corrected time in the Double Handed Class was presented to Anthony Camilleri with Kevin Gauci Maistre with Bavaria Flyer (MLT). Tim Camilleri and the crew of Vikesha (MLT) were awarded the Italian Ambassador's Cup for acts of Seamanship or Sportsmanship for standing by and assisting another competitor in distress.

In his address, Commodore Georges Bonello DuPuis thanked all those that had worked tirelessly in support of the event, singling out Race Committee Chairman Godwin Zammit, Principal Race Officer David Farrugia and their team of volunteers who were fundamental in making the race happen. Bonello DuPuis also thanked Mark Portelli of the Malta Maritime Authority, the Malta Tourism Authority and the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Art. Ben Stuart of Grand Harbour Marina and Graham Eliott of Grand Hotel Excelsior were presented with mementoes in recognition of their help in hosting the international seventy-eight yacht fleet.

Finally, tribute was paid to the current owner, Ermano Tarverso, and crew of Stormvogel - the Line Honours winning yacht in the 1968 race, which had returned to take part again this year; to John Ripard Sr, President of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, who was the winning skipper on Josian forty years ago, and, to Arthur Podesta, who has competed in all twenty-nine editions of the races.

The 30th Rolex Middle Sea Race will start on Saturday, 17th October 2009.

www.rolexmiddlesearace.com

PredictWind.com 2014Ancasta Botin Fast40 660x82Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Ainslie's Boarding Party - Frame by frame
Sail-World captured the incident at the start of Race 6 where Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie) mounted Softbank Team Japan Sail-World captured the incident at the start of Race 6 where Land Rover BAR (Ben Ainslie) mounted Softbank Team Japan - damaging the steering wheel and other deck damage to the Dean Barker skippered Challenger. The British boat was holed but continued to sail. The carbon shards can be seen hanging out of Land Rover Bar in a later shot during the final Race.
Posted today at 6:29 am
America's Cup - BAR and Softbank duel before the start
35th America’s Cup got underway today with six matches. The conditions were ideal with southwest winds of 11-13 knots The 35th America’s Cup got underway today with six matches. The conditions were ideal with southwest winds of 11-13 knots and flats seas. The race course is inside Great Sound and the America’s Cup village and bases are at Dockyard, the most western extremity of the island.
Posted today at 5:43 am
America's Cup - Scary video from today's collision between GBR and JPN
LRBAR's hull not been stopped by SBTJ's windward foil there would have been serious injuries aboard the Japanese boat. All I can say is that had LRBAR's hull not been stopped by SBTJ's windward foil there would have been serious injuries aboard the Japanese boat. Moreover, notwithstanding the damage done to Land Rover BAR's boat, there must be considerable damage to the dagger-foil case of SBTJ. Considerable.
Posted today at 5:23 am
America's Cup - Day '1.5' gets underway in Bermuda
As Iain Murray put it so well, day '1.5' got underway in Bermuda today after postponement yesterday. As Iain Murray put it so well, day '1.5' got underway in Bermuda today after postponement yesterday.
Posted today at 4:08 am
A smashing start to the 35th America's Cup
Sir Ben Ainslie was forced to explain a highly dramatic collision in first day of Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers Sir Ben Ainslie was forced to explain a highly dramatic collision in the first day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on Bermuda’s Great Sound.
Posted today at 3:55 am
America's Cup - Day 1 - Dodgems continue on the Great Sound
The pre-start collision in Race 6 of the Qualifiers captured the click-bait attention but were otherwise a distraction The pre-start collision in Race 6 of the Qualifiers captured the click-bait attention but were otherwise a distraction to the real take-outs of the Opening day of the 35th America's Cup. First of these were the outcome of the rematch of the 2013 America's Cup protagonists - Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand, in Race 5.
Posted today at 3:45 am
Two wins make Oracle Team USA form team on day one
Oracle Team USA was the only team to earn two wins from two starts on day one of the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Oracle Team USA was the only team to earn two wins from two starts on day one of the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. On a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon skipper Jimmy Spithill as his team took a convincing win off Groupama Team France in the opener, before making a dramatic pass in the second race to beat Emirates Team New Zealand by just six-seconds.
Posted today at 3:37 am
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand open with a win
Emirates Team New Zealand kicked off their 35th America’s Cup campaign with a convincing win over Groupama Team France Emirates Team New Zealand kicked off their 35th America’s Cup campaign with a convincing win over Groupama Team France on Bermuda’s Great Sound today. It was the first race for the new look kiwi team racing on sailings greatest stage, and managed to beat the French team with the composure expected of America’s Cup veterans.
Posted on 27 May
Oracle Team USA opens 35th America's Cup with a convincing win
Oracle Team USA opened its quest for a three-peat with a win over Groupama Team France on Saturday afternoon in Bermuda. In picture perfect conditions, skipper Jimmy Spithill won the first start of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers with a timed run to the starting line.
Posted on 27 May
America's Cup - Grudge Match of 2013 Final on Day 1 in Bermuda
The 35th America's Cup will get underway a day late, but in excellent weather that was worth the wait. The 35th America's Cup will get underway a day late, but in excellent weather that was worth the wait. There will be plenty of interest in the key race of the day - Race 5 where Emirates Team New Zealand comes up against Oracle Team USA in a replay of the 2013 America's Cup Match
Posted on 27 May