Juanpa Cadario: Rolex Middle Sea Race, dificiles condiciones para el final

Rolex Middle Sea Race, dificiles condiciones para el final

Foto copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Fuente info regattanews


The island of Malta was raked with heavy rain and lightening storms for the second morning running. The accompanying turbulent wind and rain were hardly a welcome for Alegre as they reached the South Comino channel, and eventually crossed the line in Marsamxett Harbour at 0800, in third place on the water. ICAP Leopard arrived last night at 2200, three and a half hours behind line honours winner, Esimit Europa 2.

Mike Slade was quick to applaud Esimit, as ICAP Leopard moored up. " They sailed a great race and should be congratulated for that. It never looked like we were going to catch them in those conditions, but we did our best and, as always, we had a lot of fun along the way. That's what it’s all about in the end, isn't it?"

Will Best, navigator on Alegre, described the latter part of the race for them, and said, “It was pretty straightforward from Favignana; we had a good run down there, though breeze was a little lighter than we thought. We laid Pantelleria on the wind, on starboard tack, hoping to get lifted. We didn’t, but still just laid it in one tack, which was great. From Lampedusa onwards, the breeze really came in; the TP52s (Lucky and Pace) and E1 had kept us company before then, but we extended on them.

“We have made some changes to the boat since last year, but the heavy weather was all running this time; we didn’t get the same increase in performance that we know we have upwind. Physically the race was easier than last year, but mentally it was a lot tougher.”

Onboard the TP52 Pace (GBR), Mickey Broughton reported in last night, and wrote, “We had an almighty crack of thunder earlier as the front passed and the boat got struck by lightening. Fortunately, all okay except some electronics that we are working on, and wind gear that got taken out.”

The Baltic 77, Black Pearl reported in yesterday that they had been match racing with the Volvo 60 Ambersail, until some problems with the jib halyard and had to change to the staysail, which slowed them down. However, once around the top corner of Sicily yesterday afternoon, the wind and waves increased and they were doing +10 knots boat speed with 30 knots of wind pushing them home.

At the northwest corner of Sicily off Trapani, a large part of the fleet was struggling with the opposite problem, little to no wind, and making 2-3 knots of boat speed. Once past Favignana, the breeze has increased and speeds slowly inched higher.

The overall handicap winner is still up for grabs with several contenders still racing towards the finish. Included in the top three, as of the rounding of Favignana, are the leading Maltese boat, the J/122 Artie, the TP52 Lucky (USA), and the J/133 Jaru, also from Malta.

The X-55 Capricciricci (ITA) and the VIva 48 Futura (ITA) both retired this morning, bringing the total number of retired boats to seven, with three boats finished and 66 still racing.

The race fleet can be tracked online at www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/tracker/#tracker

The final prize giving is at 12.00pm on Saturday, 30 October at the Mediterranean Conference Center in Valletta.

For a full archive of photography, media releases and audio files covering the Rolex Middle Sea Race, visit http://www.regattanews.com/

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