Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
It is turning out to be a very interesting afternoon as more and more boats cross the finish line. And as they do so overall placings change on corrected time. It is nice to see the boats sailing past outside the bay. The wind is extremely light and variable so some boats have had a beat to the finish whilst some of them have had their spinnys up some of the way.
Right now the first boat overall is the French Beneteau 40.7 SPIRIT of AD HOC with CHESTRESS2 and THREE SISTERS in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Stormvogel - off L-Ahrax Point Mellieha
Rushed up to the Comino channel and was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time just as Kerisma BOV was coming into the channel. Weather is lousy.........raining, wind maybe 3 knots (!), thunder and lightening on the horizon to the NW. Then I drove to L-Ahrax point where Stormvogel was sailing past, but a bit too far out for me to get a good shot - especially in the poor rainy visibility. Besides those two boats was unable to see any other boats approaching on the horizon. Visibility is not so good in the rain but in this wind think it will be at least another couple of hours until the next boat reaches the channel.
As more boats finish across the line there has been a change in the overall first position. Alegre has gone down to second place with Chestress 2 (a J-133) now in overall first.
The above pic is taken off the RMSR website. You can see the latest full report of the race and if you go onto the media gallery there are some really great photos of the race. http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/news/index.cfm?ID=158&f
The Med is well known for its unpredictable weather which can change within minutes (if not seconds). Yesterday the boats around Pantelleria experienced some pretty scary conditions when they were hit by a squall with sudden gusts of 40knots and over. Italian yacht SCIARA broke her mast, other yachts had torn mainsails. Maltese yacht AZIZA was knocked onto her side for several minutes until they managed to get the sails down. British yacht GYRATE was struck by lightening...........so there have been a few retirements and some boats had to go into Pantelleria to seek shelter and assess their damage.
There are still alot of boats that have not finished yet, but as results stand as I type they are like this:
1. Alegre (Mills 68)
2. Bella Donna (Vismara 46)
3. Moneypenny (STP65)
4. Strait Dealer (J125) - The first Maltese boat
I think I will go up to the channel to see if there are any boats passing thru and try and get some shots.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Their average speed was slower as they had to deal with massive waves and giant tankers in the busy shipping lanes, and needed to rest due to fatigue and high speed crashes. At times they were over 30 miles from the nearest land with waves the size or rows of terraced houses, blocking their view of each other and of their support boats. No one has ever windsurfed across this wide stretch of the Channel before in a storm.
They raised over £7000 for the Ellen MacArthur Trust which takes young people aged between 8-18 on sailing trips to help them regain their confidence, on their way to recovery from cancer, leukaemia and other serious illness. They had a hero's welcome at Sandbanks with BBC and ITV covering the story live. "This was the toughest day's windsurfing of my life. I've sailed in 30ft surf and 70 mph winds before, but nothing was as hard as this crossing. At the half way stage I left my kit and clambered on board the rescue boat exhausted. I was sea sick, cold, starving and had absolutely no energy left. I then had to jump back into the sea, 30 miles from England with only one way home. I had cramp everywhere but had to finish it for the charity. It was an amazing day!" Guy Cribb "This was much harder than I imagined. The waves and the chop were really dangerous. We could not of done this today with out the support of each other- when Guy was tired I pushed him on, when I was tired he was pushing me. It was perfect." Antoine Albeau
As Malta wakes up for another day of work ALEGRE and MONEYPENNY have just gone thru the Comino channel and heading for the finish line. Alegre looks set for line honours and a good chance of gaining the coveted overall first placing. MONEYPENNY is still hot on her heels......a full 600 miles of close chasing giving the crews no time for error the whole way round.
ROSEBUD is the only other boat to have rounded Lampedusa for the final leg home. The rest of the fleet are heading towards or passing by Pantelleria. Leading the main pack are RAN and RAPTURE. There have been a few retirements, one of them being STEINLAGER2, who has retired near Pantelleria, is on her way back to Malta.
STRAIT DEALER has done extremely well all the way thru keeping very close to the front of the fleet just behind the big boats. STRAIT DEALER is one of our local boats owned and skippered by David Franks. Amongst the crew are David Anastasi (a long time crew member on the boat) and young guns Jan Rossi and Benji Borg (both Laser sailors).
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A quick update from this morning. The latest I have seen on the tracker the leaders may have found just a fraction more wind the further south they have come. ALEGRE is still leading with MONEYPENNY hot on her heels as they approach Lampedusa - the last island to round before they head back home to Malta. ROSEBUD is approaching Pantelleria but the rest of the fleet are still far behind. The leaders of the main bunch are still on the western tip of Sicily and the fleet spreads right across the North of Sicily.
From what I have read it seems Moneypenny is leading on corrected time. I can foresee a repeat of a couple of years ago when some of the yachts retired since they could not make it back within the time limit and so they went into harbour in Pantelleria to have a good meal (and booze up no doubt!) since they were running out of food and water.
LAZY DUCK (seen in pic above) is owned and skippered by John Ripard JR. She is a Swan 47 and was built in 1978 - so quite an old boat. She has seen alot of mileage over the years all over the world. Most of John's crew are made up of family members who are all prominent sailors on the local scene.
On my update tomorrow I expect the first boats will have arrived back in harbour.
In sharp contrast to the dramatic race last year ( gale force winds , lovely "LOKI" having to be abandoned plus the majority of the fleet retiring to seek shelter in the harbours of Sicily) this year certainly is not going to break any records. Unless it becomes the slowest race on record!!
As I type the leading boat is ALEGRE with MONEYPENNY hot on her heels. They are approaching Pantelleria with the front runners of the rest of the fleet just rounding the western tip of Sicily towards the islands off Favignana. The leaders up there are ROSEBUD and RAN. STRAIT DEALER (a boat based in Malta) is doing well and quite far up front with some of the bigger boats. COMANCHE RAIDER also seems to be quite far ahead in the fleet. Otherwise the rest are pretty much in a bunch heading towards Palermo.
There should be some better breezes starting to come in tonight so hopefully the sailors will get some sailing in that is a bit more exciting than it has been so far.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Yesterday a preliminary race was held down the coast of Malta from Marsamxett harbour to Delimara Point. Wind was very light. A full report can be read on the Middle Sea Race site
MY FRIEND, JEREMY, IS CLEANING OUT HIS GARAGE AND HAS A COUPLE OF ITEMS HE WANTS TO SELL.
1. A WINDSURFING TRAILER . IT CAN HOLD 3-4 BOARDS AND HAS A SAILBOX ATTACHED.
2. FANATIC FISH (100L).
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED CONTACT ME THRU MY BLOG .
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Pic taken off Middle Sea Race website.
See the latest re the upcoming Rolex Middle Sea Race on http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/news/index.cfm?ID=145&f
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Well the forecast is looking good for tomorrow - a bit of rain in the morning but wind should be around force 5 then turning more NW and increasisng to a 6 by the afternoon.
If you have ever wondered about true boat speed/ apparent wind etc etc that 'yachties' are always going on about, I just came across the above formula. Simple! Just carry it around with you and do the math. Less complicated people use their instruments!
What a useless lot of information..........I'm waffling, time to stop!
Thursday, October 02, 2008
My website www.gozofarmhouserentals.com has a newly updated NEWS page and the 2009 price list is also up .
2008 has been a very good year for not just us, but the whole of the Maltese Islands. From our side of things our two Gozo farmhouses are becoming very popular and the comments that guests have left behind in the Visitor's Book have been extremely positive, complimentary and very encouraging for us. This means we are doing things right!
Our farmhouses - San Pupulju and Dar Ghax-Xemx - are both of a very high standard and not the run-of-the-mill holiday accommodation. They are both second homes to us which we pass on to our guests. We go out of our way to give all guests a warm welcome.
For any more information about our self catering farmhouses please contact me through our website.
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Thought I would start my build up to this year's Middle Sea Race. You can view the starter's list to date and latest news on their website http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/index.cfm
Last year was probably the stormiest and wildest year for the MSR ever with really difficult 'over gale force' conditions. They experienced water spouts amongst other incidents including the loss of the lovely 'Loki'. You can see some of the past MSR reports on the Middle Sea Race section of my blog.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Since I have been bragging about what an active blog I have I thought I had better put an entry in...........so I am taking a short pictoral look back through some of 2008.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race 2008 will be starting in just over a couple of weeks time so there should be lots to report when that gets going.
Hubby back in May