Friday, October 24, 2008

Spirit of Ad Hoc Declared Winner of the 2008 Rolex Middle Sea Race





Above is Thierry Bouchard, the skipper of Spirit of Ad Hoc from France, who was declared overall winner of the 2008 Rolex Middle Sea Race.
You can read the full write up on the office RMSR site http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/gallery/index.cfm?ID=1220&list=3&xYear=2008

Vestas Sailrocket Trying to Beat World Speed Record


Pic taken off the Vestas Sailrocket website
A friend forwarded this website to me http://www.sailrocket.com/index.htm They are one of the contenders to break the speed record using the wind under sail power. A few weeks ago the record was broken in Namibia, by kitesurfer Robert Douglas, with a speed of 49.85 knots. It's quite an interesting site giving all the info about the team etc. and some good pics too.

Middle Sea Race 2008 Comes to an End


Above CORAL Pic from the RMSR media gallery
Well another Middle Sea Race comes to an end and although the results shown on the site are provisional it must be a dead cert that SPIRIT of AD HOC is overall winner. She is followed by CHESTRESS2 and Malta's ELUSIVE in third place. It's nice to see 3 Maltese boats in the first 10 placings overall.
There are a few boats still out there trying to get back in the windless conditions - no doubt they are motoring in by now. Others are literally limping back after the damage they received to their boats off Pantelleria.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Interesting Afternoon as places keep changing in RMSR results

French boat Spirit of Ad Hoc Pic taken from the Rolex Middle Sea Race website




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.



Kerisma BOV In Comino Channel


Above 2 shots Kerisma BOV (Malta based boat)





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.





Middle Sea Race Drama





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

Guy Cribb & Antoine Albeau make it across the English Channel in more than Challenging Conditions


From the press release:
The current windsurfing world champion and world sailing speed record holder Antoine Albeau of France and 13 times British Champion windsurfer Guy Cribb windsurfed across the English Channel in a storm, taking the long route from Cherbourg to Poole (70 miles). Antoine's world speed record is windsurfing at 56 mph, but on this remarkable journey to raise money for the Ellen MacArthur Trust their top speeds were around 40 mph over huge waves and choppy water, making it very difficult and dangerous to sail faster.


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
10/22/08



..............a bit of wind on the last leg of the Middle Sea Race

Pic: Bunty



Just come back from Gozo and while on the ferry took my camera hoping to be lucky enough to be able to get a shot of Rosebud coming through the Comino channel. I saw a large yacht in the distance approaching Malta but it was too far away for the camera. I can only presume it was Rosebud. I may go up there later on to try to get a nice shot of her. Once she comes out of the channel it will a beat back to harbour. A nice wind has picked up around Malta - must be a good force 4 outside South East but looking on Windfinder the wind is still very light around Lampedusa which is where most of the fleet are heading for or rounding right now.
As things stand Alegre is still standing in first position and am pretty sure that is the way it will remain. Alegre and Moneypenny crossed the line this morning.
The above yacht, ''Seawolf'' is owned by Atlantic Charters who provide a variety of yacht services which include charter, sailing courses, race training and mile building. They can be found on this link

Rolex Middle Sea Race Start 2008

My slide show of the start of the MSR this year.

Alegre Heading for Line Honours..........possibly overall win too

RAN on the start line Pic:Bunty





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

Rolex Middle Sea Race Update

MLT147 Lazy Duck - Pic:Bunty

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.

RMSR 2008 - It's a Slow Slow Race



TOP: ALEGRE BOTTOM: MONEYPENNY - PICS BY BUNTY

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

Light Wind for Middle Sea Race




Photos - Bunty


The start of the Middle Sea Race went off with a bang (literally a bang................enough to make you jump out of your skin if you were not prepared for it!). Unfortunately the wind was very light so the fleet made a slow start out of Marsamxett harbour to round the buoy and head off down the coast to round another marker buoy off Bahar Ic-Caghaq and then out to sea towards Sicily. It has been slow progress but as I type the leading boats have passed thru the Straits of Messina and are heading towards Stromboli. I can't say who the lead boats are right now cos I am having difficulty getting into the Position Tracker on the website. No doubt there are loads of people viewing at the moment.
This year there were no Maxi's which I missed cos they are such an amazing sight, especially when you see them creeping up behind the massive height of the bastions - their mast height being much higher. It is a very impressive sight and one that I would never tire of seeing. Hopefully next year they will be back. Nevertheless there was still a very high calibre of yacht on the water and a record amount of entries. This year saw very few Maltese entries - I think only around 6 or 7 but I stand to be corrected. Amongst them Elusive, Escape, Air Malta, and Aziza. Comanche Raider is racing looking great in her new colours and looked very impressive on the start.
You can follow the race by going onto the official site http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/tracker/index.cfm

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Preliminary Coastal Race

Above shot taken off MSR website



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

http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/index.cfm

Windsurfing Trailer for Sale

NOTICE:

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

Middle Sea Race 2008 Starts on Saturday



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

Typically Maltese..............or should I say Gozitan!




Last weekend we came across this sign on the edge of a field outside Ghasri in Gozo. This is definitely something for ''onlyinmalta.com'' !

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Windsurfing Ghallis Malta Oct 2008

Far from thrilling just experimental at this stage! (Deleted video by mistake you can view it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thaQW-gLxY0 )!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Great Day Saturday

Rider: Bernard Pic: Bunty
At last we got some wind last Saturday. It turned out to be a great day. Started off with wind being a bit northerly then veered towards the north west later in the day. I used my Fanatic wave board 74L with Tushingham Rock 4.5m. Once I got overpowered I decided to dedicate some time to photography which I am enjoying almost as much as surfing. I swam out to the point of the island which is an excellent place to get good pics. Also with the little ProHero camera I have I need to be as close to the subject as possible since it doesn't have a zoom, but I am still amazed at the quality that such a tiny thing can produce and it lasts for a good couple of hours use. The camera is only about 3" X 2" or something like that so it is really tiny.
I have put a small movie together which I have just uploaded onto Youtube. Will be sending it on this blog too when the uploading etc has finished. It gives quite a good idea of the sort of conditions we get in Ghallis, though Saturday the waves and swell were nowhere as big as they usually get. By the end of the day with the wind increasing to a 7 the waves were building up pretty well, infact it was quite tricky trying to get off the island and back into the water! The footage I took on the other side of the island is a bit small, the surfers were too far away to get some good footage with the ProHero. The best is to stick to dry land and use the Fujipix camera for that side.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Wind on the Way



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

2009 Prices for our Gozo Accommodation



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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Middle Sea Race 2008 - on it's way

The above is George Bonello duPuis Beneteau 47.7


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

Looking Back a Bit at 2008

Well it has been pretty boring with wind promised and either not materialising, coming up too late or being border line.


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



John playing around also back in May



John during the colder months




John racing on 'ARTIE' in the spring





Some sunset cruising on the Drascombe in July




One of the many beautiful coves around our islands - this one is in the Gozo channel







Sailing on the Drascombe this summer with the cruising chute up






This is the nightmare of our bay during the peak of the summer. Boats, boats and more boats. Not exactly a haven of tranquility!! Thank God that is all over for another year and we have the bay to ourselves again.








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