Lee Satariano - Skipper and Owner of ''ARTIE RTFX''
Christian Ripard -Skipper and Chief Helmsman of ''ARTIE RTFX''
Some of the crew members before the start of the race on board
ARTIE RTFX pre race start
''ARTIE RTFX'' just after the race start
The start of the 2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race was as spectacular as ever with close to 90 sleek and graceful sailing yachts enhancing the already beautiful Grand Harbour in Malta.
With a moderate South Easterly wind blowing, boats jostled to start as upwind as possible to avoid having to tack out of the harbour. Last year's winner, local team ARTIE RTFX, had a good start and headed straight out of the harbour. Another Maltese boat, Juno Oiltanking, also had a very good start in the next start together with XP-ACT Banks Sails Racing (I mention these two classes as these are the classes the Maltese boats are in).
Regular RMSR sailor, David Latham, onboard his Pronavia 38, unfortunately had a bad start as they had to turn around and restart - they must have been over the line. Though looking back at some video footage I took of the start they did not seem to be over the line, but I was upwind of the start line so it is deceiving.
The large boats are always amazing to watch - masts taller than the bastions. Fast and sleek, they are impressive even to those who do not follow the sport. RAN and STIG were neck and neck on the start line with RAN having the upper hand. By the time they approached the harbour entrance they actually seemed to be planing out - such a wonderful sight!
Once again Malta is privilaged to have, as it's guests, such an array of international sailors. From world class past America's Cup and Volvo Ocean racers to local amateur teams (who have shown they can be up at the top with the best), and teams of keen cruisers who enjoy the thrill of participating in this unique race.
So the next few days will be tense, even for us armchair sailors, who will be checking the RACE TRACKER regularly throughout the day (and night!) following every move our favourite teams will be making.
I will update this blog as regularly as I can. I will also be posting various pre race and race start pictures that I have taken during the coming days.
''BET1128'' tacking after their class start
''RAN'', ''STIG'' and ''ESIMIT'' crossing the start line
All photos taken by Bunty Cachia ©