ESIMIT takes line honours. Photo courtesy of Rolex Middle Sea Race.
ESIMIT, SHOCKWAVE and RAN are safely home but the rest of the fleet are battling strong wind and massive seas. The fleet further south are probably (but definitely stand to be corrected) not having it as tough as those further north as the full strength of the wind is hitting right now.
Have heard, on the grapevine, that the waves are massive. The RMSR is living up to its reputation that anything can happen during the race including extreme ends of the weather.
The Mediterranean is well known to change within minutes and, although all knew what was coming, it has certainly done so.
A few boats have decided to shelter in port rather than risk the conditions, and as the latter half of the fleet round Favignana there will probably be quite a few more heading for the nearest harbour.
ARTIE is favourite for winning this year's race as positions stand, but it is so close that they will not be able to let up for a second. The lower rating boats are very close behind on corrected time and a smaller boat DUFFY actually took the overall lead away from ARTIE rounding the Favignana checkpoint.
This race never disappoints us - it keeps us on our toes as ''living room'' spectators and by the end we have definitely had an overdose of crossed eyed computer screen tracking, Facebook, photos, messaging...........whatever. All part of the race I suppose.