Thursday, October 22, 2015

ARTIE pips XP-ACT to the Finish Line

B2 are the overall winners of the 2015 edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race after having crossed the line in 3 days 10 hours 52 minutes and 1 second on elapsed time.
The Maltese boats have all done very well pushing to their limit. It has been quite a battle between them all as they have been packed together since rounding Stromboli. 
In the last day or so the big question was who was going to be the first Maltese boat back home. It was looking like XP-ACT would reach there before ARTIE did, but due to a set back with two blown spinnakers for XP-ACT meant that ARTIE could plough on ahead with that precious little bit of extra boat speed to cross the finishing line as first Maltese boat home.

As usual, the various Maltese crews gave an excellent and very professional performance (sounds like a theatre production!) showing the high calibre of yachtsmen Malta has to offer.

Overall results for Maltese boats at the time of me writing this are ARTIE 4th, UNICA 15th, ELUSIVE 17th, XP-ACT 20th, JUNO 24th. AUGUST RUSH seems to have retired and pulled in at Pantalleria.
With an overall fleet of around 110 yachts I think their results are pretty good going!

AUGUST RUSH Pic K. Seychell Photography

B2 2015 Overall Winner Pic; Rebecca Cachia

XP-ACT & ELUSIVE Pic: K. Seychell

 Pics below thanks to K. Seychell Photography





Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Homeward Bound - RMSR 2015

The first bunch of boats are back in harbour and at present B2 is leading in the overall standings. It is still early to say whether or not they will retain that lead but they seem to be hot favourites to win the overall.
Meanwhile, there is another stiff race going on which is totally separate from the actual RMSR overall. That is between the Maltese yachts which are bunched up to within 2 to 4 miles of each other leading the first group of smaller boats racing. They have now rounded Lampedusa and it is a race back home to see who will be the first Maltese boat in. These boats have been jostling for position throughout most of the race, and been grouped together since rounding Stromboli. They are expected to be in during the night/very early hours of the morning. It has certainly been a race where they have not been able to let up for a single minute throughout.
So..... will it be Artie, Elusive, Juno, Unica or XP-ACT first Maltese boat in? 
Looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning and seeing the results!

Pics below taken by Kurt Arrigo and Carlo Borlenghi for the RMSR

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

First of Smaller Boats to Round Favignana

The bigger yachts are now crossing the finishing line with others well on their way home. The first bunch of smaller yachts is rounding Favignana and will then be heading towards Pantalleria.

Below are a few shots taken by budding young photographer Emma Tranter. Well worth having a look at her Facebook page to see some more of her pictures.

Love this particular picture

First Boats in. Rolex Middle Sea Race 2015

It has been a slow race so far, but there have been slower races. As I type two boats have already crossed the finishing line. Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD 70, PHAEDO3, co-skippered by Brian Thompson, took the multihull line honours. They took 2 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes and 41 seconds to complete the 609 mile course.
A few hours later the first mono hull, RAMBLER, crossed the line in 2 days, 16 hours, 18 minutes and 43 seconds. RAMBLER holds the course record which was broken back in 2007.

The majority of the fleet are slowly making their way across from Stromboli towards the next check point of Favignana. Hot favourite, ARTIE, has been the leading the fleet in the overall tables past Stromboli, but the gap has closed as winds got lighter and the fleet behind caught up. Last night the Maltese boats were said to have been just 2 miles away from each other. UNICA has quietly been inching its way up the  line and gained a few places. 
There are always two races going on at the same time during the RMSR. The race for overall position and the race for the first Maltese boat in.

Pic below was taken by UNICA crew member Nicky Sammut

Pics below taken by Carlo Borlenghi for RMSR

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2015 - Pretty Windless Start

This year was the first RMSR start I have missed in quite a few years. Winds were so light that the start had to be postponed. Now, around 30 hours into the race, winds are still very light as the the majority of the fleet approaches or are sailing through the Straits of Messina. The leading boat, trimaran Phaedo, and Rambler have already rounded Stromboli and are now heading towards the western point of Sicily.
Pics: Rebecca Cachia
ARTIE winner of 2011 and 2014 RMSR

Looking for the wind

Interesting design


Monday, October 05, 2015

The Middle Sea Race loses one of its Pioneers

It was with great sadness today, within the Maltese sailing community and beyond, that we were to learn of the passing away of Arthur Podesta. Arthur was amongst the first sailors to participate in the Middle Sea Race back in 1968 and has sailed on to participate in each edition of the Middle Sea Race since that time. He leaves behind his wife and three children who have inherited his love for sailing.
You can read more about the early days of the Middle Sea Race on this link. Below are some pictures taken from the RMYC website.
The next Rolex Middle Sea Race starts in just under two weeks and Arthur's loss will surely be felt at that time by many on the water and on the shore.

Josian - local boat and winner of the first edition of the Middle Sea Race


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