Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Still Out On The Race Course - Rolex Middle Sea Race

At midday today, Chris Opielok’s Corby 36, AOC Rockall was leading Class 4 and still in contention for the overall handicap prize.
AOC Rockall Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“We are on the way to Lampedusa, having had a very interesting night getting through a big hole off San Vito lo Capo (NW tip of Sicily). We chose the 'go out to sea' option, and it initially looked great – but then the breeze filled in from the land so we lost a little bit. But hey ho, thems the breaks," reported crew member John Brinkers.

“We are now sailing upwind in 10 -12 knots with our main opposition six miles ahead (the local Maltese boat J/122, Artie). We realise a 40 minute lead on corrected is nice, but it can be taken away in a heartbeat in the massively variable and sometimes illogical conditions found out here. The battle continues.”
AOC Rockall Skipper Chris Opielok Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Sandro Musu emailed from onboard his Maltese entry, the Grand Soleil 40, Aziza. “Three days in, and all is well on Aziza. We've enjoyed every wind condition from zero to thirty-two knots, from every direction, rain and now sunshine. Spirits are high on board. We're eating well and keeping hydrated in the warm wind. As I write this we are passing Pantelleria. We are looking forward to sitting in the Royal Malta Yacht Club with our rivals in a few days to recount the many funny and exciting stories from the arena of competition.”

On Saturday 22 October 70 yachts started the 32nd Rolex Middle Sea Race and so far three boats have been forced to retire. They are: Class 40 Pogo 1 (GER), Comanche Raider II Gasan Mamo (MLT), and Ali Raja Bluorange (ITA).

Lulu Roseman

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