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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hi Fidelity Takes Handicap Honours in Rolex Middle Sea Race

South African entry Hi Fidelity has been confirmed as overall winner of the 2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Arriving at 04:18.15 CEST this morning, Eddie De Villiers’ Welbourne 46, established a corrected time benchmark that has proved impossible for the remainder of the fleet to beat. Hi Fidelity arrived in Marsamxett Harbour in dramatic style under a punishing thunderstorm, strong gusts and torrential rain, conditions atypical of those witnessed earlier during the 606-nm race.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
South Africa becomes the ninth different country to provide a winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy joining yachts from Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Success is just reward for the crew of Hi Fidelity following their consistent performance throughout a race largely characterized by light winds and during which they benefited from the leadership of co-skippers and noted professional sailors Michael Joubert and Mark Sadler. “It was a challenging race with lots of parking lots, breeze and different forecasts,” explained Sadler, taking part in the race for the first time. “It was very demanding from a navigational and tactical point of view. We had a lot of opportunities (to take advantage) when the bigger boats parked and we could decide which way to go.”
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Staying in touch with boats rated faster and well ahead of those rated slower coupled with the fresh breeze Hi Fidelity hit while attacking the western stretch of the racecourse proved critical. “It was a challenge beyond challenges,” remarked Joubert. “We didn’t get a lot of sleep, and each new leg brought something new. We tried to mix it between what the weather forecast said and where the fleet was going.” Excelling after almost six full days is testament to the crew’s true Corinthian spirit.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
“The crew have been absolutely fantastic, I cannot give them enough praise. This has been one hell of a race, we have had just about everything thrown at us. Coming through the Comino [passage] there was a terrific amount of thunder and lightning; it was all around us, and the wind touched 37 knots. To come through the finish and find out that we have such a great result is truly amazing!” said a delighted De Villiers.
 Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
By mid-afternoon on Day 6 of the 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race, 16 yachts had completed the race, 11 have retired and 56 boats are still sailing.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Esimit Europa 2 Claims Line Honours in Rolex Middle Sea Race

Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) has claimed line honours at the 2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race. The 30.48m/100-ft Maxi crossed the finish line in Marsamxett Harbour, Malta on Wednesday 24 October at 01:13.15 CEST, sealing a third straight line honours win.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Igor Simcic’s crew completed the 606-nm course in 3 days, 13 hours, 33 minutes and 15 seconds (85 hours, 33 minutes and 15 seconds), an elapsed time significantly slower than the race record of 47 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds set by George David’s 27.43m/90-ft MaxiRambler (USA) in 2007.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“It was a very long race and hopefully the longest we’ll ever have to do,” reflected skipper Jochen Schümann, relieved to arrive in Malta. “As we expected it was a light race. After the passage through the Strait of Messina, the fleet caught up with us at Stromboli which is not good enough for a 100-footer.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
At Stromboli Esimit headed inland, finding breeze while her rivals slowed down. “After that tactical move we led comfortably for the rest of the race despite having to park several times especially behind the islands in front of Trapani.” The line honours time set by Esimit Europa 2 is over 24 hours slower than her two previous successes at the Rolex Middle Sea Race, proving how difficult the race has been for the fastest boats.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
At 08:09.56 CEST this morning, Niklas Zennström’s Rán 2 (GBR) became the second boat to cross the finishing line, arriving after 92 hours, 29 minutes and 56 seconds at sea. In doing so, the 21.94m/72-ft Mini Maxi put herself in pole position on handicap, and set the bar for the remainder of the fleet.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“It was a very long race and during the first half it seemed like it might be even longer,” commented Zennström. “It was quite frustrating at times and we ran out of food. Racing against Stig - a rival Mini Maxi - though made the light racing a lot more enjoyable.” Alessandro Rombelli’s Stig (ITA) was the third boat to cross the finish line in Malta, arriving some 1 hour 20 minutes after Rán 2.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Much of the fleet still at sea is now on the western-most stretch of the course between Trapani and Lampedusa. All will be hoping that the fresher winds persist to carry them back to the finish and some will be hoping to challenge Rán 2 for the overall title.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leaders Head For Home In Rolex Middle Sea Race

Race leader Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) is expected to cross the finish line in Malta shortly after midnight having established an insurmountable lead in the 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Esimit has passed the island of Lampedusa, the most southerly point of the 606-nm course and is some 70-nm from the finish line in Malta. A third straight line honours triumph beckons for Igor Simcic’s 30.48m/100-ft Maxi.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Rán II (GBR), Med Spirit (RUS) and Stig (ITA) are engaged in their own duel to finish second on the water having kept each other company throughout the race. This pack is currently travelling between Pantelleria and Lampedusa at a consistent ten knots.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
While five of the record-breaking 83-international entrants have retired from the race, the majority of the fleet are negotiating the tactically arduous passage across the northern coast of Sicily and approaching the stronger northwesterly breeze running down the west of the island.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Welcome news for boats such as the 12.9m/40-ft Kuka- Light (SUI). “We’ve had a very slow 24 hours like a lot of the boats around us and the conditions are variable,” explained skipper Mitch Booth. “We are getting quite close to the (northwest) tip of Sicily and enjoying some close racing. Conditions are quite frustrating. We are looking forward to a downwind stretch after a lot of light, upwind.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Despite the frustrations caused by light winds, the crew have enjoyed the challenge: “The race is very scenic, we’ve seen a lot of wildlife and volcano action, as well a lot of other boats which is not always the case during an offshore race.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The Maltese J/133 Oiltanking Juno currently lies at the back of the fleet and reported: “It’s been a tough last 24 hours but we’ve passed Stromboli and are now heading to Favignana. We’ve been through about a hundred sail changes and are trying to catch up. We just need more wind!”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The battle to be overall race winner is still wide open. Current estimates indicate that Niklas Zennstrom’s 21.94m/72-ft Mini Maxi Rán II holds the advantage on handicap although a clearer idea will emerge once the bulk of the fleet heads into stronger airs after Trapani.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Esimit Europa 2 Breaks Free - Rolex Middle Sea Race

A crawling pace continues to characterize the 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race as one of the slowest races in recent years unfolds. The bulk of the 83-strong international fleet has passed the volcanic island of
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Stromboli, and is engaged in a search for breeze to propel them across the northern coast of Sicily. Although her pursuit of the race record may be over, Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) continues to lead the fleet successfully resisting the challenge of the two Mini Maxis Rán 2 (GBR) and Stig (ITA).
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
By mid-afternoon today, Esimit Europa 2 had eked out a 40 nautical mile lead over her nearest rivals and is approaching Trapani, the halfway point of the 606-nautical mile course. This separation appears courtesy of a key tactical decision at Stromboli.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“It was light so we sent Jordi Calafat up the rig and he saw there that was more pressure close to the volcano. We decided to head into this and it worked out,” said navigator Juan Vila.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Since then Esimit Europahas been able to travel at a consistent 10 knots while her rivals scrabble about looking for puffs of breeze. Jochen Schümann’s crew currently estimate arrival in Malta late tomorrow (Tuesday evening), but are taking nothing for granted.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“At the moment we have some distance over the nearest boats but things can change very fast and the fleet may regroup again,” he added.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
An update from Rán 2 exemplifies the difficulties facing some crews: “This is the slowest offshore race we have sailed and it’s a new experience for some. We are cutting food rations as we will not have enough until arrival whenever that will be. When the wind is here, it lasts for a very short time.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Chris Opielok’s Kohinoor (GER) offers a different perspective. Lying in the middle of the fleet having passed Stromboli at midday his crew are appreciating their extended view of the volcano, despite the problematic wind: “There is a pack of about 25 boats around us. It was very dull and pretty shifty last night with no wind. In ten hours we made only ten miles! There was nothing else to do than have a fantastic meal.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The forecast for the days ahead remains confused. Pressure is building around Sicily, but offshore and that will only benefit those that can reach it.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Strait Thinking For Fleet In Rolex Middle Sea Race

A tactically challenging and meteorologically intriguing 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race is developing. Thirty hours into the contest, all 83 yachts are still racing with the bulk of the fleet negotiating the infamous Strait of Messina. Leading the fleet, and midway between the Strait and Stromboli, are the 30.48m/100-ft Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), and two 21.94m/72-ft Mini Maxis Rán 2 (GBR) and Stig (ITA). Currently sailing at a meagre two knots, the three are separated by less than one nautical mile.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Esimit Europa 2 has not broken away from the pack in the manner she has become accustomed to in previous editions. The first night proved frustrating for Igor Simcic’s crew, caught in a fading breeze that allowed her rivals to close in. On the approach to the Strait this morning, Rán 2 took advantage of a positive current to close the gap on Esimit, and even take the lead. By midday the two boats were only 100m apart exiting the Strait together, destination Stromboli.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“We enjoyed some good breeze through the Strait and are very satisfied with our progress. However, we expect conditions to be very light on the stretch to Stromboli,” reported the crew on Esimit.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Steve Hayles, navigator on Rán 2, confirmed: “It was a very tricky first night. The smaller boats made quite a big gain at one point. Our long-term strategy was to be furthest offshore. We made a considerable loss initially but managed to stretch away this morning. The race is going to be a bit like an elastic band. It’s about trying to stay on the right side of your competitor and focused on where next breeze is coming from. For us the focus is staying ahead of Stig.” The Italian boat lost ground during the morning but were able to close the gap after exiting the Strait.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Further down the fleet, things are equally intense. Philippe Falle, skipper of the 13.10m/43-ft Trustmarque Quokka (GBR), added: “It was quite a tactical night, pushing and trimming hard. It was an important night to get right. This is one of those races which will see a lot of bungee effects.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
With 18 yachts having now passed the Strait of Messina, the current advantage on handicap belongs to defending champion – Lee Satariano’s J/122 Artie (MLT). It is a precarious lead as the fleet heads into the second evening and a frustrating search for breeze.

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French Victory For Groupe Edmond de Rothshchild in Nice

The French team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild ended the day where they started it – at the top of the Act 7 leaderboard in Nice with a win in the penultimate Act of the year on home soil.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Spurred on by the cheers of support from an estimated 27,000 strong local crowd over the three days of racing, Pierre Pennec led his men to an impressive four race wins on the final day and with it secured third place on the overall Series leaderboard as the fleet heads to the 2012 finale in Rio de Janeiro.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Going into the final double points race Pennec had to keep three boats between him and McMillan to claim victory and the race was won at the start when McMillan found himself stuck in the second row from which he never recovered. Only a major faux pas would have prevented Pennec from claiming a win that was arguably rightfully theirs after a strong performance over the last three days and 28 races. “I am very happy with the victory, my team has got back for their hard work. The conditions allowed us to indulge physically and tactically we were going fast. Returning to the third place overall is great. We will try again to sail well in Rio and then we’ll see the overall standings at the end of the year. Anything can happen until the last moment.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
For McMillan, the slight disappointment to finish second and not claim his fourth Act win was surpassed by the fact he has guaranteed his team a podium position in the overall Series standings. The only question now is what position that will be. “We are a bit disappointed not to win. We did our best, second is still good, and the focus is always on winning the overall Series. It’s fantastic to be on the podium with one event to go and plenty of points up for grabs; it was pretty unexpected. We are very much focused on winning. That is our goal and has been all year – we’ve been pushing hard all year and that’s what we’re going to try to pull out of the bag. Hopefully we can go in and finish the job in Rio.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The second team hailing from Oman completed the Act 7, Nice podium in third place after giving their teammates a run for their money in the final race. Friends on land but definitely not on water, Larson had a tactical eye on McMillan all week. “We managed to put them (Groupe Edmond de Rothschild) under a bit of pressure, but trying to put pressure on them without letting The Wave, Muscat slip through was the challenge because we need to hold our points on The Wave. It’s definitely not game over, but with the way they’ve been sailing it’s going to be tough. For us it’s going to be a bit more focus on holding second place. We feel like we are on track for achieving the goal of a podium finish and if we have a solid event in Rio then we will have that spot. If The Wave, Muscat makes a big error, then we will be there to take it.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
It wasn’t all celebrations dock-side this evening in the French Riviera and there was bitter disappointment for Roman Hagara on Red Bull Sailing Team. The team never seemed to recover their stride from their crash on day two and finished in sixth place – but more significantly for the Austrian double Olympic gold medallist they may have put their chances of a podium position in the overall Series in jeopardy falling to fourth overall. “It makes it hard for us to be on the podium now but I think there is still a good chance we can bring it back. We have to be tight in Rio and we have to go out to win that Act to guarantee our place.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Whilst the frontrunners hold their own private battle for the 2012 podium, the British GAC Pindar and Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team have their own fight developing mid-fleet with only 5.5 points separating the two teams, and the Swiss Alinghi just 5 points shy of that. With the stage now set for the final in Rio de Janeiro between the 6-9th December it is McMillan’s team who lead the overall 2012 rankings by 7.5 points and with four teams capable of a podium place, Rio de Janeiro will be a great battle!

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 7, Nice, France standings after Day 4, 28 races (21.10.12)
Position / Team / Points

1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Christophe André, Romain Petit, Romain Motteau 173 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Hannah Mills, Hashim Al Rashdi 161.3 points
3. Oman Air (OMA), Morgan Larson, Will Howden, Charlie Ogletree, Andy Maloney, Nasser Al Mashari 159 points
4. GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams, Anna Tunnicliffe, Mark Bulkeley, Andrew Walsh, Richard Peacock 134 points
5. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Jonas Hviid 121 points
6. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Pierre Le Clainche, Graeme Spencer 120.7 points
7. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 102 points
8. Team Extreme Ville de Nice (FRA), Erik Maris, Philip Mourniac, Jean-Sébastien Ponce, Patrick Aucour, Bruno Jeanjean 69 points

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Overall Series Results after Act 7, Nice
Position / Team / Points

1. The Wave, Muscat 61.5 points
2. Oman Air 54 points
3. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 51 points
4. Red Bull Sailing Team 48.5 points
5. GAC Pindar 38.5 points
6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team 33 points
7. Alinghi 28 points
8. ZouLou 23.5 points

Extreme Sailing Series Media

60. Inside Pit Row - AC Discovered

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Groupe Edmond de Rothschild Hit The Front In Nice

The stakes ramped up a notch today on the French Riviera on the penultimate day of the Extreme Sailing Series in Nice as the battle lines for the final day of Act 7 were drawn.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The crowd on the Promenade des Anglais witnessed home team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild move into the overall lead and Pierre Pennec’s team has a slim 4.3 point advantage over Oman’s The Wave, Muscat. Pennec’s men are gunning for their first Act win this year Leigh McMillan is aiming to secure his position at the top of the overall Series leaderboard ahead of the final Act in Rio de Janeiro.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Confident in his team's ability – although all too aware how quickly things can change on the short, sharp Extreme 40 race course – Edmond de Rothchild’s trimmer Hervé Cunningham was reflective after racing: “The last two Acts in Porto and Cardiff have been really dramatic for us so we try to regain some confidence in the crew after those bad results. We are our own worst enemy. For the moment we found a good feeling, we are sailing well and we are really confident for tomorrow. But we know all too well how quickly things can change in this racing and it’s never over until the last round which counts for double points. We will keep a cool head and sail well and intelligently.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
One of the French teams biggest rivals on the water is current Series leader Leigh McMillan whose team The Wave, Muscat have already won three Acts this year. A cool and confident McMillan said: “There is nothing in it –it’s very close between the top four and so we have just got to keep plugging away. We felt we sailed well and a few things went against us which was frustrating but we had a good grasp on what was going on considering how tricky it was. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. We just have to hope tomorrow goes our way and keep doing the same things.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Roman Hagara was understandably frustrated at the end of racing. The Austrian double Olympic gold medallist, who started the day in the top spot, found himself struggling under the changeable conditions and slowly his team slipped down the leaderboard to finish the day in fifth. “We need to do better than today. It was a really bad day, we struggled to make a good start and we made some bad decisions. In these conditions everything goes really quick and you have to pull really hard on the ropes. Some of our maneuvers were not as good as yesterday and all these little things make a difference when you are racing.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Nine short and sharp races were staged today and slick boat handling was demanded in the gusty conditions that continued to build throughout the day. Nice saved the best for last for the eight Extreme 40s with gusts of 22 knots funneling down the race course by the final race of the day when some daredevil tactics were witnessed, as GAC Pindar’s tactician Olympic gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe explained: “It is really tricky sailing – big left shifts big right shifts and trying to figure out which is going to pay. It means lots of chances to pass so you are always looking around for an opportunity to jump up positions. Coming into the top mark it was either from the left where there was pressure off the beach and you would come flying in hoping to cross the boats on the right. You had to make the call on whether you could cross a boat or had to duck behind them. Every windward mark was fingers crossed and hope you make it across the fleet.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Tunnicliffe joins current World Match Racing Tour leader Ian Williams’ team and three race wins today has set the British skipper on track for GAC Pindar’s first ever podium position at the Extreme Sailing Series.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The leaderboard is close and only 14 points separate the top four boats, while Red Bull Sailing Team have some work on their hands if they want to improve on their current fifth place standing. A win in the final race of the day for Ernesto Bertarelli on Alinghi leaves the Swiss team just five points shy of SAP Extreme Sailing Team who will be looking to better there fifth place finish from the previous Act.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The shape of the leaderboard going into the final Act in Rio de Janeiro wil be decided tomorrow by 1700 local time and the teams will find out if they will be taking the long-haul ticket to Act 8 in a comfortable position.

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 7, Nice, France standings after Day 3, 19 races (20.10.12)
Position / Team / Points

1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Christophe André, Romain Petit, Romain Motteau 109 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Hannah Mills, Hashim Al Rashdi 105.3 points
3. Oman Air (OMA), Morgan Larson, Will Howden, Charlie Ogletree, Andy Maloney, Nasser Al Mashari 99 points
4. GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams, Anna Tunnicliffe, Mark Bulkeley, Andrew Walsh, Richard Peacock 95 points
5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Pierre Le Clainche, Graeme Spence 87.7 points
6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Jonas Hviid 74 points
7. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 69 points
8. Team Extreme Ville de Nice (FRA), Erik Maris, Philip Mourniac, Jean-Sébastien Ponce, Patrick Aucour, Bruno Jeanjean 42 points

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Grand Start for Rolex Middle Sea Race

A substantial and expectant crowd witnessed a record number of 83 entrants representing 19 countries and territories attack today’s start to the 606-nautical mile Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Blue skies and a south-easterly 12-13 knot breeze prevailed as the fleet departed Malta’s Grand Harbour. The baroque architecture of Valletta and cannons firing from the Saluting Battery provided the eye-catching backdrop to one of sailing’s most spectacular offshore race starts.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Crews spent the early morning completing their final preparations based on the latest weather forecast. Ägyd Pengg, owner of the Volvo Open 70 E1 (AUT), anticipated a testing race ahead: “It will be quite demanding and difficult for navigators. It is very important in light airs to make the right decisions.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Success at the Rolex Middle Sea Race has so far eluded Niklas Zennström’s all-conquering 21.94m/72-ft Mini Maxi Rán 2 (GBR). Team manager Tim Powell confirmed the nature of the challenge: “It’s looking like a light race. We’re not expecting to finish before Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning with not much wind above 10-12 knots.” “It is very long for a Mediterranean race, with a lot of shifts and corners and complicated weather patterns. We expect a slow race with some drifting,” added Francesco de Angelis, experienced tactician on Rán 2’s rival Mini Maxi Stig (ITA).
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Mitch Booth, skipper of the 12.9m/42-ft Kuka Light (SUI), cut a relaxed figure before the start: “Our boat is made to be as fast as possible but small. It’s a powerful boat with a rotating rig. As long as we’re not going upwind too much it’s good for us, the boat can handle all conditions.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Kuka Light, Rán 2 and Stig will be hoping to be among the fastest finishers. At the other end of the scale is Faiaoahe (FRA) which skipper Remy Gerin is sailing double-handed, an arduous mental and physical challenge. “We’ve never raced this boat double-handed!” explained Gerin. “The preparation is in the head of the crew. It’s important to get lots of rest before and anticipate changing conditions as soon as possible.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
At 15:00 CEST the leading boat, Igor Simcic’s Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), was some ten nautical miles off the Sicilian coast and making 12.5 knots. Her nearest rivals were Rán 2, Stig and Med Spirit (RUS). Given the light forecast, the current race record of 47 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds, set in 2007 by George David’s Rambler(USA) is unlikely to be threatened.

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