Friday, October 25, 2013

Corinthian Crews Show Mighty Courage in Rolex Middle Sea Race

Valetta, Malta
October 25, 2013

By midday on Friday, 85 yachts had completed the 34th Rolex Middle Sea Race, thirteen were still at sea and there had been just one retirement.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
While two large, professional-crewed yachts claimed line honours and the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy, a complete picture of the race is provided by the gallant efforts of the Corinthian crews in the face of long days and nights at sea. The rare statistic of just one retirement is testament to the excellent preparation that has gone into honing the boats for the race.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
 Venetian-based Massimo Juris and Pietro Luciani took part in the race for the first time, sailing the 40.7ft Blucolombre (ITA), which emerged as winner in the increasingly popular and highly competitive doublehanded Class. “We came into this race very low key with a lot of respect for people who have done it before,” explained Juris. “We really enjoyed rounding Stromboli and then suddenly seeing everyone else parked. There is a romantic appeal about the island. Unfortunately, as there is always something to do on the boat, you never have time to take pictures.”
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
As a local sailor Edward Gatt Floridia, Maltese skipper of J/122 Otra Vez, can draw on greater Rolex Middle Sea Race experience. “Racing in light airs is very tiring, to keep the boat moving requires the whole crew to concentrate, even the off-watch have to wake up and move their weight to the correct side of the boat. The critical point in our race was after Stromboli. There was virtually no wind and on that first night we took the main sail down and hoisted our wind seeker. The weather suited the bigger yachts this year.” Otra Vez’s tireless performance was recognized with victory in Class.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
On Wednesday Michele Galli’s B2, a TP52 from Italy, was confirmed as the overall winner of the 34th Rolex Middle Sea Race. Morning Glory, an 86-ft Maxi from Germany, claimed line honours on Tuesday morning completing the 606-nm course in 2 days, 16 hours, 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
Infanta Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Among the yachts still to finish this year’s race is the fleet’s oldest entrant – the 47-ft yawl Infanta, constructed in 1947. With 48-nm still to sail she will hope to arrive in time for the final prizegiving, taking place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta at 12:00 CEST on Saturday 26 October.

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