Line honors for Rambler 88 in Rolex Middle Sea Race

Published on October 23rd, 2017

Valletta, Malta (October 23, 2017) – George David’s American Maxi, Rambler 88, crossed the finish line of the 2017 Rolex Middle Sea Race to take Monohull Line Honours today at 21:48:09 CEST, completing the 606nm circumnavigation of Sicily and surrounding islands in an elapsed time of 2 days, 9 hours 48 minutes 9 seconds.

The Course Record, established by an earlier Rambler in 2007, is 1 day, 23 hours, 55 mins 3 secs.

Rambler 88 Crew consisted of George David, Brad Butterworth, Dean Barker, Rodney Ardern, Silvio Arrivabene, Josh Belsky, Rodney Daniel, Will McCarthy, Robbie Naismith, Simon Daubney, Stu Wilson, Dean Phipps, Mark Newbrook, Nathan Hislop, Jan Dekker, Jerry Scott Beavis, Curtis Blewett, Brian Giorgio, and Aaaron Reynolds – Lovegrove.

As expected, near gale force winds arrived in the early hours of this morning which rapidly changed the character of the race. To the north of Sicily, yachts experienced sustained wind speeds of 30 knots with a significant sea state. Gusts will be higher.

The Royal Malta Yacht Club race management team had been busy through the night, monitoring the fleet’s progress. By 09:15 CEST, nineteen boats had officially retired, the latest being Momo (GER), Freccia Rossa (ITA), Macropus (SLO), Prague Weekends (CZE), Aegir (FIN), Amapola (ITA), Ton Ton Malta Charters (MLT), Jolou (RUS), Jivaro (FRA), Varuna (GER), and Munjek (CRO).

After a long hard beat during the night across the north coast of Sicily, George David’s American Maxi Rambler 88 rounded Favignana around 0800 CEST this morning. With 30 knots of wind and a sweet downwind angle, Rambler 88 took off like a scolded cat towards Pantalleria. Averaging over 20 knots of boat speed, probably surfing closer to thirty, Rambler 88 was finally in her element.

This was the third consecutive year that Rambler 88 has taken Monohull Line Honours in the race. The ten year old record still stands after the fleet experienced light winds for the first 30 hours of the race. By contrast, the gale force conditions which crossed the course early yesterday morning produced an epic run for Rambler 88 over the second half of the course; the 88ft canting keel Maxi covered 300 miles in just 14 hours.

“The Mistral conditions reminded me of 2007 in Rambler 90 when we set the record, but then it blew even harder maybe 50 knots,” recalled David. “This time we saw 40 but mainly mid-30s. In those conditions it is a little hard to see, it is exciting and very wet, especially when you turn a corner, and you are sideways to the waves. It was a really wet race, and when we had the pedal down we were into the 30s for boat speed. It is nice to get home first, but we race this boat for a corrected time win as well. You can never tell until the last boat is in, so we will have to wait and see.”

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Course: 104 yachts started from Grand Harbour on October 21, with their course leaving to port the Island of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands (including Strombolicchio), the Egadi Islands (except Marettimo Island), Pantelleria and Lampedusa Islands, through the South Comino Channel, keeping Malta to starboard, to the finish line in Marsamxett Harbour. The Islands of Ustica, Linosa and Lampione are not marks of the course. The length of the course is approximately 606 nautical miles. The Course Record, established by “Rambler” in 2007, is 1day, 23hours, 55mins 3secs.

Source: Royal Malta Yacht Club

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