Michele Galli’s TP52 wins Rolex Middle Sea Race 2015

Published on October 22nd, 2015

Michele Galli’s Italian TP52, B2 have been confirmed by the Royal Malta Yacht Club as the overall winner of the 608 nm Rolex Middle Sea Race 2015, posting the best corrected time under the IRC handicap rule.

After over three days of racing, B2 was the IRC winner by nine seconds from Vincenzo Onorato’s Italian Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino. The narrow victory was exemplified by the fact that Mascalzone Latino was the overall winner of the ORC class.

”I think the 50-52 feet is a good length for this race,” commented B2’s navigator, Nacho Postigo. “The TP52 is an all-round boat, with very little weaknesses, a good compromise between rating and speed.

Michele Galli’s TP52, B2, crossed the finish line at 04.04.54 CET on Wednesday 21st October, with Mascalzone Latino finishing at 05.21.32 CET on Wednesday 21st October to stop the clock.

“For me this was a typical Middle Sea Race; you struggle to find the wind, and when you do, it happens in excess,” noted Postigo. “This time it was more about managing the light than about strong winds. For me, this is one of the most challenging races in the world.

“In this race there is a strong association between land and sea, and this drives you to take many important decisions along the way; sometimes, mistakes are really expensive here. It is similar to races like the Fastnet or the Caribbean 600 in terms of dealing with the islands, whether you stay offshore or you get closer.

“We have a great team on B2, Francesco De Angelis is a very motivating person, always pushing. Michele is a fantastic owner, very competitive, and he really loves these offshore races. And then the rest of the crew: I don’t know the number of peels we’ve done in these three and a half days, but they were simply perfect.”

This is the second occasion that Michele Galli’s TP52, B2 has won the trophy, winning the race overall in 2013.

George David’s American Maxi, Rambler 88, crossed the finish line to take Monohull Line Honours at 04.48.43 CET on Tuesday 20th October in an elapsed time of 2 days 16 hours 18 minutes and 43 seconds. Rambler 88 fell short of the record set by David’s Rambler 90 in 2007 of 47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds.

The super light conditions over the first two days of the race scuppered any chance of breaking Rambler 90s record. On the other hand, to finish over 100 miles clear of eleven other canting keel yachts was proof of the immense power of Rambler 88.

Lloyd Thornburg’s American MOD 70, Phaedo3, co-skippered by Brian Thompson, crossed the finish line to take Multihull Line Honours at 00.09.41 CET on Tuesday 20th October in an elapsed time of 2 days 11 hours 29 minutes and 41 seconds.

Race website: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com

Background:
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a highly rated offshore classic, often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney – Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a “must do” race. The Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club co-founded the race in 1968 and 2015 will be the 36th Edition.

coursemap

The 608 nautical mile course is sailed anti-clockwise, starting on October 17 from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta. The fleet proceeds north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina. Mt Etna is usually visible on the fleets port side, billowing ashes and lava throughout the night. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn west to the Egadi Islands.

Passing between Marettimo and Favignana the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port.

Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg towards the South Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.

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