Gnarly edition of Rolex Middle Sea Race

Published on October 24th, 2017

Valletta, Malta (October 24, 2017) – The 2017 Rolex Middle Sea Race will be known for the record attrition among the 104 teams that started the 606nm circumnavigation of Sicily and surrounding islands on October 21. Only 10 boats have overcome the brutal conditions to cross the finish line.

“The crew are pretty beat up, there are a few guys limping around. For ten hours it was like being in the Southern Ocean,” commented Stu Wilson, boat captain of the line honours winner, Rambler 88.

“That was a gnarly race. We saw 30 knots of wind and more at times, but the short wave pattern, which is typical of the Mistral, was the real reason,” commented Leopard’s navigator, Hugh Agnew.

For now, Eric de Turckheim’s Nivelt Muratet 54 Teasing Machine holds the IRC overall title after competing in her debut race, while Quentin Stewart’s Infiniti 46 Maverick is eyeing the ORC overall title.

“This is a beautiful race,” said Stewart. “It gives you something of everything. It was light and tricky up the east coast of Sicily and around Stromboli. Then it was wet and wild the whole way home. It was vicious around Lampedusa, with 40 – 45 knots. We blew up an A3 which is impressive given it was built to live with those conditions. I can’t say enough about the boat and crew. We measure up against bigger boats and this is a big achievement for us.”

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Note: This story was edited when learning that race organizers had omitted boats in the results that were still racing when originally published.

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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