Harken Derm

VIDEO: Surviving The Middle

Published on May 7th, 2019

Surviving the Middle is a sailing documentary following the Pogo 12.50 Hermes as they compete in the 2018 Rolex Middle Sea Race, a 606nm course around Sicily.

The team was led by circumnavigators and co-skippers Morgen Watson (Calgary, CAN, 29) and Meg Reilly (NJ, USA, 29), who were joined by Americans Owen McDonnell (32) and River Iannaccone (21), and Canadian sailmakers Stuart and Joy Dahlgren (30). In addition, Annie-Claude Roberge of Sekoya Productions served as an OBR to capture the team’s journey for this film.

Over the past two years, the team has competed in world-class yacht races and provided opportunities for fellow young sailors to join the expanding team and network. The Rolex Middle Sea Race was a lofty goal for the team; they not only made it half way around the world to the Race, but were among those who actually completed the grueling course.

“You hear horror stories from the Middle Sea Race, so we definitely knew what we were getting ourselves into,” said Watson. “We didn’t have any local knowledge to race strategically, so the strategy was full throttle and survival. The rounding at Lampedusa when we headed towards Malta was the final test, and we weren’t giving up.”

Surviving the Middle film is an intense story of the team’s race adventure, overcoming personal and environmental challenges to pull through together as a team. Video published on May 3, 2019.

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606 nautical mile course

About the Race:
The Rolex Middle Sea Race was established as the result of sporting rivalry between great friends, Jimmy White and Alan Green, two Englishmen residing in Malta, together with Paul and John Ripard, two Maltese members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Jimmy, Alan (later to become the Race Director of the Royal Ocean Racing Club), Paul and John would eventually map a course designed to offer an exciting race in different conditions to those prevailing in the immediate Maltese coastal waters.

The 606nm course, essentially a clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily starting and finishing in Malta, would be slightly longer than the RORC’s longest race, the Rolex Fastnet. The resulting course is the same as used today, although sailed in the reverse direction. The Rolex Middle Sea Race course record has been broken on five occasions since the inaugural edition in 1968.

One hundred thirty yachts started the 50th anniversary Rolex Middle Sea Race on October 20, 2018.

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