Persistence Rewarded in Maltese Classic
As always it began in style. A spectacular start sequence, set against Valletta’s sun-kissed limestone bastions and animated by the firing of cannons from the grandiose Saluting Battery, opened the 34th Rolex Middle Sea Race.
For the second year running the sizeable watching public witnessed a record-breaking fleet depart from Malta ahead of a 606 mile anti-clockwise loop around Sicily. 99 yachts from 18 countries easily surpassed the figure of 82 entrants from 2012. A remarkable ascendancy for the event organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and sponsored by Rolex since 2002. The reasons for its continued popularity are clear: a breathtaking race course, tactically challenging and scenic in equal measure, close competition throughout the fleet and, above all, the indomitable spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie.
The 2013 race was characterized by light conditions, demanding patience and perseverance in the quest for small positional gains. The Kristina Plattner-skippered Maxi Morning Glory from Germany claimed line honours as the race’s fastest boat while the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy for overall winner was awarded to B2 from Italy.
Michele Galli’s TP52 B2 ended an eight-year hiatus since the last Italian victory at the Rolex Middle Sea Race. On that occasion, Carlo Puri Negri’s Farr 70 Atalanta II scooped both of the race’s main prizes.
B2 arrived in Malta with winning intentions as Spanish navigator Nacho Postigo confirmed shortly before the race. “This is a boat which has a good chance as it performs well in both light and strong winds.” Almost exactly three days after the start, B2 was the eighth boat to complete the race. An impressive feat that saw her top the leaderboard on corrected time and the chasing fleet would find it impossible to surpass the B2 benchmark.
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