This morning, Arthur Podesta, skipper of Elusive said that there will be many more twists and turns to this race and the veteran of 33 races spoke wise words. The forecast breeze has arrived from the northwest but a massive wind hole is developing close to the Sicilian shoreline, threatening to trap the vast majority of the fleet. Many of the larger yachts are already stuck, crawling along at a very slow pace.
However, the chasing pack of smaller boats have turned north to escape the windless area. Nick Jones’ First 44.7, Lisa went north nearly 12 hours ago and it looks to be have been a master stroke. The British yacht owned by Nick and Suzi Jones is in better breeze than their rivals and if the breeze comes in, the brave move north at Stromboli will have paid off handsomely for the husband and wife team from Chichester, England.
Meanwhile, Slovenian Maxi, Esimit Europa 2 is in a totally different position. Just 20 miles from Favignana on the north west extreme of the course, Esimit Europa 2 has been charging away from their rivals, often hitting speeds of 14 knots. Esimit Europa 2 is now 40 miles ahead of Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran and Alessandro Rombelli’s Stig.
Esimit Europa 2 is almost exactly half way around the course and if the breeze holds out, could be back in Malta by midnight on Tuesday 23 October to take Line Honours for the third consecutive year, which has only ever been achieved once before by Enrico Recchu’s Carter 65 Bembow in 1977.