The cut off time to finish The Rolex Middle Sea Race is 0800 tomorrow and a group of determined sailors are desperately trying to keep that appointment.
Racing The Rolex Middle Sea Race Two-Handed is not for the faint hearted. In reality each member of the team sails the boat alone, whilst the other one sleeps. But there is no rigid watch system, sail changes in this race have been frequent and both crew are required on deck, regardless of whose turn it is to sleep. In short, racing for seven days and nights with just two people is hard-core, both mentally and physically.
The vast majority of the 83 yachts have either finished or will do today. However, none of the Two Handed teams is likely to finish tonight. To complete the Rolex Middle Sea Race, yachts must cross the finish line by 0800 tomorrow and four of the Two Handed entries are desperately trying to meet that deadline.
Dinah crewed by Barry Hurley and Andrew Boyle is leading the Two Handed Class after time correction but their estimated finish time is 1000 tomorrow; two hours over the time limit.
Dinah should speed up after they come off the wind after Lampedusa. If they can make the cut off, the Irish team may win a tremendous victory. Dinah is being pushed hard by Pierpaolo Ballerini & Andrea Caracci’s Azuree. The Italian team is neck and neck with Dinah on the water but behind after time correction but the match race will be spurring both of the yachts on.
Leading the Two Handed Class on the water is Match Point, crewed by Damir Cargo and Miljenko Nikolic. The Croatian team Match Point has passed Lampedusa and should make the finish in the early hours of Saturday morning, then they must wait to see if any of the other yachts can make it in time.
Second on the water is Atame with Beppe Bisotto & Ian Knight. Atame is 122 miles from the finish and at their current speed will not make the time limit. However, once Atame rounds Lampedusa, they will ease sheets and come off the wind dramatically increasing their boat speed, Atame need to average 7 knots to make the finish, which is possible.
The dark horse in the Two Handed Class is also the largest yacht. Swan 46, Foreign Affair has sailed a significant extra distance to get over to the left hand side of the race course ’banging the corner’ in sailing slang. The elegant Swan is crewed by two brothers; Paul & James Basson from Monaco.
For more information: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com