The Rolex Middle Sea Race will start on Saturday 21st October. However, racing action started today with the Rolex Middle Sea Coastal Race. 33 yachts took part in the 15 mile race starting and finishing in Marsamxett Harbour. A light south-easterly breeze faded early in the race, before filling in from the north west to about ten knots.
The overall winner was Italian Cookson 50 Endlessgame, with Pietro Moschini on the helm and Gabriele Bruni calling tactics. Endlessgame represents one of Italy's most famous yacht clubs; Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia in Naples.
“The Rolex Middle Sea Race is one of the most important yacht races.” commented Pietro Moschini. “It is a very spectacular race for its natural beauty, and also from a technical point of view. We are a new team, with a new boat, and we hope to do our best. Today's Coastal Race was an important part of our training, the wind was very light and perhaps we will have the same conditions for the start of the race on Saturday. We have new sailors and new sails, and we have began to understand how to approach the big race. We are very happy about the chemistry of our team, and we have all the elements to produce a good result for the Rolex Middle Sea Race.”
Igor Rytov's Russian JPK 1080 Bogatyr was the overall runner up, and winner of IRC 6. Josef Schultheis & Timmy Camilleri's Xp44 Xp-act was the top Maltese yacht, third overall and winner of IRC Four. Conor Doyle's Irish DK46 Hydra - Performance Yacht Charter was the winner of IRC 3, and Yves Grosjean's French J/133 Jivaro was the winner of IRC 5.
“The Rolex Middle Sea Coastal Race is a great opportunity for the crew to warm up for the Race on Saturday. There was more breeze than we expected, in fact we had a slow start but we made the right choices. As we went round the fairway buoy we kept improving and also managed to practice some manoeuvres as well. All in all it was a good race” - Timmy Camilleri, XP-ACT
“It was a light air race, ideal for a shakedown for the crews before the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race on Saturday.” commented Principal Race Officer, Peter Dimech. “It is a great opportunity for teams to gel together, and the finish of the Coastal Race mirrors the finish of the offshore; coming into Marsamxett Harbour under sail can be tricky, so I am sure the teams will have benefitted from the experience, as did the race management team, for us it was a dress rehearsal.”
The Coastal Race Prize Giving was held at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valletta. Followed by the Owners' Reception for the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
For full results, news and more about the iconic 606-mile Rolex Middle Sea Race: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com
Photo Credit: Alex Turnbull