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ROLEX MIDDLE SEA RACE - The Calm before the storm

Day Two Report | 12:00 CEST 22 October 2017

22 October 2017

On the first night of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the international fleet had passed Capo Passero, on the south-eastern corner of Sicily. As expected the moderate easterly wind faded, and yachts struggled to make headway during the first night. George David's American Maxi Rambler 88, made the best of the light breeze to take up a commanding lead, and after passing through the Strait of Messina at dawn on Sunday, Rambler rounded Stromboli at approximately 14:00 on day two of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The first 24 hours has been slow going, but a gale is expected to arrive from the northwest by Monday morning.

Five Maltese yachts are performing extremely well. Jamie Sammut's Unica was leading IRC Five at Capo Passero. Sean Arrigo & Brian Flahive, racing Otra Vez Double Handed, are leading their class. Timmy Camilleri & Josef Schultheis’ Xp-act, and Elusive 2, sailed by the Podesta family, are well placed in IRC Four. Jonathan Gambin’s Ton Ton Malta Charters is going well and expected to pass through the Strait of Messina at dusk on Sunday.

Unica's skipper Jamie Sammut contacted the media team at the Royal Malta Yacht Club. “Saturday night we went offshore to look for more wind, which proved to be a good tactic, and Sunday morning we went for the Sicilian coast, and again we found more wind. By midday on Sunday, we had 20 knots of wind, and made excellent progress towards Messina. At the moment, we have a huge number of dolphins leaping out of the water around the boat, which is just spectacular!”

The majority of the fleet in the Rolex Middle Sea Race is expected to pass through the Strait of Messina by Monday morning. After rounding Stromboli, the wind is expected to go to the west, putting the fleet on the wind, they will be beating across the top of Sicily in a building breeze. Gale force winds are expected to arrive from the northwest by Monday morning, with 40 knots and a significant sea state.

Six boats have officially retired from the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Proteus (USA),Vamos Adelante (ITA), Xpresso (MLT), Hispaniola (LTU) Jings! (GBR) and Wind (RUS). All crew are safe and well.

For more information about the 38th Edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race please visit:
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