LateTuesday night, Esimit Europa 2’s skipper Jochen Schümann showered the Maxi crew with champagne dockside at the Royal Malta Yacht Club to celebrate taking Line Honours for the third consecutive year in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Schümann has won Olympic Gold and The America’s Cup but the ardour of the victory was etched on his face.
“That was a tough one,” explained Schümann. “We got caught up by Ran and Stig in the first parking lot at Stromboli but it was by no means the last. Our primary goal was line honours and it was impossible to relax during any part of the race. We are delighted to have taken line honours and finish of a great season in style.”
It was nearly seven hours before Niklas Zennstrom’s JV 72, Ran crossed the finish line, setting the bar for the rest of the fleet to achieve. Although this has been a slow race, Ran have put in a magnificent performance to lead a highly competitive Class 1 and lay claim to an overall win.
“Before the race we sat down as a crew and said this would be frustrating at times; at one stage we looked like we would finish on Friday and we only had food until Tuesday evening but we stayed together as a team and had plenty of time to tell a few more jokes over the last four days. Clearly we were racing Stig this race because we are very similar boats and we were very very close until the second half of the race when we managed to get away from them. But the fact that we had someone to race against made the race much more fun. We are in good shape for our class and in reality that is all that you can do and the rest is up to the conditions, so now we will have to see what will happen.”
Whilst Esimit Europa are assured of Line honours and Ran look very likely to win Class 1, the overall winner is very much undecided. All of the yachts in contention are now past Favignana, which gives a good indication of the fleet’s overall standings but only an indication. However, now that Ran has finished, we can state the exact time that others need to finish to beat their time.
In Class 4, Lee Satariano & Christian Ripard’s J/122 Artie RTFX with an all Malta crew were leading their class and the Rolex Middle Sea Race overall at Favigana. To beat Ran’s corrected time Artie RTFX need to finish on 26 October by 02:10:52.
The Class 3 leader, Josef Schultheis & Paolo Semeraro Xp44, XP-ACT was second overall at Favignana. On board are three Maltese crew; Sebastian Ripard, Timmy Camilleri and Zach Cassar Torregiani. To beat Ran’s corrected time XP-ACT need to finish on 25th October by 20:32:22.
Third overall at Favignana and second in Class 3 was the Sicialian Mylius, Zenhea Takesha, skippered by Natale Lia. To beat Ran’s corrected time Zenhea Takesha need to finish on 25th October by 14:04:25.
Fourth overall at Favignana and leading Class 2 was the South African entry, Hi Fidelity, skippered by Eddie De Villiers. To beat Ran’s corrected time Hi Fidelity need to finish on 25th October by 11:14:39
Fifth overall and third in Class 3 was Jonas Diamantino’s all Maltese crew on Comanche Raider II Gasanmamo. To beat Ran’s corrected time Comanche Raider II Gasanmamo need to finish on 25th October by 19:58:29.
Other news from Maltese yachts on the race course; Arthur Podesta’s Elusive 2 called into the media centre last night.
“We are approaching Favignana, managing just half a knot of boat speed. I recall that it took us seven days to complete the first race back in 1968 but in these modern boats, this is the slowest race I can remember. We are running low on luxury food, only one more egg and bacon fry up remaining and we have started to boil and bottle tank water just as a precaution. It is difficult to keep motivated when we are going so slowly and have few boats around us.”
Jonas Diamantino, skipper of Comanche Raider II Gasanmamo called the media office at 0900 this morning; “Unfortunately we have an injury on board and also some sail damage. Ramon Sant Hill, my co-skipper has gashed his left hand, we have disinfected it and put 5 butterfly stitches in it, luckily it is not his drinking hand! Also we have damaged our Code Zero, a very useful sail at the moment that we did not have up for three hours.”
For more information: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com