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Irish Sailors In The Frame in Malta's Middle Sea Race

23rd October 2014
Irish Sailors In The Frame in Malta's Middle Sea Race

#middlesearace – Two Irish crewed boats took podium positions in October's Middle Sea Race that concluded this morning. Racing as part of a Maltese crew Irish offshore sailors Kenny Rumball, Andy Boyle, Philip Connor and Barry Hurley are provisionally second overall and first in class three as part of Xpact, an Xp44.

After probably the toughest 24 hours in the 46 year history of the race, Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie finished the Rolex Middle Sea Race on Thursday 23 October 2014 at 00h 45m 5s in an elapsed time of 4 Days 13 hours 35 mins and 05 secs to win overall.

Last year's winner Otra Vez, a J122 with Ireland's top offshore sailing duo Liam Coyne and Brian Flahive, the August winners of the Round Britain and Ireland race, as part of the hot J-boat crew, was third.

Artie confirmed as overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race

The Royal Malta Yacht Club has been a hive of activity both day and night, welcoming back yachts taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. By Midday on Day Six 34 yachts have finished the race and 25 yachts have retired. Each and every sailor that has taken part, including those that are still out there, has a story to tell for years to come. The 35th edition of the race has been one of the most memorable in the 46 year history of the race. The storm that arrived on the fourth night of racing was ferocious in its strength and lasted over 24 hours. Thankfully, conditions have now abated somewhat and although there are broken boats and battered crew, the Royal Malta Yacht Club has received no reports of serious injuries. The majority of the fleet are expected to finish today.

Reports of over 60 knots of wind and mountainous seas abound. At the Yacht Club bar, acts of expert seamanship, in exceptionally rough seas, are the main topic of conversation. These anecdotes are resonating around the sailing community, the world over. Take Eric De Turckheim's Teasing Machine, which showed electric pace in the savage seas, only to be dismasted 20 miles from the finish. Ross Applebey and Andy Middleton's Scarlet Oyster, spent last night lashed to a fishing boat, sheltering from the storm. There are a dozen Double Handed teams still out there and soon their stories will add even more depth to what has become a fascinating race.

This afternoon, with all mathematical possibilities exhausted for all of the yachts still racing. Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie was declared the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Artie was also declared the first Maltese yacht to finish the race and winner of IRC 4, ORC 4 and ORC Overall. Godwin Zammit, Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club congratulated Lee Satariano and the entire Artie crew at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet." Smiled Lee Satariano. "But now having had the opportunity to reflect on the race, even more important than winning was the achievement of actually finishing the race in the conditions that we had out there. Even near the end my worry was not finishing, right up until the end, we knew boats were in difficulties, which was very unfortunate and that was playing on my mind until we crossed the finish line. I would like to emphasise that one thing we really promote on Artie, throughout the year, is that we have young dinghy sailors on board and a main objective is to get these youngsters out sailing, combining them with our regular crew to create the future sailors that will be representing Malta."

Artie's crew for the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race
Lee Satariano, Christian Ripard, Sebastian Ripard (co-skippers), Matthew Gusman, Sam Pizzuto, Tom Ripard, Matthew Almekinders, Gordon Bugeja, Timothy Davis.

Published in Offshore
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