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Conditions About to Change in The Middle Sea Race

18th October 2015
After the snakes and ladders of last night, Phaedo 3 managed to make it out of the Strait of Messina in front of the fleet and has so far held onto the lead over the water as they have come into the sunset at Stomboli. Who knows what will happen during the night

Carrickfergus sailor Ian Moore, navigator on Vincenzo Onorato's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino, reported feeling mixed emotions on board this afternoon in the second day of the Middle Sea race. “Just having a cold beer and some antipasti to celebrate getting out of the Straits but need an anti-depressant having seen the Ireland score!” (Ian's is referring to Ireland losing to Argentina in the Q-T of the Rugby World Cup.)

So far the Rolex Middle Sea Race has produced conditions which have favoured the smaller yachts but that is about to change. The fleet caught in Messina have little wind and experiencing foul current. For now, as a guide only, leading yachts from IRC Classes 5 and 6 include; Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard's J/122 Artie, Costantin Manuele's First 40.7, Canevel Spumanti and Vikesha II skippered by Oleg Evdokimenko. However, expect the high performance yachts to get back up the rankings by tomorrow afternoon.

Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70 Phaedo3 passed through Messina Strait, approximately 24 hours into the Rolex Middle Sea Race and rounded Stromboli at approximately 1600 CET. The ballistic trimaran is expected to get into fresh breeze from the southeast during this evening. The three combined hulls of Phaedo3 have a waterline length of 60 metres (200ft) but the entire structure only weighs 7000kg. Coupled with hi-tech sails and a rotating and canting mast, Phaedo3 is capable of travelling at over twice the wind speed. Later tonight, Phaedo3 is expected to be on a broad reach in 15 knots of breeze and should be literally flying at well over 20 knots of boat speed, towards the most northwesterly point of the course, Favignana. It is highly unlikely that any of the 111 strong fleet will see Phaedo3 again, until they return to Malta.

George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 is in a commanding position to take monohull Line Honours having stretched out a 15-mile lead over Jan-Henrik Kisteit's German Maxi 72, Momo. At 1600 CET, only eight yachts had passed through the Messina Strait: Rambler 88, Momo, Mascalzone Latino,B2, Wild Joe, Varuna, Plis Play and SFS II. This pack of yachts is very likely to pull away from the fleet left in the Messina Strait, especially as the vast majority of the fleet are now experiencing negative current and will do so for the next few hours.


Published in Offshore Team

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