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Class One Win for Nin O'Leary as Elusive 2 Maintains IRC Overall Lead to Finish of Middle Sea Race

22nd October 2020
The Podesta family's First 45 looks set to make it two in a row in the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race The Podesta family's First 45 looks set to make it two in a row in the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race Photo: Kurt Arrigo/Rolex

A strengthening breeze from the southeast has brought the key middle group of top handicap win contenders in the 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race from Lampedusa through the night and the early hours of this morning to the finish at Malta. And though the wind drew more from the east to head them as they neared Valetta, the leading home team of the Podesta family in the First 45 Elusive 2 retained the first place on handicap in which they'd clearly emerged at the Lamepdusa turn, and took what now looks like an unassailable overall win in the 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Once she'd found the breeze, Elusive's performance improved even further, and she lengthened her corrected overall lead to almost exactly two hours ahead of Dominique Tian's Ker 46 Tonnere de Glen (originally Piet Vroon's Tonnere de Breskens, and no stranger to the Round Ireland Course).

The top eight places as currently finished have underlined the exceptionally international nature of this race, which attracted entries from 21 countries, and saw 15 nations represented at the start – with crew from many more - even after pandemic restrictions reduced the boat numbers.

Third place saw a return to the frame by the Belgian Swa 50 Baltahasar (Louis Balcaen), 4th was the TP52 Freccia Rossa from Russia, 5th was the Aquila 45 Katsu from Germany, 6th was Teasing Machine from France, 7th was Hagar V from Italy and 8th was Aragon from The Netherlands with Nin O'Leary on board, which was first on IRC of the boats above 70ft and winner of Class 1.

Middle_sea_race_course

Published in Offshore
WM Nixon

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WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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