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Con 39 scafi ancora in acqua, la Middle Sea Race 2009 è ben lungi dal potersi considerare conclusa. Solo 8, infatti, sono le barche...
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Foto courtesy Studio Borlenghi.

Rolex Middle Sea Race – Malta – Con 39 scafi ancora in acqua, la Middle Sea Race 2009 è ben lungi dal potersi considerare conclusa. Solo 8, infatti, sono le barche che hanno concluso la propria fatica: l’ultimo è stato DSK Pioneer Investments. Lo Swan 90 di Danilo Salsi ha tagliato il traguardo alle 3.00 di questa notte, dopo aver sofferto il calo del vento tra Lampedusa e Malta.

Un calo del vento che ha cancellato le speranze di record di ICAP Leopard e che sta rendendo la vita difficile agli equipaggi ancora in mare. Dei forti venti che hanno soffiato da nordovest, infatti, non è rimasta traccia: la brezza, come previsto, ha iniziato a girare verso sudest trasformando la bolina in poppa e viceversa. Una situazione favorevole ad Alegre e al suo armatore Andres Soriano, att uale leader della classifica in tempo compensato.

I prossimi a tagliare il traguardo dovrebbero essere Nikata, Nadejda e Calipso 4, ma i loro arrivi non sono imminenti. Le 3 barche hanno da poco doppiato Lampedusa e sono seguite, a grande distanza, da un gruppo di imbarcazioni, guidate da Strait Dealer di David Frank.

[Regattanews Press Release] The 30th Rolex Middle Sea Race is far from over with only eight yachts finished, thirty-nine yachts still on the course and twenty-three retired. DSK Pioneer Investments were the last yacht to finish, arriving at 3 o’clock this morning after enduring a slow passage from Lampedusa to Malta. Not as slow as the rest of the fleet though.

The forecast weather may not have materialised as well as hoped by ICAP Leopard, depriving her of a record, but it is developing with a vengeance for those still at sea. The strong northwesterlies that powered the leaders to Pantelleria and progressively lightened towards the Maltese archipelago have now completely dissolved. The wind has softened dramatically and, as predicted, started swinging to the southeast, changing a downwind leg into an upwind leg. Just what you do not need on a small boat entering your fourth day of racing.

The next boats expected to finish are Nikata, Nadejda and Calipso 4, by no means imminently. Currently, the three are en route from Lampedusa just to the south east of isolated island of Linosa. After these you have to look north of the Lampedusa for the next group of yachts, which includes first Maltese yacht on the water, David Frank’s Strait Dealer.

Then one is back at Pantelleria, which the frontrunners passed over twenty-four hours ago. Elusive II Medbank has just rounded the island and fired off a quick report, “We’re up two fish but one spinnaker, two halyards, and one sheet down, as well as 2-metres short on our spinnaker pole. Despite all that we’re still at it! We’ve managed to jury rig repair our broken pole to be able to fly a chute. Last night was frustrating as the wind died and changed direction. We went from a medium kite to a light, to a code zero, to the wind seeker and finally to the light no1 in a short matter of time, but finally we settled into the light southerly beat. Eggs and Bacon this morning helped keep our morale up, as we were surrounded by about 300 dolphins close to Pantelleria.”

Further back the last two yachts, the double-handers Cymba and Cambo III, continue to duke it out in their own private battle. Expected to round Capo San Vito this morning, they still have half the course to complete.

Snug in port, Andy Soriano’s Alegre is looking more secure by the hour in first place overall.

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