Artie scores for Malta

Artie scores for Malta

There was high drama in the early hours of Thursday morning,with five Maltese boats all finishing the race in sight of each other at theRoyal Malta Yacht Club. Lee Satariano & Christian Ripard's Artie, was thefirst Maltese yacht to cross the line, quickly followed by Timmy Camilleri& Josef Schulteis' Xp-act Bank Sails, Elusive II BOV, skippered byChristoph Podesta was next but there was more to come.  Jamie Sammut'sUnica and David Anastasi & Sonke Stein's Oiltanking Juno completed thescene.

Lee Satariano & Christian Ripard's Maltese, Artie corrected out to win IRCFive and placed fourth overall in a fleet of over 100 yachts. Artie was alsothe Maltese yacht with the best corrected time in IRC and ORC, winning both ofthe Teddy Borg Trophies. After the race, the Artie crew were happy with theirperformance, despite not winning the race overall, as they have done on twoprevious occasions.
“Mentally that was a very tough race and at times very frustrating, overall Idon't think there was anything more we could have done to achieve a betterresult. At many stages of the race, if we could have found more wind, we wouldhave done, but there is an element of luck to that and this year, we were notso lucky but tactically we sailed pretty well and amongst the crew, we agreethat we probably sailed the boat better this year than we have ever done. Weset out to win our class and we are very happy that we have achieved that.”
“I think that the fact that so many Maltese boats finished so close togethershows that we are very competitive people. The level of sailing amongst theMaltese teams has definitely gone up, we have all improved, because thestandard starts somewhere and someone takes that on and so we drive each otherto new levels. Maltese sailors are also taking part in more racinginternationally and this race is getting bigger and the Maltese sailors aretaking it more seriously.”
The Royal Malta Yacht has been buzzing all day, with crews arriving back inMalta, rubbing shoulders with fellow sailors, describing the story of their ownRolex Middle Sea Race. About half of the fleet has now finished the race withmany more yachts expected to arrive today and tomorrow.
In IRC Three, Turkish Ker 40 Arkas Flying Box, skippered by Serhat Altay, isthe winner. Arkas Flying Box, held off a strong challenge from Bastiaan deVoogd Dutch team, racing Sydney 43 Coin Coin, which was second in class andVittorio Biscarini's Italian Mylius 15, Ars Una, which was third.
“Our Code Zero was a real weapon this race, especially in the wind holes.”commented Martin Watts, Arkas Sailing Team Coach. “There was no end to theenthusiasm from the team in their first major offshore race. Moral was veryhigh on board and the team sailed very well together, I must say they are areal treat to sail with, they are all best of friends and so even though wemaintain a watch system often this fall apart, allowing tired crew extra hourssleep. There was laughter, mixed with determination, a real pleasure. Ourultimate goal for this year was to win our class at the Rolex Middle Sea Raceand our efforts have achieved that, so we are absolutely delighted.”
In IRC Four, Christopher Opielok's Corby 38, Rockall IV, finished in the earlyhours of the sixth day at sea to win the class. Maltese First 45, Elusive IIBOV, skippered by Christoph Podesta was second. Maltese Xp-44, Xp-act BankSails, co-skippered by Timmy Camilleri & Josef Schulteis, was third.
“In the light conditions, we were up against it but once we got into thebreeze, this was more advantageous for Rockall, as we have a superior rightingmoment with a deep heavy keel.” Commented Rockall IV crew, Simon 'Cake'McCarthy. “The team did a great job at Pantelleria, we must have passed about20 boats with our Code Zero up and at Lampedusa, we set the A2, the sun wasshining and we knew we were going well. Then the breeze just built and built,we changed down to the Number 3 and in big waves, we were on the edge of control.There was some fantastic work on the helm and trim by Sniper and Pickel. Anawesome finish to the race.
In IRC Five, Artie was the winner. In second place was Costantin Manuele'sItalian First 40.7, Canevel Spumanti from the Yacht Club Adriaco by just over20 minutes on corrected time from Laurant Charmy's French J/111, SL EnergiesGroupe Fastwave from the South of France.
In IRC Six, Milan Hajek's First 40.7 Three Sisters finished the race thismorning, the first boat in IRC Class Six to finish and the winner on correctedtime. This is the Czech Republic team's seventh Rolex Middle Sea Race, PeppeFornich's Italian Grand Soleil 37, Sagola-Biotrading was the runner up.

To follow the race, visit the official Rolex Middle Sea Race web site –

Photo Credit: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

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