The annual Round Islands OffshoreRace organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club is often seen as prelude to theforthcoming Rolex Middle Sea Race, giving crews the opportunity for some longerdistance racing.
Veteran sailor Jamie Sammut, racingon his Solaris One 42 Unica won the IRC Racer 1 Class. “We had a very good start to the race, as itwas downwind all the way to Munxar, closely followed by August Rush behind us.A good shift enabled us to get a bit of a lead. A steady 11 knots North Westwind meant that we were able to go on a tactical beat all the way to SanDimitri point in Gozo. From there it was downwind to the Fairway buoy and abeat to the finish line”, said Jamie Sammut, “This race was a perfect opportunity for us tohone our skills in preparation for our third participation together in the forthcomingRolex Middle Sea Race”
In preparation for possiblechanges in weather conditions the Race Committee prepared two courses oneslightly longer than the other. In viewof the light winds that were expected in the afternoon, Race Committee opted togo for the shorter, 65 nautical mile course. Starting from Marsamxett Harbour, crews headedtowards Munxar, passing by the Valletta Fairway buoy and proceeded to Benghajsabefore heading back North towards St. Paul’s Bay Tuna pens onto Gozo pastComino and back to the finish in Marsamxett Harbour.
“The constant wind shifts thatprevailed, particularly between Bahar ic-Caghaq and Ras il-Qala on the way up, ensuredthat it was a very tactical and active race”, commented Mark Vassallo, winnerof IRC Racer Class 2. “Downwind just as tricky with less wind on the rhumb linefrom Xlendi to Cirkewwa but more breeze on both sides of it. Once we roundedAhrax, it was then an easy fast broad reach to Fairway Buoy in 10 to 15 knotsof Westerly with a magical sunset!!”
A Prize Giving ceremony will beheld at the Royal Malta Yacht Club on Friday 2nd October at 8pmonwards. The Royal Malta Yacht Club isgrateful towards all the volunteers that contribute their time and expertisetowards the organisation of such Races.
Results and further informationcan be found on www.rmyc.org