Dermot & Paddy Cronin from Ireland are the Double Handedwinners of the 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race. The father and son team took justover five days and nights to complete the race. Paolo Semeraro's Neo DoubleBanks Sails Racing had led for much of the race but finished in second placeafter a strong finish from the Irish team. Beppe Bisotto & Manuel Poloracing Fast 42, Atame was third. This was Beppe's 11th Middle SeaRace and his fifth Double Handed.
Dermot Cronin competed with his First 40.7, Encore, in thelast Rolex Middle Sea Race with a full crew but didn't finish the race due torudder problems in heavy weather. Dermot and his son Paddy have raced doublehanded before but nothing like the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
“Last year watching the Prize Giving for the Rolex MiddleSea Race, I remember thinking that the only chance I have to get on that stageis with my son Paddy.” commented Dermot Cronin. “Paddy has been tremendouslysuccessful racing double handed and I was delighted when he agreed to team upwith me this year. I have huge respect for Paddy, I get quite emotional justthinking about that, I call him my master and commander, unequivocally he isthe skipper and I am the crew. We have sailed for years and for me it doesn'tget any better than this.”
“Probably the stand-out memory of the race was when weapproaching Malta.” Commented Paddy Cronin. “We could pick up the trackeragain, we knew we were in contention but we had no idea we were leading theDouble Handed Class. Initially we thought that would be easy but then westarted doubting that, so we put up the spinnaker in strong breeze and thesnuffer jammed at the top and we knew that like that we couldn't get it down.So I went up the rig, hoisted by my Dad. It was blowing 25 knots in a confusedsea and I was bouncing around and I was thinking we had messed the race up. Soto be honest, when we came through the line there was more feeling of reliefthan anything else. When you finish a race like that it is almost surreal, youare so wrapped up in the race and we only came back to reality when we had alovely reception from Barry Hurley, who won the Two Handed Class in 2012.”
It will be an emotional moment for Dermot and his son Paddy,when they take to the stage tomorrow, for the Rolex Middle Sea Race PrizeGiving Ceremony.
Photo Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi