A jubilant and relieved team has arrived in Malta after an epic Rolex Middle Sea Race! What an adventure this one has been, full of highs and lows but probably our best performance as a team on board Quokka. The result is not a true reflection on the team performance and boat, but that is completely irrelevant to our team as this race means a whole lot more than any result.
Over the last week we have experienced an awesome adventure with humour, determination and dedication. Not once did anyone give up or let up on any level, the race was a true test of mental strength and sailing ability and the Deep Blue Racing team delivered in abundance.
Sailing into the beautiful harbour, overlooked by the medieval Baroque city of Valetta, is always a special occasion but this time it will provide me with a memory to savour. The emotions were mixed but very positive as we crossed the finished line to the sound of the horn from the friendly Royal Malta Yacht Club.
There were hugs, handshakes and smiles all round as we completed what has been my favourite offshore race to date. (Another blog to follow about this, after a good sleep). We were very grateful to our shore support team of Sophie (fiancé), Jane (my mum) and Maire (Brian’s wife) who welcomed us ashore with fresh bread, cheese and most importantly beer!
I think we are all to tired, relived to have finished and focused on tidying the boat to really celebrate the moment. However in about 30 minutes we will have finished work and will be heading to the Royal Malta Yacht Club for that slap up lunch and bottle of Sauvignon! Then let the party begin, we are going to enjoy it for sure!
Hopefully the last sunrise on board says skipper, Philippe Falle.
Since the first morning of the 24th of october Pantelleria island is in front of us. But not easy to reach be’ cause of a great wind calm on the fleet of the small boats. At 18.00 a “groppo” at 40 knots reach us for few minutes , just the time to un fold the storm jib and to save the light One. Now an hard rain fall washes everithing…..and wind calm again! Bye bye from Le coq hardi!
Barry Hurley racing Dinah two handed
The last few days have been the slowest yet most intense racing I can remember. We dread the thought of being timed out after all this effort, but still cling to the hope of finishing within the time limit.
The stress is somewhat compensated by the amazing scenery though. After a night watching molten lava flowing down the side of Stromboli into the sea, we were treated to an amazing sunrise over the volcano as in the photo below.
We’re doing ok in our class although our main competition is now in different weather systems, so we need to work extra hard to keep in contention. Fingers crossed we have what it takes!
Very quick blog today as we have been exceptionally busy today with many sail changes, gybes and catching up! What a frustrating 24 hours for us, it started with a good position at the lead of the pack and ended having been swallowed up by the fleet! We are pushing ourselves so extremely hard to gain the lost miles and take advantage of any opportunity that may present itself!
This has been the most bizarre offshore race I have ever sailed in, and I for one am loving it! The current position is irrelevant at the moment, I don’t even know where we stand but some of the slower boats in the fleet are around us! The positions keep turning upside down and inside out on an hourly basis. Weather seem unpredictable and weather files unreliable! I have never come across conditions and a race like it!
We have an incredibly strong and resilient team, they are amazing and have the determination to succeed that will carry us across the finish line with our heads held high, safe in the knowledge that we could have done nothing more.
There are another 24 hours of light winds and then on Friday the breeze will pick up providing us with a rapid and exciting finale to this extraordinary race, assuming we have not finished by then which is unlikely! Luckily we do have a water maker onboard and sufficient food to keep us going until breakfast on Friday. Hopefully we will be washing down lunch in the Royal Malta Yacht Club on Friday with a crisp chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc!
Here is an awesome photo taken of us leaving the Messina Straights!
The ever smiling and happy skipper
Two handed entry Atame, Beppe Bisotto sent this picture of water spouts!
Rough weather through a squall on Greek Farr 52, Optimum 3 Aspida.
The Greek Farr 52, OPTIMUM 3 ASPIDA encountered a big change in the weather at Lampedusa. Photo Nyklyk
After lightnings, rain and strong wind, we managed to sail well into the transition from the north easterly to south easterly winds. This gave us the advantage to catch-up and go through approximately 35 miles in the hours of the night. The sea is still relatively flat which made it easy to fly through. Quite a difference to the early days of no wind – we nearly forgot what the sensation was to zoom by at that speed! A whole 10 to 12 knots of boat speed – sweet and wonderful for Rán II, she is loving it, more than light winds…Still pitch dark, the lightning light up the entire sky. Nice compensation since the moon had retreated in the clouds long time before. The entire Rán team is on deck, ready for the last 15 miles or so to the finish, harbour of Valetta, Malta. Hopefully the small current will be with us to the finish. The kettle is on, coffee and teas are going round, breakfast will be for later. Amazing ride – Go Rán, Go!