Bouwe Bekking, Helm, VO70 Trifork
Dutch ocean racer, Bouwe Bekking is taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race this year for the second time. For the 37th edition he is helm on the VO70 Trifork, having previously raced the course on Morning Glory in 2006 when the 86-foot Maxi won Overall on corrected time.
“The weather was really light that year, but good memories. The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a great way to end the Med season. It has all the challenges, especially with the corners you have to get around. At each one there is something new happening,” comments Bekking.
Armed with huge experience from the Volvo Ocean Race – he’s done the race seven times – and other classic races, Bekking knows full well what to expect on the Rolex Middle Sea Race: “It doesn’t matter how big your boat, how many races you have done or the level you sail at. You have to take this race seriously. Everyone likes to win, but just to get around the course you have to be well-prepared.”
Looking at this year: “The Volvo 70 is a nice boat to sail with a bit of breeze and the race looks ok for the moment, but you always know that around Sicily there is likelihood of some tricky zones. The island is so high and creates areas of microclimate, so conditions do not always pan out as you expect.”
Bekking will be in good company for the race: “Many of the crew have sailed together in round the world races, so we all know each other well and we know the boat. Even though we’ve not had a lot of time together, it should not be too hard to get the boat going.”
Picking out special moments on the race is hard, according to Bekking: “The start and finish of the race are truly spectacular, but frankly really the whole course is great. You sail in sight of land a lot of the time, and the scenery is magnificent.”