Caterina Nitto, Helm, DHL – Adelasia di Torres
The Italian yacht M37 DHL – Adelasia di Torres made the perfect start to the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race leading the fleet out Grand Harbour. The yacht has quite a pedigree having won three ORC World Championships (Brindisi 2009, Cherso 2011 and Kiel 2014) and two European Championships (Punta Ala 2008 & Marina di Ravenna 2013). This year, at its first outing under the new ownership of Alberto Nobis and Renato Azara she won her class at the Trofeo Formenton.
For the 37th Rolex Middle Sea Race, the Adelasia di Torres crew includes a number of highly-respected Italian sailors, including Duccio Colombi (tactician) and Lorenzo Bodini (navigator), along with the vastly-experienced Caterina Nitto as helmswoman.
Nitto has been a true seafarer for many years, captaining various sailing and motor yachts all around the world: “I’m here because I really love sailing. It is a pure joy for me rather than work. I am really looking forward to participating this year. I did the race many years ago on a big boat, but it was more a cruise than a race. We had a chef on board; it was not very sporty!”
“I’m sure I am going to enjoy this race,” Nitto continues. “The organization is fantastic, there are so many yachts here for the race, and the spirit is excellent. Everyone is so positive. I really like the spirit. Our boat is a pure racer and the guys on board are really professional in their approach. Duccio (Colombio) is an old and very good friend of mine. He is an amazing guy to sail with. Always so calm! It will be a lot of fun.”
“We are not expecting much wind, which sometimes is more stressful than a lot. We have worked on organizing our crew rotation properly and the stowage of kit inside the boat. Both areas will be very important,” she advised before the start. “It will also be very important to maintain concentration. When you don’t have much wind it is very easy to lose focus. We need to be fast during the beginning part of the race to avoid being caught up in a windless zone. Straight from the start we need to work hard, and keep the boat speed up.”
For Nitto, the Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful sailing areas in the world, and the Rolex Middle Sea Race course is rightly regarded as spectacular in its own right: “I really enjoy sailing here. The Med is like home to me and every single piece of scenery is different, every corner offers something new. Beyond that I love the history and the many different and contrasting cultures that are contained such a small area.”
She also recognizes that the Med is a challenging environment: “Every sailor will tell you it can be a very difficult place to sail. Sailing in the ocean is fascinating, but here the wind is always changing, and there is a lot of current. It can be like being in a pot of boiling water!”