Rolex Middel Sea Race 2016 wrap up

October 31, 2016

The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a highly rated offshore classic, often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney – Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a “must do” race. This year the Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club held the 37th Edition.

122 yachts made their way to Malta this year to compete in a race on one of the most beautiful race course. Passing Scylla and taking care not to come to close to Charybdis one could only imagine how a sailor on board of Odysseus’ ship would have felt. Passing Stromboli, an active volcano at night, watching eruptions is impressive as is the Etna or the Sicilian coast.

This is all true, and I could recommend everyone who has the chance to compete to do so, however, the Mediterranean Sea is like a deck of cards. You never know what kind of weather they will deal you, the winner not only knows how to play these weather card the best, but one who also has the yacht that suits these conditions the best, regardless of the rating as faster yachts will sail in different winds compared to the slower yachts.

This year Winsome appeared at the starting line on Saturday the 22nd. However, before we could appear at the starting line, a lot had to be done. Special thanks go out to Harry who was the backbone of this project and managed multiple spreadsheets for weeks before Winsome could finally be shipped to Malta. And in Malta there was always the red Winsome logbook that appeared at breakfast, lunch and dinner with new items on the list. Leen flew into Malta at an earlier stage to make sure Winsome was safely berthed in Valetta and prepared her to make sailing possible again. Floris spent days preparing in Holland and flew in early with Harry and Leen to make Winsome ready to go. Boj and Harry spent hours and hours contemplating navigational strategies for after the start. Thank you, without your hard work the RMSR would not have been possible.

Preparation paid off, as we were third in the inshore race, the Wednesday before the start. Spirits were high and we were ready to start that Saturday. The difficult start in Valetta harbor practically summarizes how our race was for the following 600 miles. If there was a price for the yacht that sailed in the least wind, Winsome would be hard to beat this year…. Most of the course we were struggling to keep the old lady moving in the (extreme) light oscillating winds. I can not remember one other offshore in which so many sail changes were made as in this one. Despite the frustrations due to the lack of wind we thoroughly enjoyed the race and were delighted to leave Pantelleria and Lampedusa to port, crossing the finish on Thursday, finishing unfinished business after our retirement in 2014 due to 55 knots of wind….

Again, just as in 2014, it has been an unbelievable experience, one we will not be able (or want) to forget. Harry, thank you so much for allowing us to come on this adventure with you. The crew is privileged and honored to sail with you.

We look forward to coming season and sailing with you and Winsome, once again.

Pictures will follow soon, watch this site.

Post by Joost Heikens | October 31, 2016 |

1 Comment

  1. Very Nice summary of the race! It was very enjoyable to Follow Winsome on the tracker daily from home.

    by Hidde kroon | 01 Nov 2016 | 18:22