This week yachting enthusiasts assisted to one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Two yachts finished within sight of each other vying for the overall win in IRC for the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy after over 600 miles of intense racing.
Michele Galli’s TP52, B2, crossed the finish line outside the Royal Malta Yacht Club just before midnight on Tuesday, to take first position in the overall rankings but there was a nervous look among the crew. They scanned the darkness outside Marsamxett Harbour, looking for the masthead light of Vincenzo Onorato’s, Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino. As their Italian rivals came into view, the tension was obvious on board B2. Mascalzone Latino crossed the finish line just after midnight and stopped the clock. After three and half days and nights at sea, B2 corrected out to beat Mascalzone Latino by an astonishing seven seconds.
Michele Galli’s TP52, B2 is now the provisional overall leader of the IRC fleet, vying for the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy. The vast majority of the fleet are still racing but it is most likely that the corrected time, set by B2, will not be bettered.
Mascalzone Latino’s navigator, Ian Moore, was obviously disappointed with the result but upbeat about the performance of the team.