Our pal trackday aboard the all-conquering STP-65 Rosebud is back on the beat for the Middle Sea Race.
Rosebud is in Malta preparing for our final event of the season; the Middle Sea Race. There is a nice fleet of boats here that include RAN, Luna Rosa, Bella Mente, Leopard, Beau Guest and Alegre. Unlike last years 4 day race, this year the weather is setting up for a fast race that could allow the big boats to surpass the elapsed time record of 47hrs 55min set by Rambler two years ago when only a handful of boats were able to finish the race due to the extreme conditions.
The big breeze reaching conditions may not be too good for our boat as the IRC boats that have less rocker (lateral shape) and full bows have more form stability than we do and this gives them greater reaching ability. However, the big breeze may also push some of these light weight boats to their structural limits forcing the crews to slow the boats in order to preserve the structure. So, some unexpected opportunities may develop. Lastly, the timing of the low pressure passing over the fleet will be critical in determining which boats get to sail the shortest course in the most favorable conditions. It should be interesting.
A water spout interrupted our first day of practice (see video above). While we were transitioning from 1 to 2 reefs in the main, the spout developed. It tracked toward us for about 3 minutes and got within about .5 nm (close enough for me). I hope that is not an omen for what we will encounter during the race. As the weather allows, I will post updates here during the race.