Photos © Kurt Arrigo / Rolex
Oiltanking Juno crossing the finish line at Marsamxett Harbour in the Rolex Middle Sea Race
Italian entry B2, owned by Michele Galli and skippered by Francesco de Angelis has been confirmed as overall winner of the 2013 Rolex Middle Sea Race and as if by magic, the first Maltese entries to finish the race arrived during the announcement.
The first Maltese yacht to cross the finish line at the Royal Malta Yacht Club was David Anastasi & Sonke Stein's J/133, Oiltanking Juno but it was desperately close. Just 15 minutes later, Timmy Camilleri & Josef Schultheis' XP44, X-Pact finished the Rolex Middle Sea Race. After over four days and nights of racing, the two yachts were so close at the finish.
David Anastasi commented dockside at the Royal Malta Yacht Club: "It feels really good, beautiful, we have an amazing team. It has been a long time but well worth the wait. It has been a great race but a very difficult last couple of hours when things just went hay-wire. Three different winds were converging and the amount of manoeuvres was just crazy. We lost our lead but we managed to get into better wind. We took off after them and caught them up, it was a big, big fight into the harbour."
Sonke Stein was full of praise for the crew of Oiltanking Juno. "It is a real pleasure to sail with this crew, I have been coming back year after year because of that. This is my holiday and it has been a very good one! I have seen the standard and the stature of this race grow over the last 12 years and I am very impressed with the level of the competition and how it has actually increased. I am so pleased with our result today."
Ten Maltese entries are still racing. The next Maltese entry to finish should be Edward & Aaron Gatt Floridia's J/122, Otra Vez. No doubt there will be a huge welcome party at the Royal Malta Yacht Club tonight.
To track the fleet and follow blogs from the boats, including photos and reports, go to www.rolexmiddlesearace.com