Elu­sive 2 claims first brag­ging rights

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Ac­tion at the 2016 Rolex Mid­dle Sea Race got un­der­way yes­ter­day, Wed­nes­day 19th Oc­to­ber, with a 21-mile coastal race. Or­gan­ised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club as a warm-up op­por­tu­nity to put in some prac­tice ahead of the main event which starts on Satur­day, some 33 teams en­tered. Prin­ci­pal Race Of­fi­cer Peter Dimech set a course of­fer­ing var­i­ous sail­ing an­gles and the race was sailed in de­cent breeze build­ing from 8 to 15 knots dur­ing the race. Start­ing from Marsamx­ett Har­bour, the first leg was down­wind un­der spin­naker to the Val­letta Fair­way Buoy, fol­lowed by a reach to the Munxar Car­di­nal Buoy and a beat to Benghisa Car­di­nal Buoy off the south east cor­ner of Malta. The fleet then re­turned on a re­cip­ro­cal course back to Marsamx­ett. The First 45 Elu­sive 2 sailed by Podesta fam­ily from Malta came out on top as over­all win­ners. The west­erly breeze com­ing off Malta meant there were plenty of puffs and shifts all along the east and south east coast of the is­land for crews to take ad­van­tage of. Go­ing offshore in search of sta­ble breeze or look­ing for lift­ing pres­sure in­shore proved the main tac­ti­cal puz­zle. With op­por­tu­ni­ties to sail dif­fer­ent an­gles and play shifts caused by the land ef­fects dur­ing the three to four hours of rac­ing, the Coastal Race was a great re­hearsal for the 608-mile offshore clas­sic. Elu­sive 2, jointly skip­pered by sib­lings Aaron, Christoph and Maya Podesta, all mem­bers of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, com­pleted the course in the quick­est elapsed time as well as the best cor­rected time un­der IRC. Yves Gros­jean’s French J/133 Ji­varo was sec­ond over­all and Nils Lin­de­mann's X-p 44 Xpedite took third. Class win­ners were: Vasily Shu­marin’s Raketa 1200 Belka 2 from Rus­sia, Hartl & Wolf's dou­ble­handed Aus­trian en­try the J/109 2Hard, Vadim Skl­yarov's Ukra­nian Du­four 45 Du4 and, of course, Elu­sive 2. Prizes were awarded last night in front of some 300 guests at the Rolex Mid­dle Sea Race Own­ers' Re­cep­tion & Coastal Race Prize Giv­ing held at the his­toric Fort St. An­gelo, over­look­ing Val­letta's Grand Har­bour. The next rac­ing ac­tion at the 37th Rolex Mid­dle Sea Race will be the offshore race start at 11.00 CEST on Satur­day, 22 Oc­to­ber. So­cial ac­tiv­i­ties con­tinue this evening with the Royal Malta Yacht Club's Crew Party. Cater­ing for the hun­dreds of com­peti­tors in Malta for the race, along with race of­fi­cials, vol­un­teers and VIPs, the crew party is a great send-off for the crews with live band and DJ­driven mu­sic adding to the fes­tive at­mos­phere.

Maya Podesta, skip­per of Elu­sive 2 be­ing pre­sented with over­all win­ner's tro­phy by the Hon. Mr. Chris Agius, Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Sport Photo: Rene Rossig­naud

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