Morning Glory has claimed line honours in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The German maxZ86 crossed the finish line off the Royal Malta Yacht Club this morning at 04:02:19 local time, in an elapsed time of 2 days 16 hours 12 minutes and 19 seconds.
Morning Glory's skipper, Kristina Plattner, daughter of SAP Chairman and co-founder Hasso, commented: “I have only raced offshore with my father before, so this was a new experience for me and I was a bit anxious before the race about how it would turn out. However, so many of the crew are old friends and they really looked after me, so it was not too difficult and I really enjoyed the race. It is a beautiful race course and watching the sunrise at Stromboli will be a lasting memory. It was so beautiful and calm but at the same time my four hour watch was just finishing, so the dawn meant we could get some rest. The long beat near the finish was very tiring but it was so nice to get a warm reception when we crossed the line.”
Volvo Ocean Race skipper Chris Nicholson, one of the afterguard on board, added: “The conditions were lighter than predicted, but that doesn't surprise anyone. This is a very changeable race course, which definitely keeps your concentration. Weather forecast and routing software are not that useful, you have to see what is happening around you and react. We definitely lost a lot of ground in the latter part of the race. It was a dead beat to Lampedusa with a lot of tacks that really slowed our speed towards the end.”
Andres Soriano's Mills 72 Alegre, was the second yacht to finish the race just before dawn. Alegre beat her close rival for Mini Maxi honours, the JV72 Robertissima III (ex-Rán 2) entered by Luca Simone to the line by more than an hour.
Soriano commented: “This is the first proper offshore race that the new Alegre has done and the boat and the crew have performed well, which gives the team a lot of satisfaction. A real attraction of this race is that it is so unpredictable, I have completed a few and none of them have been the same, maybe when I have done ten races I will get to know it more but I don't think anyone can ever really know all of this race.
"I love coming to Malta for the race, the competitors and the Royal Malta Yacht Club members are what I would describe as 'real people'. The variety of the yachts and the sailors makes the occasion so special and fascinating. The high profile yachts like Alegre get a lot of media attention but I really admire yachts like the classic Infanta and all of the crews on the smaller boats taking part. Without them this race would not have 99 boats of all shapes and sizes and I feel everyone is of equal importance.”