Doyle powered RAFALE breaks monohull course record at the AEGEAN 600

Posted at 17:29h in Press Releases by Aegean admin

At 05:17:20 local time this morning, the canting-keeled Elliot 52 RAFALE (GER) skippered by Phillip Kadelbach, crossed the outer limit of the finish line to establish a new monohull elapsed time course record in the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club’s (HORC) second edition of the AEGEAN 600. The team averaged 9.6 knots around the 605-mile race course, and their elapsed time of 63H 02M 20S smashes the previous mark of 71H 54M 00S set last year by the Farr/Felci 70 ATALANTA by nearly 9 hours.

“This was an outstanding race, everything you would want in a 600-miler,” said RAFALE owner Henri de Bokay. “It was not easy, not a cruise, we worked hard and had everything on the race course from flat calm to 30 knots of wind. And it was tricky getting around the islands with many changes in the wind.”

He explained how they also wrestled with the boat at times when the breeze was strong and enormous loads are produced by the canting keel when it helps translate heeling force into forward speed. This force became too much at times, resulting in a broken tack strap on a reaching headsail, a broken A2+ spinnaker, and two broken halyards.

Nonetheless, Bokay was excited and upbeat about the race, which said he read about in Seahorse Magazine and planned for after buying this boat, which was his friend (and relative) Tillmar Hansen’s ex-OUTSIDER. Rather than a full pro crew, his team is mostly amateur sailors and friends, which he values in his ocean racing adventures which will include more 600-milers in the future.

Gregor Stimpfl, owner of HAGAR V (ITA), finished his Scuderia 65 this morning one hour later to defeat RAFALE in corrected time in both IRC and ORC scoring, and looks to be the winner in those two classes, but not by much: only 15 minutes after over 2.5 days of racing.

Stimpfl was also upbeat about this race, saying too it was a challenge at times but an entirely appropriate test of skills in offshore sailing. His team had a hard boat-for-boat fight with Jean-Philippe Blancpain’s Vismara Mills 62 LEAPS AND BOUNDS 2 (ITA) throughout the last half of the race, finishing about an hour apart. He explained that his sailing in Lake Garda taught him about sailing along shorelines with high relief where the prevailing wind can get blocked and how this got them past their rivals.

“In the lee of Rhodos we chose to sneak along close to shore because we know there would be an opportunity for local thermals to develop as the ground heated up and cooled off,” he said. “They missed this and we managed to pass just inside them.”

The next boat to finish in the early afternoon was Karl Enzler’s Baltic 67 LURIGNIA (SUI), whose team was also enthusiastic about this race.

Tactician and pro sailor Jesper Radich said “I was really surprised at how difficult this race was and you had to pay attention all the time, the Meltemi was strong but not consistent everywhere on the course. I would like to come back and do it again now knowing more about what happens in every corner of this race. Regardless, it was a great race.”

Taking up the rear in the fleet are the Double Handed entries, where there has been a serious boat-on-boat fight for the lead in this class. Early this morning Gerasimos Petratos and Evi Delidou sailing their Dehler 30 AETHER (GRE) were finally challenged for the lead they had enjoyed throughout the first half of the race. PNEUMA (POL), Andrejz Rozycki and Adam Skomski’s JPK 10.30, caught the Greeks last night after rounding Rhodos on the long leg to Kandeliousa and then passed them after hours of racing together last night and into today’s early hours on the long leg to the east side of Kos.

No doubt being a longer heavier boat has given PNEUMA the advantage in the breezy upwind conditions in the eastern Aegean, and they have extended their lead to 13 miles at 19:30 local time. Yet anything can happen in the race as race conditions change and leads change in the final approaches to the finish.

Provisional results are available on the Official Noticeboard at https://aegean600.com/noticeboard

The AEGEAN 600 is organized by Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC) and co-organized with Region of Attica and Olympic Marine.

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