While Eric de Turckheim’s HMYD 54 Teasing Machine claimed the Rolex Middle Sea Race’s main overall prize under IRC corrected time, with Jean-Pierre Barjon’s Botin Partners 65 Spirit of Lorina in second, it was Márton Józsa’s DSS-equipped Reichel/Pugh 60 Wild Joe that completed the podium after a tough race.
The snakes and ladders continued throughout the race with a battle royal was taking place between the three surprisingly dissimilar yachts in IRC One. The leaders (Leopard 3 and Bullitt) only managed to break free of Wild Joe, Spirit of Lorina and the VO70 I Love Poland halfway between Stromboli and Palermo. Among this group, Wild Joe extended away in the light conditions only to be caught again in the stronger upwind leg south to Pantelleria. Here the VO70 I Love Poland overtook them, extended down to Lampedusa, an advantage she then retained until the finish. At the finish line off Valletta, I Love Poland was 1 hour 42 minutes ahead of Wild Joe in turn 33 minutes in front of Spirit of Lorina. On corrected time, this translated into Spirit of Lorina claiming IRC One and finishing second in IRC Overall with Wild Joe second in IRC One and third in IRC Overall.
“We are very happy with the result – this was the best result we’ve had,” admitted Wild Joe’s owner Márton Józsa. “The weather suited us: Wild Joe is a light, narrow boat and even in these very light conditions we were always moving.” This was especially the case after Stromboli. “We had a night of no wind, but we didn’t stop.” Wild Joe’s crew are also light wind technicians – usually they race on Lake Balaton in their native Hungary: “Most of the lake races there are in very light conditions, so we are used to it…” explained Józsa.
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Original Article can be found here.