Monday 17 December 2012

Xp33 review Voile at the Paris boatshow

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Middle Sea Race win

 Xp 44 places 3rd Overall and 1st in class In IRC as well ORC in Rolex Middle Sea Race 2012

A record entry of eighty-three yachts lined up in the historic Grand Harbour of Malta for the start of the 33rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race ( RMSR). This race has become the most prestigious long offshore race in the Mediterranean and at par with the Rolex Fastnet and Rolex Sydney Hobart races. Xp-act Banks Sails Racing finished 3rd overall in both IRC and ORCi and first in Class 3 in both categories.

 Timmy Camilleri (X-Yachts Malta) together with Josef Schultheis, organized the preparation of the boat and just managed to get her in the water the week before the race. The experienced crew sailed together a couple of times prior to start of the RMSR but immediately gelled and their potential was evident. After a very good start in 12 knots of SE wind Xp-act Banks Sails Racing (BSR) was soon in the lead of Class 3. The 50 Nm leg across to Sicily was quite straight forward but on reaching the Sicilian coast the wind dropped, as was forecast, and from then on it became crucial to keep the boat moving and in the breeze as much as possible. With Jochem Visser as navigator, Paolo Semeraro ( Co-Skipper - Banks Sails Italy) on tactics and with local knowledge provided by Timmy Camilleri (seventeen times a participant in RMSR and four times winner ) and Sebastian Ripard (Malta’s 49er crew and winner of one RMSR ), Xp-act BSR was always up with the front runners of the fleet and in the top three positions on corrected time. The passage through the dreaded Messina Straits went well.The first trying task was sailing round the active volcano Stromboli in very light down wind conditions. At this point, Xp-act BSR was in fifth place overall but from then on with a good strategy and hard work from all the crew, we managed to move up to second place at the next two check points, with Artie, a J122 (overall winner in 2011), ahead and Hi-Fidelity a Wellbourne 46 from South Africa just behind on corrected time. The penultimate 90 mile leg between the islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa was crucial for Xp-act BSR and with some fantastic routing from Jochem Visser she managed to keep in the breeze for a changeover of weather fronts. Despite having to beat the final 40 miles in 10 knots of wind, Xp-act BSR was first on corrected time with a two hour “cushion” on Hi-Fidelity at Lampedusa. The last leg to Malta was expected to be a 100 mile fetch in 10 – 12 knots and easy for Xp-act BSR to keep her time. However, one can never be complacent in the Mediterranean in October and in fact that night Xp-act BSR was hit by a huge thunder storm with torrential rain and winds ranging from 40 to 45 knots for one hour. At the time Xp-act BSR had the Code zero up and a full main. Thanks to the skill and experience of the crew we managed to get the Code zero down with no damage but due to the ferocity of the wind had to keep running with the storm for about forty-five minutes at 13 knots in the wrong direction!

With the conditions at the time; lightening, gale force winds and torrential rain, everyone on board was glad to be on such a strong and safe boat! Eventually the storm passed but left Xp-act BSR 10 miles off course and with a light 80 mile beat in lumpy seas up to the finish! This essentially cost Xp-act BSR the race with the bigger boats riding in front of the storm reaching Malta much faster. Hi-Fidelity went on to become overall winner of the RMSR 2012 and Speedy , a Marten 49, placed second. Xp-act Banks Sails Racing crossed the finish line in Valletta on Thursday 26th October at 18.00 to a great welcome from everyone at the RMYC. Xp-act Banks Sails Racing finished 3rd overall in both IRC and Orci and first overall in Class 3 in both categories. Xp-act BSR owner and skipper Josef Schultheis was anyway very satisfied at the end of the race and said “… we managed to put together a great package of boat, sails and crew to seriously challenge for the top honours. We just missed it but will be back next year and complete our mission!”

Antwerp race

Short Video from Jamie Smith on the Antwerpen race