Sailing Logic Blog

Cat and Mouse Games!

The 2013 Rolex Middle Sea Race can so far be summed up with the phrase – “It’s anyone’s game!” The shifty, light winds have given advantages where least expected, giving equal opportunities to both newcomers and experienced yachts and Lion Logic have been in full hunting mode overnight!

Artie-RTFX the local Maltese yacht in class 3, favourite to win and previous winner has a tremendous amount of local knowledge on board, yet after their great start, their lead has been continually eroded from 1st in class, to 15th at the last checkpoint.

The same for Trustmarque Quokka who have also competed in this race the previous 2 years; by the first checkpoint, Capopassero, they were 7th in class and rating well Overall. However their position has also been constantly eroded and at checkpoint 5, Pantelleria, they were 25th.

Meanwhile Kabestan Intuition the other Reflex 38, who were a long way behind the fleet leaders in 26th place at Checkpoint 1 have sailed their socks off and are now up in the top 15!

The frustrations of lightwind sailing include hiking on the low side (never comfortable), tiptoeing around the boat to not cause any undue  speed loss, and always feeling like someone else might be doing better. The merest gust increasing boat speed by just 0.5 knots can actually give mean a significant increase over your competitors (if they are only doing 1knot)!

Between Favigana (checkpoint 4) and Pantelleria (5), the race was largely a reach, with little opportunity to make gains through clever tactics, or slick manoeuvres – so we saw the positions remain largely unchanged. Between Pantelleria and Lampedusa (6) however was an upwind leg, and each boat took its own course:

Lion Logic who lost their position after blowing up their kite, are trying everything they can to get back in to the race. At Pantelleria (5) they were sat in a mid-fleet position (27th) and following everyone else like sheep means they can maintain their position, but are unlikely to make significant gains. So at every opportunity they are taking risks, doing something different, in the hope that it will pay off. Between points 3 and 4 their move South appeared to cost them a few places, but their radical course between 5 and 6 appears to have made great gains! From Lampedusa to the finish is a straight line race again, so this was the vital leg!

Clearly Tim & Jim and crew on Lion Logic have been working very hard - and at the latest position update they have overtaken Seawolf of Southampton and caught up with Kabestan Intuition on the water and overtaken Quokka on handicap!  Great work team!!

Please tweet your support to the guys using these hastags #SailingLogic #RolexMiddleSea !

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