The 2019 Rolex Middle Sea Race began this past Saturday, with a fleet of well over 100 yachts departing from Grand Harbour in Malta. Ted Turner once described the setting of this race as "the most beautiful race course in the world." Although the scenery may have been beautiful, the wind conditions were not. As the lack of wind sucked the life out of the majority of the fleet, one boat powered through the rest, escaping the clutches of the great Sicilian wind shadow, which formed off the northern coast.
IHYC's George David once again helmed Rambler 88 to Monohull Line Honors and finished 160 nautical miles in front of the next boat. David has an impressive history of success in this race and has now taken Monohull Line Honors for the fifth year in a row. He described the race conditions and modifications made to Rambler 88, stating "This race has challenging conditions because it's up and down so much. We were parking and at some times going 20 knots, so it's a challenge to keep it all together. The boat is much improved from over a year ago. We were here in 2018 at the same time, and since then, there has been a new mast, a new keel and the boat is a ton and a half lighter, which has improved our light wind performance substantially, if not dramatically."
David also set a course record aboard Rambler in 2007 at 47 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds. This year Rambler 88 completed the 606nm course in a time of 2 days 19 hours and 43 minutes.
Sources: rolexmiddlesearace.com, sail-world.com