Sunday, November 10, 2013

J/111 Gone Fishin' in Middle Sea Race?!

J/111 sailor- Massimo Colossimo- sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race(Gzira, Malta)-  We had an interesting update regards the performance of Massimo Colossimo’s J/111 J/STORM in the recent Rolex Middle Sea Race- the 606nm race that starts/finishes in Malta and goes around a series of islands in the Mediterranean that includes several active volcanoes like Sicily, Italy!  Said Colossimo about their race, “we had some bad luck on J/STORM during the Middle Sea Race.  After the fast run from Malta to the first mark in the Straits of Messina (between Sicily and mainland Italy), J/STORM was amongst the leaders of the race.  By playing the left of the course, we were able to hold nice speed before rounding Stromboli and were leading the ALL of the J/Teams in the fleet.

However, during the first night of the race, we caught a huge fishing net in the rudder and propeller.  I ended up jumping overboard at night to clean the bottom after we realized we had a speed problem!  You cannot believe what I found (see picture here of the offending nylon net and buoys)!!

The sad part for us was that the whole situation took place in light air and was much more complicated than we expected.  As a result, it took place long enough for us to lose contact with the leaders and, unfortunately, delayed us from catching the next good breeze.  Short delays, in a distance race, as you know, add more delays and more frustration!

The rest of the race became an uphill battle for our crew, but we never lost concentration and to catch back up with the leaders in the light air windward beat at the Lampedusa Island rounding.  In fact, we were ahead of the J/122 ARTIE RTFX and near the J/122 OTRA VEZ.  Then, we had one unfortunate tack that took us back out of the lead!  In any case, it was a Herculean effort and we hope next time to have a little bit better luck!”