Artie III became the first Maltese boat to arrive back home at the Rolex Middle Sea Race after crossing the finishing line on Tuesday morning.
The team skippered by Lee Satariano, Christian Ripard and Timmy Camilleri, crossed the finish line at 09:34:44 CET on Tuesday to take the honour of being the first local boat to complete the arduous 606 nautical-mile race.
This year’s edition has provided some challenging conditions for the 114 boats that were on the starting line for Saturday’s start from the Valletta Grand Harbour.
On Monday, Timmy Camilleri had recalled the stormy conditions they were facing to try and complete the course.
“It was really exhilarating on the helm. The boat was built for those conditions. We hit 28 knots at times, which for a 40-footer is not bad.”
Fortunate to survive the conditions which, when not surfing on top of a wave could see a yacht plough into the bottom of the next, Camilleri sounded relieved by the change in conditions after Favignana.
“We have good weather at the moment,” he continued. “We are taking the opportunity to dry out the boat and ourselves. We parked up for a bit at the northwest corner of Sicily, like most of the boats, and lost a bit of time before we got back into the breeze. We are now moving well and clocking up miles pretty quickly.”
The 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race will remain in the history books of the regatta with Argo setting a new course record when coming home in 33 hours 29 minutes and 28 seconds, obliterating the previous race record of 47 hours 55 minutes and three seconds, set by the monohull maxi, Rambler, in 2007.
Comanche on the other hand set the record for Monohull when clocking an elapsed time of 40 hours 17 minutes and 45 seconds was also well inside the previous best.