Light winds conspire in Morning Glory's favour as ABN AMRO One drifts across Middle Sea finish line 26/10/06

ABN AMRO One drifted across the finish line of the Rolex Middle Sea Race yesterday afternoon, almost 24 hours after the trio of SuperMaxis finished.

Mike Sanderson always knew that it was going to be a big challenge bringing a rough, tough ocean racing boat like a Volvo Open 70 into the predominantly light airs of the South Mediterranean, and so it proved. Commenting Sanderson said: “It was a very light air race to take four and a half days to do 600 miles in a Volvo Open 70, that’s very slow. It was the same for everyone, of course, just not ideal VO70 conditions.

“We had a really good first day and first night, at one point we were right next to Alfa Romeo, so 20 hours into it we were in good shape, but then we got dropped. While we drifting around doing 1 or 2 knots, they must have been doing 10. Then we got parked near Stromboli for six or seven hours and then the whole fleet moved up to us. Eventually we stretched away but the damage was done by then.”

Although the gaps to the rest of the fleet are large, if new breeze arrives in the next day it could bring the smaller boats within striking distance of handicap victory. However, Hasso Plattner’s 86-foot canting keel Maxi, Morning Glory, is tightening her grip on the race lead under the IRC corrected time system, and the number of yachts that can threaten her position at the top of the leaderboard is dwindling by the hour.