The 28th Middle Sea Race proved shorter than expected for many competitors as 45-knot sustained winds with lashing, 50-knot-peak puffs forced nearly half the 57-boat fleet to retire and one boat, the Australian-flagged Reichel/Pugh 60 Loki, to abandon ship because of a broken rudder.
At least one owner crossed the finish line with a smile on his face. George David’s older-generation (water-ballasted, non-canting-keel) R/P-designed 90-foot Rambler, skippered by Ken Read, nailed an elusive hat trick: line honors, corrected-time victory, and a new course record. Rambler has enjoyed a summer of victories with Read at the helm, including the HSH Nordbank blue race, from Newport, Rhode Island, to Hamburg, Germany (where Rambler also established a new course record) in July.
The David/Read relationship is a fruitful one, as Read has helped add a few pickle dishes to David’s collection; David, in turn, has provided Read with a fantastic training platform on which to prepare for next year’s Volvo Ocean Race, in which Read will be the skipper for PUMA Ocean Racing, the sole U.S.-flagged entry. David Schmidt
Posted: October 24, 2007