Kurt Arrigo / Rolex

Hi-Fidelity takes the lead

Welbourn 46 currently on top in the Rolex Middle Sea Race

Thursday October 25th 2012, Author: Louay Habib, Location: Malta

At 0300 this morning with a massive thunderstorm and torrential rain engulfing Malta, Nick Lazos and Periklis Livas’ Farr 52 Optimum 3 Aspida crossed the finish line to lead Class Two and the Rolex Middle Sea Race overall. However, the Greek team’s tenure on this extra-ordinary race was very short lived. At 04:18 15 Eddie De Villiers' Welbourn 46 Hi Fidelity crossed the finish line to take the overall lead in the race.

In driving rain with thunderbolts lighting up the medieval bastions, the South African crew, soaked to the skin, looked astonished to find out that they are now the hot favourites to win the overall prize for the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

To put the amazing performance into perspective, Hi Fidelity’s corrected time was nearly seven hours quicker than Niklas Zennström’s JV72 Rán but the team had no idea until they finished.

“We didn’t have a clue how well we were doing until we finished, it is unbelievable,” exclaimed De Villiers. “The crew have been absolutely fantastic, I can not give them enough praise. This has been one hell of a race, we have had just about everything thrown at us. Coming through the Comino Strait there was a terrific amount of thunder and lightning it was all around us and the wind touched 37 knots. To come through the finish and find out that we have such a great result is truly amazing!”

Two yachts pose the biggest threat to Hi Fidelity’s overall lead: Josef Schultheis and Paolo Semeraro’s Xp44 XP-ACT and the reigning Rolex Middle Sea Race champion Lee Satariano & Christian Ripard’s J/122 Artie RTF. Both yachts are expected to finish this afternoon.

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