Wednesday 31st October 2018
Story from Paul Macro, owner of the X-41 “British Soldier” participating in the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2018:
2018 was the first time the British Army has entered the Rolex Middle Sea Race for many years. Our aim was to defend our 2nd place positions in RORC IRC2 and overall season’s points championship. Given we sailed the yacht from the UK to Malta at short notice, we are very pleased with our results of 8th in class (IRC5) and 33rd overall. More importantly, we have just had confirmation from RORC that this race result will win us the season’s points championship.
The RMSR was one of the toughest 600 milers any of the crew had taken part in, and none of us had competed in it before. We had the full range of conditions from flat calm to 40 knots, there were some pretty vicious seas, and it was an unfamiliar track against some very determined opposition. It was fantastic just to complete the course, and many of our competitors retired – but at least the water was warm. Highlights include witnessing the lava flows glowing on Strombolli, picking up the counter eddies while slipping through the Messina Strait at night, and surfing British Soldier down great waves at speeds over 18 knots at night under a full moon. Our X-41 performed superbly throughout.
This has very much been a team effort, not just onboard British Soldier for this race, but in all the races she has competed in over this season. For the RMSR in particular, we couldn’t have done it without those who helped with the delivery and recovery from Malta, British Soldier is enroute to Gibraltar at present.
The team onboard for RMSR were: Paul Macro, Matt Sargent, Henry Foster, Donall Ryan, Steve Hudson, Andy Pritchard, Max Morant, Jamie Hembury-Gunn, Andy Stanyard and Tom Ouvry. We have had our X-41 since 2017, and this has been her best season yet.