Rolex Middle Sea Race heads into the second day of the competition

The 2019 race, the 40th edition of the 606nm classic offshore, set off from Grand Harbour on Saturday

A fleet of 113 yachts, separated into seven starts, were wafted on their way by a very gentle northerly breeze that sent cat's paws across the harbour.

Just after sunset on the first day of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, George David's Rambler (USA), the first yacht on the water, passed Capo Passero on the southwest corner of Sicily.

On Sunday, at around 11.00 am, Rambler was just eight miles off the exiting Messina Strait.

Currently second over-all, Gerard Logel's IRC52 Arobas² (FRA), positioned just south of the entrance to the narrow strait, and approaching from the southeast.

Logel is being closely followed by a number of other yachts, including Hungary’s Wild Joe, Switzerland’s Kuka 3 and Poland’s Aragon.

Overall leader BeWild from Italy made headway overnight, and is the next, small chasing pack, roughly in line with Etna.

Overnight, the southerly wind appears to have kept the fleet moving through the hours of darkness.

The wind at Capo Passero bent to the Southwest, but according to the boats further south of the leaders, it shut off at daybreak, particularly close to land.

Further north in the strait, the wind looks very light throughout the day. Once through the strait, there is light easterly funneling across the northern coast of Sicily.

At Favignana, there is currently a solid southerly flow, forecast to dip on Monday, and then build again steadily from the southeast on Tuesday.

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