Mario Debono: “The Corinthian spirit that gave birth to this race has to live on!”

#rmsr2021
#rolexmiddlesearace

Our next participant in the “Interview with a competitor, after RMSR”, is Mario Debono. He is Rear Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht club, a man with 20 years of experience in sailing and racing, with a strong crew who has proven his abilities in several races. Mario Debono’s team competes with Sun Odyssey 45, Janissah. The boat is a cruiser built-in 2008 but optimized as much as possible for RMSR racing.

Crew : Hermann Baldacchino, Davide Breviglieri, Claudio Bugeja, Kurt Camilleri, Mark Camilleri, Maurizio Iacono, Paul Masters, Dusan Raktich, Matthew Scicluna.
Matthew Scicluna is the former owner of the Maltese Falcon II and his vast experience in offshore and Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing activities is definitely a big advantage.

Hello, would you share for Yachting Info what emotions and situations came to you after the start?

There is only one way to describe this race. Hard! We started off very well 4th out of the harbor in our class. We rounded the first mark and started reeling in our competitors as our waterline length started to tell. We sailed well to Messina, but on the way, we were hit by a storm. After Messina, we experienced strong winds and big waves near Stromboli. Downwind was easier with the kite all the way up to Lampedusa after which we sailed right into that horrible weather system and truly feared that we would not come out alive. 50-knot winds and 7-meter waves all night right up to Malta. The RMSR always lives up to the emotions it promises. We enjoyed the ride but there were times when we were truly afraid. We were a good crew however and went through it. Team spirit was always high. We expected big weather and it didn’t disappoint. Our boat is essentially built for cruising not for racing but I think other cruising boats can take part in this race. The Corinthian spirit that gave birth to this race has to live on!

The next publication from the section “Interview with a competitor, after RMSR,” will appear on November 9th.

Pictures: Mario Debono; Yachting info;