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11/22 - 17h01

Andrea Mura on Vento di Sardegna gets Rhum Class second, first Mono

Italian solo skipper Andrea Mura crossed the finish line of La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, the solo Transatlantic race from Saint-Malo to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe  at 15:19:36hrsTU this Saturday 22nd November, sailing to second place in the Rhum Class. In his Open 50 Vento di Sardegna the sailor from Cagliari, Sardinia finished first monohull in the Class which mustered 20 starters in Saint-Malo back on Sunday 2nd November.

Mura, who won the Classs in the last edition in 2010, completed the 3542 Nm course in an elapsed time of 20d2h19m36s, computed at an average speed of 7.34kts for the direct course. In reality he sailed 4565 miles, averaging 9.46 kts.  He finished in Pointe-a-Pitre 2d 19h 13m33s after the Rhum Class winner Anne Caseneuve on her Multi50 trimaran Aneo. Mura's course record of 2010 at 19d09h40m30s holds up.
It has not been an easy passage for Mura on this edition of La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. Aboard his optimised Umberto Felci designed Open 50 on which he won the last edition as well as the Quebec-Saint Malo race in 2012, Mura's early choice of sticking close to the Rhumb line - the direct course - after Ushant seemed to give him a big early lead but paying the price of sailing in tougher weather.  He was more than 70 miles ahead of Anne Caseneuve as she passed Cape Finisterre but at the Azores, after six days of racing, the positions changed. He struggled by being closer to the centre of the anticyclone, enduring spells of lighter winds. Ahead of him the IMOCA 60s had managed to slip under the high, but as it expanded he was slowed. Off the Azores the speeds of Vento di Sardegna dropped at times to three knots. This held him back.

But it took six days for Mura to get back on terms with the leading monohull, Wilfred Clerton (Cap au Cap Location) and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (Grey Power) and the small yellow trimaran of Jean-Paul Clerton (Berto Group) but Anne Caseneuve could extend as expected with her faster Multi50.

Once established he did not let go of his second place, working to the south again through rainstorms, squalls and calms. As Anne Caseneuve won the class with a lead of some 700 miles Mura retained control but Sir Robin Knox Johnston, the 75 year old on his Open 60 Grey Power maintined a relentless pressure and was just less than 15 miles in third place when Andrea Mura secured second into Pointe-a-Pitre.  And so the Italian skipper who is building a new IMOCA 60 for the Vendee Globe takes second, first monohull, but may regret being put up against the faster Multi 50.

Mura said: 

"I was helming 14 to 16 hours per day which is good for training but I got caught in the Azores high pressure for three days. It was really stressful. I was following the IMOCA 60s but they got past the high and it expanded and caught me it was very difficult. I was there at the wrong time, The high expanded south and caught me. I did my best to keep the boat moving, often just one knot more than the windspeed. "

"I am sad that the Rhum class was not split into Mono and Multi. Four years ago there was only three trimarans but this time there was five and I think they should have had their own start. There was enough to make a class. Anne sailed a very good race but her boat is much faster. She did a fantastic race."
"I wanted to wait for Sir Robin and cross the line with him because he made a fantastic race. He is great. He is not so young and every time he was pushing and he kept trying something new. Sometimes I thought he was done, left in a hole, but he kept coming back, born again." 

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