What a boat is Teasing Machine, winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race of the bonanza


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teasing machine
Teasing Machine, the 16-meter winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race

The 43rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has a winner.

Teasing Machine Wins Rolex Middle Sea Race

While waiting for the full rankings to emerge, it is French owner Eric de Turckheim ‘s NMYD 54 (Nivelt-Muratet Yacht Design) Teasing Machine that is the overall IRC winner of one of the most long-suffering editions of the regatta.

The Middle Sea is certainly the “Fastnet of the Mediterranean,” 606 miles starting in Malta, circling Sicily in a counter-clockwise direction leaving the islands of Stromboli, Favignana, Lampedusa and Pantelleria on the left, still arriving in Malta. But there was a lack of wind this year, causing so many retirements (and there are boats still racing).

Teasing Machine, born to run in IRC

Let’s see what boat is Leasing Machine, owned by the vice commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Eric de Turckheim (72) and also with an Italian on board, Gabriele Olivo (Bellunese, born 1978, with Luna Rossa at the 2003 America’s Cup as designer and at the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race aboard Telefonica Blu). In the meantime, let’s start by saying that he has already come close, several times, to hitting the jackpot. In 2017 she finished third overall and first in class, in 2019 she was second in class, third in 2020 and second again last year.

The boat, launched in July 2017 at the King Marine shipyards in Valencia (great composite specialists who also recently built FlyingNikka, the first flying offshore boat) is a prototype created to go faster within the IRC racing regulations. It is 16.54 m long and 4 m wide, with a long keel fishing 3 m.

It was designed by a very famous firm that was once called Joubert-Nivelt and that in 2016, founder Michel Joubert having passed away, the firm’s other partner Bernard Nilvelt sent forward by co-opting the best of its designers, Alexis Muratet.

Fixed keel and walking

The deck looks a lot like the VO65s in the Ocean Race, with a very similar configuration characterized by the open cockpit. Its real secret to winning in IRC is its keel: it is not canting, not retractable. A good old fixed keel, among other things without a bulb but with a heavy fin. Ideal for rating gains in IRC, where great performance is matched by great penalties in plywood, and it is necessary to find the right balance between performance and rating.

“It’s not a cruising boat, it’s a racing boat, but quite comfortable,” de Turckheim had told. “You have hot water, an oven, two refrigerators. It’s very ‘bad’ when you look inside, but it’s really comfortable to use in terms of bunks, kitchen, shower. The little details you don’t find on a racing boat.”

In any case, tightly drawn lines, sophisticated construction, and a crew of good sailors with tactical sense made it juggle gusts and breezes to the best of its ability.

“Like a Marathon”

“Winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race is a great thrill,” said de Turckheim. “This is our first 600-mile victory ever, after having several podiums around the world. Also, the Middle Sea is definitely our favorite “600” because of the complexity of the course, and the winds.”

de Turckheim has a real passion for the long 600-mile races (such as Fastnet and Sydney Hobart): born into a family of sailing enthusiasts, his dream from a young age was races like the Sydney Hobart. “It’s like running a marathon. You never have to give up, 24 hours a day, endurance and teamwork count. This Middle Sea Race was our seventh race over this distance, and the experience at the end came through.”

Rolex Middle Sea Race, the rankings

In IRC overall, Teasing Machine won ahead of Barjon’s Botin 65 Spirit of Lorina and Hungarian Marton Jozsa’s Reichel Pugh 60 Wild Joe. First of the Italians, in fifth place, was Guido Paolo Gamucci’s Mylius 60 CK Cippa Lippa X.

In ORC, Wild Joe wins on Spirit of Lorina, in third place the TP52 Red Bandit.





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