After a searing start from Malta three days ago in good winds, Alfa Romeo's speed peaked at 23 knots and as the yacht approached the southern shores of Sicily she was well ahead of record pace. Navigator Murray SPENCE (NZL) said, 'We definitely thought the race record was on. We had a very good first day, and we got through the Strait of Messina pretty well, so we were optimistic. But then along the top of Sicily the wind died and we parked up.'
From then on, Alfa Romeo's race became a very stop-start affair, and the 20 miles from Palermo to Trapani was a particularly painful time for CRICHTON's crew as Morning Glory and Thuraya Maximus closed the gap by 40 miles. Since then CRICHTON's maxi rivals have been breathing down his neck. As Alfa Romeo turned the final corner for the finish in Marsamxett Harbour, the two chasing Maxis were still battling out in their private duel. Despite Morning Glory being 14 feet shorter and quite a bit smaller than the 100 foot Thuraya Maximus, Hasso PLATTNER's (GER) yacht had led its bigger rival for most of the course. They have been leapfrogging each other from the very start of the race on Sunday morning, although in the dying miles before the finish Paul CAYARD (USA) steered the larger maxi past Morning Glory to take the runners up spot, finishing at 16:36:02, just 15 minutes in front of Morning Glory.