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Rolex Middle Sea Race | October 2006

ABN AMRO ONE is fourth to arrive

25 October 2006
By Rolex Middle Sea Race Press Office

ABN AMRO ONE arrived in fourth place this afternoon, completing the 600-mile offshore course of the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2006. Maxi Yacht Alfa Romeo was first to cross the line yesterday afternoon followed by Morning Glory and Thuraya-Maximus in third.

Mike Sanderson always knew that it was going to be a big challenge bringing a rough, tough ocean racing boat like a Volvo Open 70 into the predominantly light airs of the South Mediterranean, and so it proved. "It was a very light air race to take four and a half days to do 600 miles in a Volvo Open 70, that's very slow," said Sanderson, smiling as he stepped ashore. "It was the same for everyone, of course, just not ideal VO70 conditions.

"We had a really good first day and first night, at one point we were right next to Alfa Romeo, so 20 hours into it we were in good shape, but then we got dropped. While we drifting around doing 1 or 2 knots, they must have been doing 10. Then we got parked near Stromboli for six or seven hours and then the whole fleet moved up to us. Eventually we stretched away but the damage was done by then."

Although the gaps to the rest of the fleet are large, if new breeze arrives in the next day it could bring the smaller boats within striking distance of handicap victory. However Hasso Plattner's 86-foot canting keel Maxi, Morning Glory, is tightening her grip on the race lead under the IRC corrected time system, and the number of yachts that can threaten her position at the top of the leaderboard is dwindling by the hour.

Up to now, four boats have finished and three have retired. Sixty one yachts are still racing and are due to cross the line tonight and tomorrow.

TEAM ABN AMRO

© TEAM ABN AMRO | Rolex / Kurt Arrigo | www.abnamro.com/team


Wind plays hard to get at Middle Sea Race

23 October 2006
By Rolex Middle Sea Race Press Office

TEAM ABN AMRO

© TEAM ABN AMRO | Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi | www.abnamro.com/team

The big three Maxis may not be going very fast, but they're still going a lot faster than the rest of the fleet in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Alfa Romeo led Morning Glory and Thuraya Maximus around the growling volcano Stromboli in a trickle of wind yesterday afternoon. When ABN AMRO ONE reached Stromboli just before midnight, there was no breeze, not a sniff of it.

"It has been a bad 24 hours," said skipper of ABN AMRO ONE, Mike Sanderson. "We could still see Morning Glory and Thuraya Maximus as we passed through the Strait of Messina, and even at 10 o'clock yesterday morning we were still less than three miles from Maximus." However it was the stretch between Messina and Stromboli where the breakaway began, when the Maxis kept on rolling while the Volvo Open 70 rumbled to a halt. "We reached Stromboli and we sat there and parked. There wasn't a lot we could do about it. We got caught up by half the fleet, and passed by four or five boats."

One of those boats was Moneypenny, the American Swan 601. Despite overtaking the VO70, Moneypenny was also hurt by the lack of wind at Stromboli as navigator Mark Rudiger explained. "We're back into our head-to-head battle with our buddies on Spirit of Jethou (a British Swan 601). We had a big lead coming in towards Stromboli, and then we hit a big hole. ABN AMRO ONE got the worst of it, we actually passed them if you can believe that. It was great watching all the volcanic activity on Stromboli, although we were getting a bit tired of looking at it after six hours!"

Sanderson, too, was grateful for the change of scenery, although Stromboli was putting in quite a fireworks display - perhaps in answer to the lava spewing from Mount Etna the night before. "We saw some mini-eruptions during the night, it was pretty incredible watching hot lava being thrown into the air," said the New Zealander, "but we're glad to moving on now." At one point it seemed as though the whole fleet had re-gathered at Stromboli ready for a restart. Certainly the smallest boats - just half the length of the Volvo 70 - had moved to within just a few miles of ABN AMRO ONE before Sanderson and his crew finally got moving again this morning.

"Now we're sailing in 8 knots of breeze, so it's still light airs but we're back out in 4th place on the course," commented Sanderson this afternoon. As to whether he can make up a deficit of more than 100 miles to 2nd and 3rd placed Morning Glory and Thuraya Maximus is another matter. "We'll have to hope the leaders fall into a hole so we can catch them up. Tonight the wind might get up to a whopping 13 or 14 knots. It's amazing what you can get excited about.

"We've got to remind ourselves that ABN AMRO ONE was designed for the Southern Ocean, not the South Mediterranean. The thing is we do enjoy sailing the boat and in any case, the weather is beautiful. We really haven't got anything to complain about."

The first boats are due to arrive back in Malta this afternoon, around 2 p.m. and ABN AMRO ONE tomorrow morning.

© TEAM ABN AMRO | www.abnamro.com/team


ABN AMRO ONE starts the Middle Sea Race

21 October 2006
ABN AMRO ONE joined a world class fleet on the start line of the Rolex Middle Sea Race today in Malta. Mike Sanderson and his crew started at the end of the fleet, at 11:50 a.m., together with Alfa Romeo, Atalanta II, Damiani Our Dream, Morning Glory, Nikimar Amer Sport One, and Thuraya-Maximus, some of the top racing yachts in the world.

Besides Mike Sanderson and Sébastien Josse, this year's edition of Rolex Middle Sea Race hosts other three Volvo Ocean Race skippers: Paul Cayard and Matt Humphries on board Thuraya-Maximus, and Bouwe Bekking on Morning Glory. Other big names include Olympic Champion Sofia Bekatorou from Greece, competing in her first long-distance offshore race, and singlehanded round-the-world sailor Emma Sanderson. They all are hoping for favourable and strong winds for the race.

“There is a pretty impressive fleet this year ready to go head to head in this race. It should be very interesting and a great race. Obviously for us, the way that our boat is built, means that we will be looking for some decent breeze and if we get it, it will be good to get the chance to put the peddle down and really go for it. With our wide transom the lighter wind is much harder, and slower for us but either way this is a great race and should be a lot of fun”, said Mike Sanderson.

The course
The Rolex Middle Sea race is a highly rated and hard fought battle where teams are forced to navigate their way close to a number of islands that form marks of the course. After spending the last two days competing in coastal racing in Malta, where ABN AMRO ONE took line honours in both races, all 66 entries are now warmed up and ready to go.

The offshore race itself takes the boats from Malta towards Sicily when they begin an anticlockwise loop around the island. The fleet first go north past Mount Etna and through the Strait of Messina, around the volcanic island of Stromboli, then west to the Egadi islands and Trapani at the northwestern corner of Sicily, before heading south past Pantelleria, around the island of Lampedusa, close to the north African coast and back to Malta.

The first boats are expected to complete the course in approx 68 hours returning to Valetta in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Crew
A mix of ABN AMRO ONE, ABN AMRO TWO and shore crew is on board for this race: Mike Sanderson, Sidney Gavignet, Rob Greenhalgh, and Justin Slattery (ABN AMRO ONE), Sébastien Josse, George Peet, Nick Bice, and Scott Beavis (ABN AMRO TWO), Mike Quilter (navigator), Neil Cox and Matt Stechmann (shore crew), Phil Harmer and Emma Sanderson.

Clik here for the Race Tracker and positions.

TEAM ABN AMRO

© TEAM ABN AMRO | www.abnamro.com/team

TEAM ABN AMRO

© TEAM ABN AMRO | Rolex / Kurt Arrigo| www.abnamro.com/team

First to finish, ninth on the corrected time

18 October 2006
Once more light to moderate breezes prevailed during the second in-port race before the Rolex Middle Sea Race begins this Saturday. ABN AMRO ONE crossed the finish line ahead of the fleet but ended in ninth place on the corrected time.

“I think I was in a hurry this morning”, said skipper Sébastien Josse “because we broke the start line too early as we sailed out of Marsamxett Harbour.” A second sound signal told the fleet that one or more boats had started early, but it took some 15 minutes of upwind sailing before ABN AMRO ONE sailed back towards the line.

When ABN AMRO ONE restarted the Maxi and TP52 were almost over the horizon, and it took until the halfway point of the race, the turning point at the small isle of Filfla, before ABN AMRO ONE took the lead again.Having winning this regatta, the Russian TP 52 Rusal Synergy is the overall winner of the in-port races.

Offshore race
The gun for the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2006 goes off this Saturday at 11 a.m. and will take the fleet along 607 nautical miles, anti-clockwise. Starting from Marsamxett Harbour, Valetta, the fleet head north along the eastern coats of Sicily to the Straits of Messina. Once through the Straits the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the boats turn west to the Egadi Islands.

Passing between Marettimo and Favignana, the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port. Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg to the Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.

© TEAM ABN AMRO | www.abnamro.com/team


ABN AMRO not to enter next Volvo Ocean Race

18 October 2006
ABN AMRO today announced that it will not enter the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009. ABN AMRO’s participation with two boats in the 2005-2006 round-the-world race was a huge sporting and marketing success. This was ABN AMRO’s first global sponsorship project aimed at uniting the worldwide territories of the bank, raising global awareness of the brand and introducing the global tagline ‘Making more possible’.

ABN AMRO ONE achieved overall race victory when it arrived in Gothenburg on 17 June 2006 with six offshore leg wins out of nine, and five out of seven in-port race victories. This was undoubtedly one of the most outstanding performances in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race. ABN AMRO TWO finished in an impressive fourth place overall, as well as breaking the world 24 hour speed record during the event.

ABN AMRO ONE and ABN AMRO TWO
The campaign’s primary objectives were to involve employees from all key territories around the world, achieve worldwide brand exposure, create a platform for client hospitality, communicate the core values of the bank to a global audience, and win the race. All objectives were achieved during the race.

Jan Berent Heukensfeldt Jansen, Managing Director of TEAM ABN AMRO commented: “The Volvo Ocean Race has been a great marketing platform for us and its impact will continue long into the future. We entered the Volvo Ocean Race as a three year, one-off campaign to meet specific objectives, promoting the unity and strength of the ABN AMRO brand to a global audience. We did everything we could to win the race, and with a combination of teamwork and professionalism TEAM ABN AMRO travelled the world reflecting all that the bank stands for. The results of the campaign confirm that all our objectives have been met, which is largely thanks to the outstanding effort made by the large number of people involved. The Volvo Ocean Race is a unique event with a global following, and one which we are very proud to have been part of.”

© TEAM ABN AMRO | www.abnamro.com/team


17 October


ABN AMRO ONE will sail in the 2006 Rolex Sydney–Hobart Yacht Race. The race, which starts in Sydney Harbour on 26 December, is a world-class event, attracting some of the greatest names of yacht racing. In Australia’s sporting calendar it ranks alongside cricket, tennis and the Melbourne Cup horse racing.

Skipper Mike Sanderson will be joined navigator Stan Honey, Brad Jackson, Justin Slattery, and Brian McInnes from ABN AMRO ONE, George Peet, Scott Beavis, and Nick Bice from ABN AMRO TWO, Neil Cox and Matt Stechmann from the shore crew, Phil Harmer and Emma Sanderson.

Mike commented: “It is great for us to be back on this side of the world with ABN AMRO ONE. This is a fantastic event and it will be great to get out on the water and let the boat get back in her stride. I think we may well be due for a blowy race, so it could be very interesting – it is always good to get a fleet of big boats offshore in the conditions they were made for and race against each other. I am looking forward to it.”

Sydney-Hobart
The historic event, in its 62nd year has a reputation and long history unequalled by any other yearly yacht race. The course takes the fleet out of Sydney Harbour and then down the East Coast of Australia, across the Bass Strait finishing in Hobart, Tasmania.

The crew on board have their sights firmly on line honours and a race record if the conditions suit the wide-transom, ABN AMRO ONE. The current race record is held by Wild Oats for completing the course in 1 day, 18 hours, 14 minutes and 10 seconds.

Click here for more information about Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race.


© TEAM ABN AMRO | www.abnamro.com/team


Light winds on first in-port race

17 October 2006
The light airs, which propelled the small Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet on a 28-mile out-and-back trip around the neighbouring island of Comino, didn't suit ABN AMRO ONE today.

Having skipper of ABN AMRO TWO Sébastien Josse replacing Mike Sanderson at the helm, ABN AMRO ONE finished the race first after 2 hours 46 minutos and 27 seconds, but ended up in fourth in the corrected time. The Russian TP 52 Rusal Synergy's was today's winner.

"With winds reaching 8 to 12 knots we were able to be the first but not the fastest today. This is the first time I helm the boat during a small race and it's very nice to feel the difference between ABN AMRO ONE and ABN AMRO TWO. This boat is perfect and the black boat crew, Justin, Sidney and Rob, know her very well", said Seb Josse.

TEAM ABN AMRO

© TEAM ABN AMRO | Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi | www.abnamro.com/team


First in-port Rolex Middle Sea Race

17 October 2006
This time under the command of Sébastien Josse, today
ABN AMRO ONE is due to race the first in-port race that precedes the Rolex Middle Sea Race that starts on Saturday 21 October. The regatta begins at Marsamxett Harbour, heading towards the Island of Gozo and returning past Comino.

Sébastien Josse, the skipper of ABN AMRO TWO, is replacing Mike Sanderson who is in New Zealand “Mike had some personal appointments in his country but he will take over his duties again in the official race this Saturday”, said Josse.

The crew on board is a mix of both ABN AMRO crews and shore team: Sidney Gavignet, Rob Greenhalgh, and Justin Slattery (ABN AMRO ONE), Nick Bice, Scott Beavis, and George Peet (ABN AMRO TWO), Mike Quilter (onshore navigator), Matt Stechmann (rigger), Emma Sanderson and Phil Harmer (ex-ABN AMRO TWO).

TEAM ABN AMRO

© TEAM ABN AMRO | Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi | www.abnamro.com/team


ABN AMRO ONE to race the Rolex Middle Sea Race

5 October 2006
with collaboration of www.rolexmiddlesearace.com

Closing the appearance in the European racing circuit this year, the next challenge for ABN AMRO ONE – and the first offshore course after the VOR - is the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2006. The race starts from Marsamxett Harbour, Malta, on Saturday 21 October at 11 a.m.

Rolex Middle Sea Race’s course has 607 nautical miles and is sailed anti-clockwise. Starting from Marsamxett Harbour, Valetta, the fleet head north along the eastern coats of Sicily to the Straits of Messina. Once through the Straits the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the boats turn west to the Egadi Islands.

Passing between Marettimo and Favignana, the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port. Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg to the Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.

“I’m looking forward to the Middle Sea Race as it has been fun racing against all sorts of different boats. ABN AMRO ONE will be racing in the IRC division and we hope to win on handicap, which is possible if we get some breeze”, said Mike Sanderson.

The first boats are expected to complete the course in 68 hours, heading back to Valetta on Tuesday first hours of the morning. The final prize giving at noon on 28 October. Maxi Turbo Sled Zephyrus IV established the current Course Record of 64 hours 49 minutes and 57 seconds in 2000.

At this moment ABN AMRO ONE is going under maintenance in La Ciotat, France. "We are doing a complete revision and overhaul on the Cariboni equipment, repainting the decks and the booms, taking out some of the Volvo devices, and simplifying the setup in general. The boat is scheduled to get back to the water this Monday", said Ben Wright, Technical Project Manager.

The fleet
The entry list for the race stands at 66, eight more than last year's chart-topping 58. The fleet comprises some of the biggest and fastest racing monohulls in the world, crewed by America's Cup stars and round the world race winners, and, with no fewer than 18 nationalities represented. Paul Cayard will be racing on board the Maxi Thuraya – Maximus.

In-port races
Preceding the Rolex Middle Sea Race itself are two in-port races on 17 and 18 October. The first will begin at Marsamxett Harbour, heading towards the Island of Gozo and returning past Comino and the second also starts at Marsamxett Harbour, but heads clockwise around Malta heading behind the island of Fifla.

© TEAM ABN AMRO | www.abnamro.com/team


Sanderson and Josse shortlisted for ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2006

2 October 2006
Skippers Mike Sanderson and Sébastien Josse have been shortlisted for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2006. The criteria for nomination were 'outstanding achievement' in the period 1 September 2005 to 31 August 2006. The shortlisted sailors, male and female, cover a broad spectrum of accomplishment within the sport and close voting is expected to decide the winners.

The 121 ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) - the national governing bodies for sailing - around the world will now be invited to vote for the one female nominee and one male nominee whom they feel deserves the honour of receiving the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2006.

The winners will be unveiled at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards Dinner and Presentation on 7 November 2006 at the Wanha Satama, an historic warehouse in the harbour district of Helsinki, Finland. Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a Rolex timepiece.

Achievements
Skipper of ABN AMRO TWO, Sébastien Josse, was nominated after breaking the 24-hour distance record - 563 nm – during Leg 2, the outstanding seamanship displayed during the quick recovery of crew mate Hans Horrevoets, and the rescue of the movistar on Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006.

Mike Sanderson’s leading throughout the Volvo Ocean Race was the motivation of his nomination. Mike and ABN AMRO ONE picked up maximum points at all but one of the scoring gates, and from a maximum of 108.5 points available they picked up 96. ABN AMRO ONE has won 7 out 9 legs and 5 out of 7 in-port races.

© TEAM ABN AMRO | www.abnamro.com/team


Rolex Middle Sea Racing | October 2006


The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a highly rated offshore classic, often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney - Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a "must do" race. The Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club co-founded the race in 1968 and 2003 will be the 24th Edition. Save for a break between 1984 and 1995 the event has been run annually attracting 25 -30 yachts.

The race is a true challenge to skippers and crews who have to be at their very best to cope with the often changeable and demanding conditions. Equally, the race is blessed with unsurpassed scenery with its course, taking competitors close to a number of islands, which form marks of the course. Ted Turner described the MSR as "the most beautiful race course in the world".

Apart from Turner, famous competitors have included Eric Tabarly, Cino Ricci, Herbert von Karajan, Jim Dolan, Sir Chay Blyth and Sir Francis Chichester (fresh from his round the world adventure). High profile boats from the world's top designers take part, most in pursuit of line honours and the record - competing yachts include the extreme Open 60s, Riviera di Rimini and Shining; the maxis, Mistress Quickly, Zephyrus IV and Sagamore; and the pocket rockets such as the 41-foot Strait Dealer.

www.rolexmiddlesearace.com