Challenging, tactical & iconic: Annual Rolex Middle Sea Race in Malta

July 13, 2017 | By forimmediaterele | Filed in: Feature Releases.

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The historic and magnificent bastions that keep the Valletta Grand Harbor in Malta in a safe embrace could not provide a better setting for the start of one of the most iconic offshore sailing races in the world – the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Despite its simple course, 606 nautical miles starting from and ending in Malta, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is a complex one, with varied wind and sea conditions posing a serious tactical challenge for crews. Notwithstanding, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is considered to be one of the most scenic race courses in the world.

Conceived as the result of sporting rivalry between great friends and Royal Malta Yacht Club members Paul and John Ripard and British sailor residing in Malta, Jimmy White, the Rolex Middle Sea Race, now in its 38th Edition, has grown enormously, attracting many prestigious names in yachting and hundreds of Corinthian crews from across the globe, all wanting to be part of the race’s history. Now, truly an international race, crews from more than 15 countries have already registered for the 2017 Edition.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race offers a true test for skippers and crews who have to deal with unpredictable weather and often wild seas. Participants frequently describe it as a very tough yet special race. The conditions in October can change dramatically and almost instantly, with the wind rising from a feeble zephyr to punishing, boat breaking potency.

Notable Names in the Sailing Community

Over the years, the Rolex Middle Sea Race has attracted many sailing greats whose names elicit awe and respect in the sailing community.

Famous boats such as Stormvogel, Pen Duick III, War Baby, Mistress Quickly, Riviera di Rimini, Zephyrus IV, Sagamore, Alfa Romeo, Rambler and Maserati. On board were owners such as Cino Ricci, Enrico Recchi, Raul Gardini, Warren Brown, Marvin Green, Ted Turner, Herbert von Karajan, Niklas Zennström, Neville Crichton, Hasso Plattner and George David along with professionals the likes of Eric Tabarly, Sébastien Josse, Paul Cayard, Mike Sanderson, Adrian Stead, Jochen Schumann, Bouwe Bekking, Ian Walker, Giovanni Soldini and Ken Read.

2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race

The 37th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race was one of multiple dimensions. The only constant being the inconsistency in the wind. Generally light for the first 24 hours, what ensued was as wide in its variety as it was complex to master. The race was typical in its challenging nature even if it will be recalled more for testing mental strength than physical prowess.

Recipient of the Rolex Chronometer and Rolex Middle Sea Race trophy as Overall Winner was Vincenzo Onorato’s Italian Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino. Sweet success having lost out by just nine seconds the year before. George David’s Rambler 88 from the United States took Monohull Line Honours for the second year in a row, although someway outside the monohull and absolute race record of 47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds he set in 2007.

Meanwhile, Giovanni Soldini’s Italian Multi70 Maserati won the Multihull Class setting a new race record of 49 hours 25 minutes and 01 seconds in this category.

Entries Close October 6, 2017

The 2017 Rolex Middle Sea Race Notice of Race is now available online. Copies of the document are also available from the Royal Malta Yacht Club Secretariat.

Entries will be accepted until October 6, 2017 and crews are encouraged to submit their registration as early as possible.

Entries can be submitted on .

For further information about the race please contact the Royal Malta Yacht Club via email on or telephone, +356 2133 3109.

PHOTOS: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

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