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 2019 will be the 40th Edition and the 51st anniversary from the start of this race.
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”.
Rolex Middle Sea Race Course
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is 608 nautical miles long and is sailed anti-clockwise. Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta, the fleet head north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina. Mt Etna is usually visible on the fleets port side, billowing ashes and lava throughout the night. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts 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 towards the South 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.
Middle Sea Race: Schedule of Events 2018. 2019 is to be announced
THURSDAY 18TH OCTOBER: Crew Party (20:00)
FRIDAY 19TH OCTOBER: Briefing and reception (18:00)
SATURDAY 20TH OCTOBER: Start Rolex Middle Sea Race (11:00)
SATURDAY 27TH OCTOBER: Rolex Middle Sea Race Prize giving ceremony (12:00)
Rolex Middle Sea Race Highlights 2018
The 50th Anniversary of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, an epic race that tests the determination, perseverance and spirit of all crews taking part.
Kings’ Legend is a Swan 65, which is considered by experts to be the Rolls Royce of sailing yachts. In 1977 it participated in the legendary and incredibly challenging Whitbread Around The World race, which covers more than 27,000 nautical miles, taking competitors via Cape Horn to the other side of the world. The crew sailed her into second place behind the race winner the Dutch Flyer.
Life is too short to sail on a slow boat
This is including:
- professional crew (skipper plus 3/4)
- 2 training days
- 2 team’s long sleeves
- all safety gear (spinlock deckvest 5D 275N Pro Sensos lifejackets, 2 liferafts)
- lunch while training and racing (to choose from, vegan, vegetarian and meat)
- fully equipped technical support car
- all regatta entry fees and marina berthing costs
Accommodation is not included.
Rolex Middle Sea Race history
The Rolex Middle Sea Race was established as the result of sporting rivalry between great friends, Jimmy White and Alan Green, two Englishmen residing in Malta, together with Paul and John Ripard, two Maltese members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Jimmy, Alan (later to become the Race Director of the Royal Ocean Racing Club), Paul and John would eventually map a course designed to offer an exciting race in different conditions to those prevailing in the immediate Maltese coastal waters. The course, essentially a clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily starting and finishing in Malta, would be slightly longer than the RORC’s longest race, the Rolex Fastnet. The resulting course is the same as used today, although sailed in the reverse direction.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race course record has been broken on five occasions since the inaugural edition in 1968.
About the Royal Malta Yacht Club
Founded in 1835, it is the only yacht club in Malta and instigated the formation of the Malta Sailing Federation. The RMYC has a deep commitment to yachting and organises a full programme of racing and social activities throughout the year. Located right on the water in Ta’ Xbiex the club facilities include a lounge bar, dining area with outdoor terraces, rooftop terrace, conference rooms, a fitness room with changing rooms, waterfront facilities for small boats and a seasonal marina for larger boats. The club is run by a committee elected by the full members of the club. Members vary in age and profession, sharing a common passion for yachting and the social life generated around the club.
Valletta was European Capital of Culture in 2018 and the Rolex Middle Sea Race was featured strongly in the calendar of events supporting this initiative. For more details on Valletta2018, please visit https://valletta2018.org.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is supported by the Ministry for Tourism, the Malta Tourism Authority, Transport Malta, Yachting Malta, Marina di Valletta, Grand Hotel Excelsior Marina and the Grand Harbour Marina.
We hope to see you soon
+ 31 85 301 56 36