The Rolex Middle Sea Race: another large fleet expected for the 36th Edition

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith less than three months to go, the Royal Malta Yacht Club is expecting another great fleet for the 36th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race next October. Entries for the 606 nautical mile race are rapidly coming in with over fifty boats from eighteen countries already on the list.

Lee Satariano's Artie - winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race
Lee Satariano’s Artie – winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race

Prominent among these is one of the newest and arguably the fastest 100’ maxi, Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s Comanche. Ken Read, skipper of Comanche and of President North Sails Group told the RMYC:

“Comanche was designed and built to push the boundaries of technology with the ultimate goal of winning prestigious yacht races, and they don’t come much better than the Rolex Middle Sea Race. It is an honour to compete in the 36th edition of this European classic which will be the perfect culmination of a busy summer season of Rolex events as Comanche is due to race in both the Transatlantic and Fastnet Race. As ever, our crew will be pushing hard for line honours but we’re simply looking forward to racing Comanche in the Rolex Middle Sea race for the first time and enjoying everything that Malta has to offer.”

Read is no newcomer to the race having been the skipper with George David on Rambler when they established the current Course Record of 47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds in 2007.

The race has been popular with the Maxi 72 class and counts for the Maxi 72 Med Trophy. The class is so far represented by Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s Robertissma III, which is making a welcome return after missing the race in 2014 and Dieter Schon’s Momo, which is new to the race. Other boats from this exciting class could follow.

Majestic sails in the Valletta Grand Harbour - 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race start
Majestic sails in the Valletta Grand Harbour – 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race start

The diverse fleet is continuously growing and includes many very competitive boats as well as some large multihulls. The race follows a long but varied course in which smaller boats can compete against the biggest and the best and sometimes even win. Indeed, in 2014 it was Lee Satariano’s J122, Artie from Malta that was the overall winner.

Majestic sails in the Valletta Grand Harbour - 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race start
Majestic sails in the Valletta Grand Harbour – 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race start

The 100 foot (30.5m) hull length limit has been lifted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Malta Yacht Club for the 2015 editions of the Rolex Fastnet and Rolex Middle Sea Races. This will allow supermaxis to compete in these two races which, together with the Caribbean 600 and the Transatlantic Race, will make up the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race starts on Saturday, 17th October 2015.

The final Prize Giving ceremony will be held on Saturday, 24th October 2015.

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Photo Credit: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

[toggle title=”The Royal Malta Yacht Club” state=”close”]Founded in 1835. It is the only yacht club in Malta and is a founder member of the Malta Sailing Federation. The Royal Malta Yacht Club 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 Marina the club offers extraordinary facilities which include a lounge bar and dining area with outdoor terraces, roof top terrace, conference rooms, a fitness room with changing rooms, waterfront facilities for small boats and a seasonal marina for larger boats. The club is an ideal base for yachtsmen whether for racing or cruising at any time of year. It is a favourite port of call for members of renowned yacht clubs from all over the world with which the club has reciprocal agreements. The members vary in age and profession but share a common passion for, yachting and the social life that is generated around the club.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”The 36th Rolex Middle Sea Race” state=”close”]17-24th October 2015. The Rolex Middle Sea Race takes place in the heart of the Mediterranean and covers one of the most beautiful courses in the world. Starting and finishing in Malta, the 606-nautical mile route includes the deep azure waters of Sicily and the Strait of Messina, the islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa, and even features Stromboli’s active volcano as a course mark.

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.

2014 was a record entry with 122 yachts competing from all over the world with approximately 1000 sailors taking part. Counting support staff, media, competitors’ friends and family, well over a thousand people visit Malta as a direct result of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Through TV, print and on line media, The Rolex Middle Sea Race highlights the attraction of Malta and its islands to a worldwide audience.[/toggle]