Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Rolex Middle Sea Race - The marking of a significant chapter

by KPMS on 3 Oct 2013
ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) approaching Stromboli at sunset - Rolex Middle Sea Race © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com
Closing the Mediterranean sailing season with gusto, the 34th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race is destined to mark an important chapter in the history of a popular offshore event.

The race is in a period of ascendancy. Over one hundred international yachts have registered for the 606-nm contest commencing and finishing in Malta, and comprising a challenging anticlockwise circumnavigation of Sicily. There is every indication that the number of competitors will comfortably surpass last year’s record of 82 race starters. First held in 1968 and organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, the race has been sponsored by Rolex since 2002.

The appeal is clear: first-rate competition, a largely Corinthian atmosphere, a fascinating racecourse – which includes views of Stromboli and Etna, two of Europe’s active volcanoes – and a uniquely Maltese flavour to the shoreside welcome. The start from Valletta, scheduled for Saturday 19 October at 11:00 CEST, is one of yachting’s most dramatic; cannons fire from the Saluting Battery overlooking Malta’s magnificent Grand Harbour as an enthusiastic public cheers the fleet on its way.

The 2013 entry is diverse and international. The 100-ft Esimit Europa 2, line honours winner of the past three editions, will make history if she claims a fourth straight triumph. Perhaps holding more appeal for owner Igor Simcic and his pan-European crew is breaking the race record that has stood since the extreme conditions of 2007 when American George David’s 90-ft Rambler finished in an elapsed time of 47 hours, 55 minutes and three seconds. This benchmark is capable of being bettered by the high-tech maxi racer, but the racecourse has a deserved reputation for being complex and the wind is never straightforward. Hasso Plattner’s 86-ft Morning Glory from Germany, an overall race winner in 2006, will provide Esimit Europa’s stiffest competition.

In any race of this type, the most coveted prize is for overall victory. Along with Morning Glory two other recipients of the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy are in attendance. Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard’s J/122 Artie ended a near ten-year wait for a Maltese victory in 2011, and become the sixth local boat to win the race. Andres Soriano led his British Mini Maxi Alegre to overall triumph in 2009, following line honours success in 2008. Soriano returns with a new, 72-ft Alegre fresh from impressive performances at the Giraglia Rolex Cup and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

A continuing trend that gives the organizers immense pleasure is the number of returning yachts and the spread of nations. Some twenty countries will be represented, with Italy providing the largest contingent. The Swan 56 Clem from Spain, the 42-ft Kuka Light from Switzerland and the Marten 49 Speedy from Germany are just a few of those taking part again.

Yachts representing nine countries have won the race during its 45-year history with South Africa joining the list in 2012 following Eddie de Villiers win with Hi Fidelity. With size of fleet assembling this year, few would bet against a tenth nation being added to the Rolex Middle Sea Race
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignZhik Dinghy 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

World Sailing News - February 2017 and December 2016
Catch the latest World Sailing month video magazine - February 2017 edition Catch the latest World Sailing month video magazine - February 2017 edition is just out featuring a wrap-up of the main sailing events of the December-January period including Thomas Coville’s new world record; the 2016 AON Youth Worlds; Rolex Sydney Hobart, Vendee Globe updates and a spectacular 49er crash while training in 27kts plus and big seas.
Posted today at 3:07 am
You spin me right round
Vinyl records went the way of the dodo with first CDs, and then now with the likes of MP3 and streaming. Vinyl records went the way of the dodo with first CDs, and then now with the likes of MP3 and streaming. Recently, we have had unbelievable records set by Thomas Coville and then Armel Le Cléac’h. Soon (with over 1200nm in the bank as it were), it would seem to be the turn of the crew on board IDEC Sport for a record after their spin right round, as well. This is quite simply, terrific stuff.
Posted today at 12:56 am
Jules Verne Trophy – IDEC Sport expected in Brest on Thursday
The last few hours in the trade winds acted as a reminder that IDEC Sport needs to be tamed at times. The last few hours in the trade winds acted as a reminder that IDEC Sport needs to be tamed at times to avoid taking risks and suffering damage.
Posted on 22 Jan
Vendée Globe – Slow home run for Beyou
The quiet, still weather and pleasant winter sunshine has brought out huge Sunday crowds to the race village. The quiet, still weather and pleasant winter sunshine has brought out huge Sunday crowds to the race village pontoons at Port Olona, Les Sables d’Olonne.
Posted on 22 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy – Back in the trade winds and they're off again
This morning after 37 days at sea since leaving Brest, the crew on IDEC Sport is back up to steady speeds of 26-28 knots This morning after 37 days at sea since leaving Brest, the crew on IDEC Sport is back up to steady speeds of 26-28 knots.
Posted on 22 Jan
The closest three way battle in the history of Vendee Globe
Off the Cape Verde Islands, Louis Burton has finally got out of the Doldrums after three long days on a very slow course Jean-Pierre Dick, Yann Eliès and Jean Le Cam are engaged in the closest three way battle in the history of the solo round the world race as they pass the Azores archipelago between Graciosa and Florès on the heels of a vigorous depression giving them 30kts southerly winds.
Posted on 22 Jan
Final day at Quantum Key West Race Week with Nic Douglass
Final day at QKWRW did not disappoint. Needless to say, my first trip to Florida is one that will always be remembered. The final day at Quantum Key West Race Week did not disappoint. Needless to say, my first trip to Florida is one that will always be remembered.
Posted on 22 Jan
New record at Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Andy Budgen sailing Mach 2 foiling Intl Moth Nano Project completed 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace Andy Budgen sailing his Mach 2 foiling International Moth Nano Project completed the 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace of 4 hours, 23 minutes, 18 seconds, to established the Absolute Foiling Monohull record. He also broke his own personal record time from a few years ago when he sailed his VO70 Monster Project into the record books for the Absolute Monohull Record.
Posted on 22 Jan
Day 77 – Ninety percent of Vendée Globe fleet now back in Atlantic
With Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today With Le Cléac'h's Banque Populaire and second-placed Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today – and fourteen of them are now in the Atlantic.
Posted on 21 Jan
Vendee Globe - Romain Attansio at the Horn
Romain Attanasio rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Étamine du Lys) rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday after 75 days 8 hours and 41 minutes of racing. Only Dutchman Pieter Heerema and Frenchman Sébastien Destremau are still sailing in the Pacific.
Posted on 21 Jan