The Rolex Middle Sea Race is often called the world’s most beautiful yacht race. The circular course evokes strong emotions within every sailor who experiences its charms. The stunning scenery, beautiful wildlife and idyllic sailing conditions make this a firm favourite on every offshore sailors bucket list.
Organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club every October, it is one of the 3 classic ROLEX sponsored offshore 600nm races – ranking alongside the ROLEX Fastnet Race and ROLEX Sydney – Hobart Race.
The ramparts of Valletta are awash with colour as thousands line the ramparts of the fortified city to witness the start. The cannons of the Saluting Battery, high above the water, add to the pageantry afloat as flame, smoke and noise signal the beginning of this offshore classic.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race course is 608 nautical miles long and is sailed anti-clockwise. Starting from the Grand Harbour beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta, the fleet head north towards the east coast of Sicily and 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. With Lampedusa rounded 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.
We are entering our X-Yacht 46 ‘Impulse’, she is fully equipped for inshore and offshore racing with a full suit of racing sails. New sails in 2017 include: No.1 Aramid Laminate Jib, No.2 (3DL style) and a Code Zero which is a critical sail for this type of offshore race.
Whilst ‘Impulse’ is big enough to offer exhilarating performance, she is still small enough to be really engaging to sail.
Please arrange a flight to arrive in Malta by Monday 15th October. The boat will be berthed in Valetta.
15th October – Welcome evening in Malta – Fly in on the Monday, socialise with the crew and enjoy dinner ashore.
16th October – Training Day 1 – Go sailing ! Boat familiarisation with a focus on team work, sail changes, kite work and sail trim.
17th October – Malta Coastal Race / Training Day 2 – As part of the main event, this warm-up coastal race in the waters of Malta and Gozo is an ideal training opportunity for all the crews before the main event. There is always plenty to cover in the team debrief!
18th to 19th October – Training Days 3 & 4 – Continue the learning following the coastal race with a focus on boat speed and team work. Enjoy the crew party on Thursday evening but don’t stay up too late!
20th to 24th October – Rolex Middle Sea Race
We expect the 600 mile course to take four days but of course this is highly weather dependent. We expect to finish the race on the 24th but for those those in a hurry to get home we advise booking flights no earlier than the 26th October. The prize giving ceremony is scheduled for the 28th October and Malta is of course a great place for a holiday if you do plan to stay for an extra few days.
Race fees and mooring costs, a professional skipper, life jacket and safety equipment and meals onboard during racing. You are welcome to sleep onboard the yacht during the training days, however, for your own comfort and enjoyment we recommend booking a hotel locally for these periods.
Wet weather gear, meals taken ashore and your travel.
Sea Survival – We require all crew to have completed this 1-day course involving both practical and theory elements. Please let us know if you’d like advice on where best to complete this invaluable course.
Waterproofs etc – we can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have the proper kit. Good,
waterproof boots, proper base layers and waterproofs that are of at least coastal level – inshore kit
won’t do the job – it maybe the Med but sailing at night can be considerably cooler.
A good hand torch, a head torch with a red light setting and a Leatherman or similar pocket tool.
Sleeping bag and pillow case.
Basic toiletries i.e. toothbrush Personal medication.
Please keep kit to a minimum to reduce the weight of the boat for racing.