Forty-seven boats from 13 countries have arrived in Malta in preparation for the Rolex Middle Sea Race
Forty-seven boats from 13 countries have arrived in Malta in preparation for the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Now in its 23rd edition the annual 607-mile offshore race, sailed anti-clockwise around the Italian island of Sicily and the adjacent islands is organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
The classic offshore race, with a significant set of historical links and landmarks, is preceded by two inshore coastal races. The fleet will race from Marsamxett Harbour on a 36-mile course out and back to the rocky outcrop of Filfla to the south of Malta this morning. Thursday will see the fleet race a shorter 27-mile course to the island of Comino and back. Comino is a small island between the two main islands of the Maltese Archipelago, Gozo and Malta. Friday will be a day off, allowing all crews to make final preparations before the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race the following morning, Saturday, at 1100
Amongst the 47 entries are 11 Maltese yachts including Market Wizard, last year’s overall winner. Classes eligible to sail the Rolex Middle Sea Race include Classics, IMS and IRC yachts and multihulls. In the latter group is one boat capable of pulverising the current course record, which has stood at 64hrs 49mins 57secs since 2000 when the American yacht Zephyrus IV broke the previous standard. Englishman Tony Bullimore’s Team Pimsic, a massive 30m catamaran, has already broken many sailing records around the world.
Neville Crichton’s New Zealand-registered 90ft Super Maxi Alfa Romeo is another boat capable of collecting line honours and breaking the course record.