The Rolex Middle Sea Race is one of the most thrilling offshore races in the world. It takes place every year in October in La Valletta, Malta. The 2014 edition will start on Sunday 18th October.
The Middle Sea Race is a 606 nautical miles long anti-clockwise course around Sicily, Italy. Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, the fleet head north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina.
Prior to entering the straits of Messina, Mt Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, is usually visible on the fleets port side, and at night you can see lava (this volcano is in an almost constant state of activity). 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 yachts 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. Crews will sail close to numerous beautiful Islands in what is probably the most beautiful race course in the offshore racing world.
Many exceptional yachts enter the race, such as IMOCA’s open 60’s or famous Maxi, but the entries are open to IRC and ORC rated yachts as well. What an occasion to do great offshore sailing, travel to a nice Mediterranean destination and see the very faster sailing monohulls in the world !
The record of the Middle Sea Race has been set in 2007 by “Rambler“, a 100 feet Racing Maxi, in 1day, 23hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds. In 2012, due to the very light winds, some yachts took 7 days to finish the race.
If you are interested in joining the race, just fill out the entry form on the Rolex Middle Sea Race‘s Website and the organization will contact you. Usually, entries open early in the year.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a great opportunity to discover Malta and its capital: La Valletta. There are many beautiful places to see, nice restaurants and La Valetta is a shopper friendly city.
I hope we (the team at Aureus) will be able to participate to the Middle Sea race in 2013 or the next edition 2014. Please feel free to comment if you have run a previous edition and want to give feedback.
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Have fun Sailing, thanks for reading,
Sources: http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com, the offical website of the Rolex Middle Sea Race.