The Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC) is pleased to confirm that the Notice of Race for 43rd Rolex Middle Sea Race is available online and yachts may already register their participation. Last year’s race attracted 114 yachts, a remarkable achievement given the ongoing backdrop of a global pandemic. This year looks no less difficult with the situation in the Ukraine creating further uncertainty, but the RMYC is hopeful another impressive fleet will gather. The 2022 race is scheduled to start on Saturday, 22 October 2022.
In issuing this release, the RMYC acknowledges the unfortunate controversy surrounding the implementation of the alternative finish line for safety reasons, and the impact on the overall results of the 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race. Following an internal review, the RMYC has taken and continues to take steps to ensure the rules and regulations surrounding the 43rd race are fit for purpose. In parallel with the internal review, the club has sought feedback from competitors and guidance from the RMYC’s longstanding race partners, including the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC).
As a result of these actions, the Race Organisation has been strengthened, with the most significant change comprising the appointment of Chris Stone, the RORC’s Racing Manager, as Race Director. A proven professional sailing administrator, he has 20 years’ experience managing events such as the Rolex Fastnet Race, RORC Caribbean 600, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and Volvo Ocean Race and Clipper Round the World stopovers. “The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a major event in the international sailing calendar. It attracts a diverse fleet from around the world which expects and deserves the very best in race management,” said Stone. “The primary objective is supporting the RMYC and its people in making race management robust and keeping the reputation and standing of this great race in good stead.”
A second appointment of note is Mufti Kling’s promotion to Chairman of the International Jury. Kling’s offshore jury experience is considerable and notably includes the Rolex Fastnet Race. Along with Stone, Kling has been party to a rigorous review and re-drafting of all race documentation to make sure issues are identified and corrected. The overall approach has been progressive and modern. For example, the alternative finish line provision will remain in the Sailing Instructions for safety reasons, but close attention will also be paid to the course length and potential impact on results.
David Cremona, Commodore of the RMYC, is confident that the way the club has faced up to circumstances of 2021 will lead to an improved experience for all competitors: “The 42nd edition should have gone down in history as one of the most spectacular races ever. We had an incredible weather system matched with an incredible fleet. The last thing it should be remembered for is the frustration provoked. We have learnt from it and have redoubled our efforts to ensure all competing crews finish the 2022 race wanting to come back.”
Last year’s fleet ranged in size from 30 feet (9 plus metres) to 140 ft (42.56m) and included some of most powerful monohulls and multihulls competing on the international racing circuit. Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo was first home. The American trimaran took advantage of a once in a lifetime weather window to post a finish time that lowered the outright race record by an impressive 14.5 hours, completing the race in 33 hours, 29 minutes and 28 seconds.
The 43rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race will start on Saturday, 22 October 2022.