With the 44th Rolex Middle Sea Race starting on Saturday 21 October, it is little surprise that the Royal Malta Yacht Club is currently a hive of activity. Final registration is in full swing, as the local volunteer team welcomes entrants from home and abroad. Whether watching on in Malta or from further afield, here are some essential details to make sure the spectating experience is as close to the action as possible.
One of the ‘must do’ 600 mile offshore classics, the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race is both challenging and spectacular. Its renown stems from an enthralling and technical course, in simple terms an anticlockwise loop around Sicily. Featuring numerous ‘corners’, competitors face a diverse range of conditions and a series of complex tactical decisions.
Stats and Facts
First held: 1968
Organising Authority: Royal Malta Yacht Club
2023 Start: Saturday, 21 October, Grand Harbour, Valletta (11:00 CEST)
Entry (at 16 October)
112 yachts representing 25 countries
Smallest boat: 9.76m Muttley BDM Audit – Migliacci Group, Figaro 3, Luca Bettiati, Italy
Largest boat: 32.55m Spirit of Malouen, Wally 107, Stephane Neve, France
Italy – 22 entries
France – 12
Malta – 11
United Kingdom – 11
Germany – 8
United States – 7
Austria – 6
Furthest travelled crews:
El Oro, Whitbread 73, Kent King, Australia
Lucky, Juan K 27m, Bryon Ehrhardt, USA
Kiboku Tatu, Arcona 380, Olaf Granander, USA
TestaCuore Race, Cookson 50, Bob Pethick, USA
Red Ruby, Sun Fast 3300, Christine & Justine Wolfe, USA
Pyewacket 70, VO70 Mod, Roy Disney, USA
Warrior Won, TP52, Chris Sheehan, USA
Finn, Banuls 53, Jacopo Bracco, USA
Other countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakstan, Lithuania, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
Total LOA of all boats end to end: 1,650m – six and a half times higher than the highest point in Malta – Ta’Dmejrek 253m above sea level – or just under half the height of Etna (3,357m)
Set in the heart of the Mediterranean and considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Starts and finishes in Malta, passes two active volcanoes and takes in the deep azure waters surrounding Sicily, and the Aeolian and Egadi Islands, as well as lonelier outposts of Pantelleria and Lampedusa, both closer to the African continent than Europe.
Length: 606 nautical miles (1,122km)
Outright Race Record: 33h 29m 28s, Argo, United States, Jason Carroll
Monohull Race Record: 40h 17m 50s, Comanche, Cayman Is, Mitch Booth
Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy – overall race winner under IRC Time Correction
Boccale de Mediterraneo – winner of ORC category
RLR Trophy – winner of monohull line honours
Captain Morgan Trophy – winner of multihull division on corrected time (MOCRA)
How to follow
The main information hub
Grand Harbour, Valletta: seven separate starts, at 10 minute intervals, from 11:00 CEST Saturday, 21 October 2022
Start Line: between the Saluting Battery, Upper Barrakka Gardens (Valletta) and Fort St Angelo (Birgu)
Various vantage points all around the Grand Harbour, high up on the bastions or at water level. Harbour access for spectator boats is restricted during the period of the start
Live Start: streaming on Facebook & YouTube starting at 10:30 CEST, and on TVM, Malta’s main broadcast channel, also from 10:30 CEST
Live Updates: streamed on Facebook each morning at 09:00 CEST, from Sunday, 22 October to Thursday, 26 October
All yachts are fitted satellite trackers (from YB Tracking) which continually update the position and ranking throughout the race
Social Media Channels
Official Race Hashtags: #rolexmiddlesearace & #rmsr2023
In addition to the incomparable partnership with title sponsor Rolex that exceeds 20 years, the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC) is proud to be supported by Yachting Malta and the Malta Tourism Authority, whose contribution to the international promotion of the race and hospitality for attending crews is invaluable.
Ahead of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the RMYC is organizing the Yachting Malta Coastal Race, offering crews a final shakedown session to check systems, fine tune manoeuvres and get a taste of the stunning Maltese coast line ahead of the main event.
Yachting Malta Coastal Race starts from Marsamxett Harbour on Wednesday, 18 October at 10:00 CEST.
The RMYC is pleased to support the work of the Biological Conservation Research Foundation (BICREF), which conducts research into biodiversity and the impacts of fishing/aquaculture in the Mediterranean around Malta. The BICREF Award is presented the crew recording the best dolphin or whole sighting during the race, to help raise awareness of the various cetacean monitoring and protection projects ongoing in the Central and Southern Mediterranean. In addition, for the first time, the RMYC has entered into a partnership with the Maltese eNGO, Zibel, which aims to reduce the waste on the Maltese islands and restore natural environments to their most natural state.