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100 entries for Rolex Middle Sea Race

The 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race starts on Saturday 17 October. Deadline for entries is Friday 2 October 2015.

kevin
Kevin Grech
22 September 2015, 2:27pm
Dorade - designed in 1929 by Olin Stephens, is probably the oldest yacht to compete in the Rolex Middle Sea Race  Photo Credit: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Dorade - designed in 1929 by Olin Stephens, is probably the oldest yacht to compete in the Rolex Middle Sea Race Photo Credit: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The Royal Malta Yacht Club is proud to announce that 100 yachts have now entered the 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race. The 36th edition of the race has attracted competitors from at least 22 different countries from all over the world. The 606-mile race starts and finishes in the spectacular surroundings of Malta's capital city, Valetta. The Fortress City is named after its founder, the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean Parisot de la Valette and its impressive bastions date back to the 16th century. From the Grand Harbour, the race is blessed with unsurpassed scenery with its course, taking competitors close to a number of stunning islands around Sicily and Malta, before returning to the Royal Malta Yacht Club for a fantastic welcome.
 
Since the first edition in 1968, the race has attracted a wide variety of competitors and yachts and this year's race is no different. World Champions and professional sailors from the Volvo Ocean Race and America's Cup will be taking part, as well as passionate corinthian sailors. The yachts are just as diverse, from elegant classics to the world's fastest multihulls. The Rolex Middle Sea Race has an appeal that satisfies a wide variety of sailors.
 
Three of the world's fastest multihulls will be racing this year, capable of demolishing the race record. MOD 70, Musandam-Oman Sail, will be the first entry from Oman in the history of the race. The multi-national crew racing Musandam-Oman Sail blends established and world-renowned sailors with exciting young Omani talent. In 2014, skippered by Sidney Gavignet, Musandam-Oman Sail set the race and course record for the Round Britain and Ireland Race. Hitting a top speed of 43 knots, Musandam-Oman Sail rarely dropped below 25 knots in completing the 1800 mile course in four and half days.
 
From St. Barths, West Indies, Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3, will also be making its Rolex Middle Sea Race debut. Earlier this year, the lime green trimaran has been smashing records in the Caribbean including the RORC Caribbean 600 multihull record, which has stood since the first race in 2009. Multiple world record holder, Brian Thompson, leads the all-star crew and will be keen to beat Musandam-Oman Sail, which was faster on the water than Phaedo3 in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race.
 
Californian solar energy expert, Peter Aschenbrenner, will be racing his Nigel Irens 63' Trimaran, Paradox. After MOCRA time correction, Paradox beat both Musandam-Oman Sail and Phaedo3 in the Rolex Fastnet Race and was the Open Class winner for the 2015 Transatlantic Race. Paradox crew includes skipper, Jeff Mearing, crew of the record breaking Hydroptere and Paul Larsen, the fastest man on water with Sail Rocket; 65.45 knots! Neither Peter Aschenbrenner, nor Paradox, have taken part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race before.
 
“Malta is an amazing place, a crossroads of civilizations for three millennia.” enthused Peter Aschenbrenner. “Mid-October is my favourite season for the southern Mediterranean and we are thinking about taking a couple of extra days after the race to cruise around Gozo. For the race, I love the 600 mile format, which is long enough to be a proper ocean race with lots of tactical challenges but an approachable commitment time-wise for those of us who take the occasional week off of work. I am really looking forward to sailing past Etna, the Messina Strait, around Stromboli and also the Aeolian islands , around the Egadis and Pantelleria. I have been to many of these places as a visitor, but never under sail.”

In sharp contrast to the carbon fibre, high speed multihulls, the Rolex Middle Sea Race has attracted classic yachts and this year, one of the world's most famous.

Designed in 1929 by Olin Stephens, the 52ft yawl, Dorade, won the Fastnet Race in 1931 & 1933. Olin Stephens was skipper through 1932 when he handed the boat to his brother, Rod Stephens who sailed to victory in the 1932 Bermuda Race. Californian, Matt Brooks is now the proud owner of Dorade, and is extremely fastidious with regards to the authentic appearance, maintaining the yacht as closely as possible to her original configuration. Dorade maybe the oldest yacht to compete in the Rolex Middle Sea Race but she is still very competitive. In last month's Rolex Fastnet Race, Dorade was second in IRC 4 and seventh overall out of over 300 yachts racing under IRC and second in class for the 2015 Transatlantic Race.

Dorade is competing in all of the races in the Atlantic series, and of course the Rolex Middle Sea is one of those.” commented Matt Brooks. “Beyond that, this is our next chapter in Dorade's history, to take on races she has never done before, particularly iconic and challenging off-shore races like the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Last summer we competed in several of the coastal classic regattas in the Mediterranean - Corsica, St Tropez and Cannes -- and did very well there. We look forward to experiencing the Mediterranean from offshore in this year's race.”
 
Godwin Zammit, Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club is looking forward to welcoming over a thousand sailors to the club. “The staff and volunteers that organise the Rolex Middle Sea Race have been working diligently to make ready for our guests from overseas.. The Rolex Middle Sea Race is the flagship race of the Royal Malta Yacht Club and we will be doing everything possible to ensure that the race will run as smoothly as possible. The Royal Malta Yacht Club has excellent facilities and we wish all of the participants a warm welcome and fair winds for this year's race.”
 
The 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race starts on Saturday 17 October. Deadline for entries is Friday 2 October 2015. For more information: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com

kevin
Kevin Grech is MaltaToday's sports editor. He has been the designer of MaltaToday's print ...
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