25 nations gather in Malta for the Rolex Middle Sea Race

The Rolex Middle Sea Race event programme kicked off with an official press conference at the Royal Malta Yacht Club

Phaedo3. Photo by Sam Scicluna
Phaedo3. Photo by Sam Scicluna

Held in the presence of parliamentary secretary for sports Chris Agius, Royal Malta Yacht Club Commodore Godwin Zammit  introduced the calendar of events for the forthcoming edition of the world famous race, starting and finishing in Malta.

Agius welcomed those present and stressed about the importance of the Rolex Middle Sea Race which, year on year, attracts some of the world’s high profile crews and boats to the island.

Agius further reiterated the importance yachting is being given by the Government, so much so that the development of a breakwater in Marsamxett was recently announced.

As a warm-up to the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race, racing action in Malta starts tomorrow, Wednesday 19th October, with the Coastal Race. Whilst the race has no bearing on the result of the 608-mile Rolex Middle Sea Race, (starting Saturday 22nd October). The Coastal Race gives teams the opportunity to put in hours of practice, in a real race scenario, and score some bragging rights over other competitors.

“We have 39 yachts competing in the Coastal Race this year, which is the most we have had since we started the idea over 15 years ago.” Commented Principal Race Officer, Peter Dimech. “We will decide on the course just before then start, the longest course is 37 miles and the shortest 18 miles, our intention is to have a race lasting about four hours, which is enough for the teams to have a good work. The Coastal Race is designed to get teams ready for the Rolex Middle Sea Race, and our intention is to follow the starting sequence for the big event on Saturday, so that will be good practice for the Race Management Team as well.”

Yachts from 25 different nations began arriving in Malta last week, 112 yachts are expected including eight teams flying the Maltese Flag. Among the visiting yachts are three of the world's fastest ocean-going sailing yachts. George David's American Maxi, Rambler. Giovanni Soldini's Italian MOD70 Maserati and Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3.

“This is the 37th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race and we have seen just about every weather scenario possible.” continued Peter Dimech. “Whilst the decision to race is the ultimate responsibility of the person in charge of each boat. The Royal Malta Yacht Club take safety very seriously. Every yacht is inspected by the club, to check that each boat has the necessary safety equipment, and spot checks are carried out right up to the race start. Any deficiencies are reported to the race committee.”
For more information about the 37th Edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race please visit the official website - http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/ and our Facebook page - @RolexMiddleSeaRace