Catch a nautical spectacle at the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2019

31 July 2019

If you have ever caught sight of Malta’s Grand Harbour, you will already know it’s a magical place, so much so it’s the perfect backdrop for one of the year’s most anticipated events- The Rolex Middle Sea Race! Seafarers unite on the 19th of October 2019 for this incredibly competitive race for the coveted title.

What is the Rolex Middle Sea Race?

rolex middle sea race at malta grand harbour

The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a top-class sailing extravaganza, held off the coast of the Grand Harbour and an absolute must on the yachting calendar. The first race was organised in 1968 as a partnership between the Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club. This year will see the 40th edition of the race- save for a break between 1984 and 1995 the event has been run annually initially attracting 25 -30 yachts. Recently the number of entries has risen sharply to 131 boats representing 29 countries last year, thanks to a new Organising Committee who managed to bring Rolex on board as title sponsor for the Middle Sea Race. There are a multitude of categories of entrants depending on the boat size

 A truly stunning race circuit

The race route is 606 nautical miles long, starting from Malta’s iconic Grand Harbour to the sound of cannons firing from the bastions. The race then proceeds anticlockwise around Sicily before finishing back in Malta. ‘It’s the most beautiful racecourse in the world,’ is how American Ted Turner once described it, an opinion echoed by fellow-American George David, four-time line honours winner and current race record holder. From start to finish the route offers some of the most mesmerising rugged Mediterranean landscapes- it’s not hard to see why participants return year after year!

Battle on the high seas

high seas during rolex middle sea race

Image Copyright: Rolex Middle Sea Race Official Facebook Page

The course is by no means an easy one. Many corners create identifiable course segments, exposing the sailors to rapidly changing weather patterns and sea conditions. With most crews expected to spend at least five nights at sea, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is a real test of resources.

More than sailing!

The race brings with it a whole host of events, evening dinners and trade shows. The social events offer a truly fantastic occasion to mingle and meet some of the world’s nautical superstars face to face and peruse fairs providing the latest tech. Last year, at the Owners’ Reception held at Verdala Palace, near Mdina, former President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca hailed the event as “not just a race, but a community that brings together a myriad of nationalities in the spirit of friendly competition.”  

Plan your holidays in Malta this autumn and see for yourself why the Rolex Middle Sea Race is regarded as one of the world’s best off-shore classics.  And if you are an avid sailor and don’t fancy watching from the side lines- why not register? Book your flights to Malta now!

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