The Rolex Middle Sea Race is one of the highest rated offshore classics,and is often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, TheRolex Sydney - Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a "must do" race.
The race is a true challenge to skippers and crews who have to be at their very best to cope with the often changeable and demanding conditions. Equally, the race is blessed with unsurpassed scenery with its course, taking competitors close to a number of islands, which form markers of the course.
Famous competitors have included Eric Tabarly, Cino Ricci, Herbert von Karajan, Jim Dolan, Sir Chay Blyth and Sir Francis Chichester (fresh from his round the world adventure). High profile boats from the world's top designers take part, most in pursuit of line honours andthe record.
The Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club co-founded the race in 1968. Save for a break between 1984 and 1995 the event has been run annually attracting 25 -30 yachts. In recent years, the number of entries has risen sharply to 78 boats and were surpassed when in 2013 there were 99 entries.
The Middle Sea Race was conceived as the result of sporting rivalry between great brothers Paul and John Ripard and an Englishman residing in Malta called Jimmy White. It was in the early sixties that together,along with mutual friend Alan Green (later to become the RaceDirector of the Royal Ocean Racing Club), they set out to map a course designed to offer an exciting race in different conditions to those prevailing in Maltese coastal waters. They also decided the course would be slightly longer than the RORC's longest race, the Fastnet. The resulting course is the same as used today.
The course record was held by the San Francisco based, Robert McNeilon board his Maxi Turbo Sled "Zephyrus IV" when in 2000, he smashed the course record which now stands at 64hrs 49mins 57secs. In recent years, various maxis such as Alfa Romeo, Nokia, Maximus and MorningGlory have all tried to break this course record, but the wind Gods have never played along. Even the VOR winner, ABN AMro tried.. but all failed in 2006. However in 2007, George David in "Rambler" demolished the course record established by Zephyrus IV seven years before in2000. The course record has now stood for seven years at 1day,23hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds.
We have provided tracking for the Middle Sea Race since 2011 and are proud to be doing so once again. Each participating yacht will have a tracker installed on board which will record and transmit data throughout the race. The data sent includes direction, speed and location, as well as other important data points. Once the data has travelled through the Iridium satellite network to our servers, a feat which takes a second or two, then our race player is automatically refreshed, keeping friends, family and international supporters updated with the fleets location and progress.
For more information on this race please visit the Rolex Middle Sea Race website