2023 Rolex Middle Sea Race, The Essential Details

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

National representation:
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

Main Trophies
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)

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