The fascinating Malta yacht charter destination is currently hosting this year’s 36th edition of the popular Rolex Middle Sea Race, being attended by 111 team from 22 different countries. The race kicked off from Valletta’s fabulous Grand Harbour on Saturday, October 17, 2015.
Organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, the Rolex Middle Sea Race represents the last event on the Mediterranean regatta calendar. It is annually attended by the most experienced professional and Corinthian sailors, challenged by the varied conditions that the famous 608 NM race course offers.
The Royal Malta Yacht Club’s Race Committee precisely executed seven starts with the cannons firing from Saluting Battery and the fleet set off heading North towards the Strait of Messina. According to Jules Salter (GBR), navigator onboard Maxi 72 sailing yacht Momo: “It’s going to be light. We will probably get to know the East coast of Sicily quite well as we will be trying to get some sea breeze or night breeze up there. After that, there is a big feature coming in about three days (Tuesday), which will bring in a bit of excitement – wind, rain and thunderstorms. But if we can get going fast, we will get around ahead of it. Or we will get involved in it. Or if we are really slow it will pick everyone up and make it a small boat race.”
Momo yacht’s closest competition for line honours is expected to be George David’s new Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed superyacht Rambler 88. The American team holds the course record, having finished the race in 47 hours and 55 minutes and three seconds in 2007. “On time it could be anyone. Rambler 88 is a machine – a really good boat – can’t wait to get going again,” commented navigator Andrew Cape (AUS), America’s Cup winner and a veteran of six Volvo Ocean Races. “We need to sail it as hard as we can, we have a really good crew and anywhere suits Rambler. It’s just a matter of us getting the right breeze. It’s apt to be a pretty slow first night and morning, that is going to make it hard for us to win on handicap – but anything can happen.”
The race is once again hosting a truly diverse fleet of yachts ranging from 9.5 to 27 M in length. This includes three Volvo Open 70s, Green Dragon (AUT), Black Betty (TUR) and SFS (FRA), as well as the super-fast multihulls, Phaedo3 yacht (USA) and trimaran yacht Paradox (USA), which have already pulled out in front of the fleet.