Well done to all in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, as we expect with its challenging reputation, it was full of moments of brutal sailing, ever changing weather conditions and an unforseeable finish! Our yachts sailing teams achieved some amazing results and came top of their classes!
Rambler 88, as she is often referred to, has yet again taken Line Honours in the Rolex Middle Sea Race five years in a row, something that has never happened in the 50-year history of the race. With Maltese First 45 Elusive 2 announced as the overall winner. Track the full results here.
Ocean Challenge Yacht Club on Aragon came 2nd in Class, just behind Rambler 88.
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Sunrise Racing Team on Sunrise JPK1180 came 4th in IRC Overall and 2nd in Class.
“It got a bit bumpy on the way home! Massive congrats to Courrier Recommandé the other JPK1180 who came 1st in class and 2nd overall. We’ve been chasing you all season and you definitely upped our game! Thank you to everyone for the well wishes and to everyone tracking us! Awesome end to the season for Sunrise, 2020 season” Sunrise Racing team
Riff Raff Sailing Team on Riff Raff – Cookson 50 came 4th in class.
Pendragon VI – Laurie Davidson 69 came 7th in Class.
Hungarian-Italian team came together on the Pendragon 69-foot racing boat chartered for the regatta. The sailors of the Raffica Team, led by Zsolt Király, formed the core. They were joined by Hungarian sailors, plus three Italian members of the ship’s original crew.
“In the end, already in Malta, when we had to sail between the islands, a little thing helped us. There was the moon, but there was a cloud in front of it, making it look as if there was no wind blowing along the shore. But I saw that it just looks as if there is no wind while it blows in the rest. At Aegir and Wild Joe, they probably saw it, but we narrowed the island down and beat them. It was great, the team, the ship, was good. Once we were in tune with the Italians, everything worked fine. It was a great experience for all of us. ”
The beginning of the Rolex Middle Sea Race started with the noise of crews meeting up with friends, crew and competitors. Checks were being made and the docks a hive of activity and preparations for a fleet of 113 yachts, who were separated into seven starts.
The race weather forecast was expected to be generally on the light side for the start. Of course these conditions changed throughout the race, providing twists and turns for the competitors! With lots of challenges along the way!
The first 36 hours of the Rolex Middle Sea Race proved extremely challenging, testing the crews.
The light wind start, was followed by a light wind passage north to Sicily, with the wind shutting down for much of the fleet around day-break. A leading group of yachts have managed to capitalise on what wind was available and are breaking through into the Tyrrhenian Sea, while the vast majority are yet to reach Etna.
On the fourth day the wind increased over 24 hours leaving the yachts with an uncomfortable ride. After they turned left at Lampedusa, onto the return leg to Malta, they were no longer on the wind, and the journey home was a wild one.
On the fifth day of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, on the docks of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, yachts started to finish in numbers and tales of the race were shared. The strong winds to the west of Sicily had begun to affect the contest for the overall prize. On Friday, just two boats remained on the course that were still racing, including the only surviving multihull, with 17 yachts officially retired from the race.
Saturday, 26 October the final prize giving was held. For those with ambitions for the overall prize the first objective was to win their class.
About the Race:
The Rolex Middle Sea Race was established as the result of sporting rivalry between great friends, Jimmy White and Alan Green, two Englishmen residing in Malta, together with Paul and John Ripard, two Maltese members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Jimmy, Alan (later to become the Race Director of the Royal Ocean Racing Club), Paul and John would eventually map a course designed to offer an exciting race in different conditions to those prevailing in the immediate Maltese coastal waters.
The 606nm course, essentially a clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily starting and finishing in Malta, would be slightly longer than the RORC’s longest race, the Rolex Fastnet. The resulting course is the same as used today, although sailed in the reverse direction. The Rolex Middle Sea Race course record has been broken on five occasions since the inaugural edition in 1968.
Source: Royal Malta Yacht Club