37th edition sets off this morning from Grand Harbour
The 37th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race gets under way this morning with the now usual spectacular start at the Grand Harbour in Valletta, starting at 11am.
More than 100 boats will be taking part, according to the Royal Malta Yacht Club, organisers of the event.
Nine of these boats will be Maltese, led by Artie, winner of last year’s edition.
The others – according to the entry list - are Elusive 2, winner of last Wednesday’s short Coastal Race, Geisha, Otra Vez, Oz, Ton Ton, Unica, Xp-Act and Xpresso.
Among the participants this year are some quality top world class boats, among them Phaedo 3, last year’s multihull line honours winner, and Maserati, which will be using its hydrofoils for the first time ever – they can lift the boat out of the water!
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a highly rated offshore classic, often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney - Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a “must do” race.
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 initially attracting 25-30 yachts, however in recent years, the number of entries has risen sharply to 122 boats in 2014. The organisers are encouraged by a new three-year deal signed with Rolex as main sponsors of the Middle Sea Race. No fewer than 25 countries are represented in this year’s race and this shows the great interest for the event.
Last year’s presentation ceremony