The Rolex Middle Sea race is a prestigious race for skippers and their crewsthat has been taking place annually on the isle of Malta since 1968. The year of 2018 will be 39th anniversary of the very first Rolex Middle Sea race, and upcoming October you have a chance to spectate this traditional race that starts and finishes in Malta.
If your greatest desire is the sea, and you have adrenalin speeding through your veins on a stormy weather, if you are a skipper, have a sports boat and a crew- you just must sign up and participate in the Rolex Middle Sea race. It is considered an achievement just to be part of this glorious and dangerous race, not to mention winning it. Fast to change weather conditions and rough seas makethe race difficult to complete, and it requires maximum participation to the sailing tasks. If this makes you feel excited, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, sign your name into history and mark your March or October with an adventure for life!
Not a skipper yourself? You can join the race as a crew member if you like. You can even sign up and become one of the crew members. After you do this, skippers short on crew will have a chance to contact you and offer you a position on their boats. You don’t have to feel intimidatedto enter the race by yourself, if sailing is what you want to do- do it with a team of new friends.They say strongest relationships are bonded during most dangerous adventures. The Rolex Middle Sea race definitely falls under the category of dangerous adventures – already can’t wait?
If you are not a sailor yourself, you will be wondering where is the best spot to spectate the famous Rolex Middle Sea Race. The start and finish of the race are the most impressive moments – and these can be watched from the Three Cities (mostly recommended is Birgu, also known as Vittoriosa, close to Fort St. Angelo) or Valletta – as you wish.
Wave good luck to the brave sailors from the capital of Malta as they set out to compete in difficult weather conditions. You can get the best view of the race start from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. You can even use the lift at the Upper Barrakka Gardens to go down to the bastions, where you can watch the racing yachts from a closer distance.
After all the yachts hit the waves, you can enjoy a tour aroundthis historic capital city. Valletta is full of ancient secrets, underground tunnels and historical buildings.You can even take a ferry from Valletta to Birguto watch the race from a different angle. Slow and fast ferry boats from Valletta to the Three Cities make for an exceptional experience of crossing open waters with great ease.
And when the race nears its end, children will simply love counting little boats far away in the sea and waiting for them to come back as winners. Valletta is very children-friendly and parents should not worry when going to watch the race. Many convenience spots, parks, cafeterias and ice-cream parlours will serve any need of yours or your little ones.
The Rolex Middle Sea race kicks off from the Valletta Grand Harbour, with yachts heading towards south Sicily. They then go all around Sicily, visiting Pantelleria and Lampedusa before making their way back to Malta. The race is 608 nautical miles (977 km). The fastest record was achieved in 2007, when it took the yacht named Rambler one day, 23 hours and 55 minutes to complete the journey.
Offshore racing is quite dangerous, and therefore following the race is very exciting. Even though you will not be able to follow your favourites live, you will constantly hear radio notifications about boats that ended the race early because their yachts got flipped upside down by the dangerous sea, or because they got stuck on the rocks or cannot continue the race for other reasons. For example, in 2012 a record number (122) of participating yachts was registered and began the race, but only 74 of them managed to finish it. 40% of all teams were not prepared enough, or simply unlucky in the capricious sea.
Even though the Rolex Middle Sea race may seem a little too stressful for most of us, for others is just another day ofpassionate work, and we have a magnificent chance to spectate sailors working once a year here in Malta. After all the yachts are back and all the crews are safe it’s time for celebrating the sailors as heroes. There are many different honours and trophies and cups already falling from the shelves of swinging boats that came back from the previousraces as winners. Go ahead and see who will be announced as the bravest, fastest and the most accurate crews this March and October of 2018.
Would you like to enjoy the Rolex Middle Sea experience up close? If yes, then you should charter a yacht from Oceanline, the chartering agency that has the best boat hire Malta rates!