Challenging, enchanting and historic, the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race is one of Europe’s most popular and respected offshore races. Supported by Rolex since 2002, the race commences and finishes in Malta. The 33rd edition of the competition will take place between 20 and 27 October 2012. The event’s fascination is largely drawn from its alluring, 606-nautical-mile racecourse – a rigorous and scenic anticlockwise loop around Sicily which introduces numerous “corners” that present changing and complex meteorological shifts.
Last year’s event proved to be an emotional affair and one that the passionate Maltese sailing community cherished. Lee Satariano’s J/122 Artie ended a near decade-long run without a local victory by claiming the overall prize on handicap, following a dogged performance. Although it retains a strong Maltese and Italian presence, which is natural given the geography of the course, the event always attracts strong crews from across the globe. Last year, half the 70-strong fleet was drawn from outside these two countries.
Although the start of the event is still some three months away, a competitive fleet is forecast. A heavyweight in Niklas Zennström’s 72-foot Mini Maxi Rán 2 (GBR) – a two-time Rolex Fastnet Race and twice Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship winner – was one of the first yachts to confirm her participation. Another Maxi entry – the 78-ft Reichel/Pugh Idea, now owned by Darren Wright – twice won the Giraglia Rolex Cup on line honours in the early 2000s.
The current race record was set by George David’s 90-ft Maxi Rambler (USA) in 2007 and has not been threatened since. Her winning time was 47 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds. Line honours for the last two years have been the privilege of Igor Sim i ’s 100-ft Maxi Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), which recently smashed the race record at the Giraglia Rolex Cup. Last year, she finished some 14 hours outside Rambler’s time – a measure of how difficult the record is to beat.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, whose members were instrumental in the foundation of the event back in 1968, when their desire was to map a demanding and exciting racecourse. They fully succeeded – navigators and tacticians are drawn to the event each year precisely due to the unique obstacles posed.
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its OYSTER watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the OYSTER, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the PERPETUAL rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic and patronage programmes.
How to Follow the Event
Further information on the Rolex Middle Sea Race can be found at: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com.
To access news reports and features, and to download high-resolution images, copyright free for editorial purposes, register online at: www.regattanews.com.
During the event, regular media updates will be available on the regattanews Facebook and Twitter feeds. They include significant news, as well as the latest images, text and audio files posted to the www.regattanews.com platform.
A daily video round up of the news and action from the event will be available each evening following the start of the offshore race.
PR SERVICES FOR ROLEX IN YACHTING
Key Partners (KPMS)
T: +41 32 724 2829
PR SERVICES FOR ROYAL MALTA YACHT CLUB
T. +356 2133 3109
F. +356 2133 1131