It is barely six weeks to the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2012. The slow summer period is over and the Royal Malta Yacht Club starts to get into action with its preparations for the 33rd edition of this classic offshore race. The club has organized this race annually for many years and knows only too well how much goes into making the race the successful and enjoyable event that participants have come to expect.
Entries started being submitted through the on line system early this year. To date over 60 boats have entered from as many as 14 countries and the list grows every day. Besides the customary strong entry from the United Kingdom and Italy there is a growing participation from Germany and Eastern Europe. Notably boats from Russia have been increasing every year and to date 10 Russian boats have entered. News from the Russian 600Nm Racing Club suggests that as many as 15 boats from Russia might be taking part and this club in conjunction with the Russian Sailing Federation are thinking of offering prizes to the best placed Russian boats. Sadly we have to report that Coral, Valentin Zubkov’s Shipman 63 which was a regular Russian participant at the Rolex Middle Sea Race for many years will this year not take part. After being one of the first to submit its entry, Coral was lost at sea due to a fire on board while racing from Palermo to Monte Carlo in August. Thankfully all the crew members were rescued safely.
As the race draws near participants start to plan their passage to Malta. Ran and some others are already here. Matej Knez from Team Esimit Europa, last year’s line honours winner, has indicated their intention to return to Malta this year after a busy racing season and to keep in trim they are thinking of establishing their annual trip from Trieste to Valletta as an official World Record Course.
The local fleet too is gearing up for the challenge. Lee Satariano, overall winner of last year’s race with Artie-RTFX will be back to defend their title. Elusive will be taking part as well maintaining Arthur Podesta’s unique record of having taken part in every edition of this race. Among the other local entrants are regulars Comanche Raider II-Gasan Mamo, Otra Vez and Tonton.
The Royal Malta Yacht Club, the Grand Hotel Excelsior and Grand Harbour Marina will be providing berths for the participants in this ever popular event.
The Race starts on the 20th October.
Further more information on the race and to enter the race on line go to: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com