Record entry for Rolex Middle
47 boats from 13 countries have arrived in Malta in preparation
for the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Now in its 23rd edition the annual 607-mile
offshore race, sailed anti-clockwise around the Italian island of Sicily
and the adjacent islands is organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
The event has again this year attracted a significant number of the
world's fastest racing yachts.
The classic offshore race, with a significant set of historical links
and landmarks, is preceded by two inshore coastal races this week. Sailed
from Marsamxett Harbour, Wednesday will see the fleet race a 36-mile
course out and back to the rocky outcrop of Filfla to the South of Malta.
Thursday will see the fleet race a shorter 27-mile course to the island
of Comino and back. Comino is a small island between the two main islands
of the Maltese Archipelago, Gozo and Malta. Friday will be a day off,
allowing all crews to make final preparations before the start of the
Rolex Middle Sea Race the following morning, Saturday, at 11:00
The start and finish line for all races is strung out across this gap.
Amongst the 47 entries are eleven Maltese yachts including Market Wizard,
last year's overall winner. Classes eligible to sail the Rolex Middle
Sea Race include Classics, IMS and IRC type yachts along with Multihulls.
In the latter group is one boat capable of pulverising the current course
record, which has stood at 64hrs 49mins 57secs since 2000 when the American
yacht Zephyrus IV broke the previous standard. Englishman Tony Bullimore's
Team Pimsic, a massive 30-metre catamaran, has already broken many sailing
records around the world.
Neville Crichton's New Zealand-registered 90-foot Super Maxi Alfa Romeo,
another boat capable of collecting line honours and breaking the course
record, spent all day Tuesday practicing, sizing up the start line and
determining the run and best racing line for the three starts the boat
Results and press releases are available on-line at www.regattanews.com