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Middle Sea Race
The Sunrise Racing Team is a group of friends and family that are very good, predominantly amateur, sailors. The crew for the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race was: Tom Kneen, Ed Bell, Theo Bell, Dave Swete, Tom Cheney, Tor Tomlinson, Mark Spearman, Angus Gray-Stephens and Calum Healey
Tom Kneen, Skipper of Sunrise says he is in contact with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, World Sailing and the RYA to gain their support in overturning the "unfair and ill-conceived decision" by Middle Sea Race organisers last month…
The decision to reduce the Middle Sea Race 606nm course length by 12nm had a significant effect on the first two boats - one 30.48m/100ft and one 11.80m/39ft.
The Royal Malta Yacht club says it is only too aware that the outcry over the finish of its 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race has damaged the reputation and legacy of its most important race, something it is committed to rectifying. The…
Comanche finished the race on the morning of Monday 25 October but it has taken til Friday, October 29th to confirm her win of the 2021 Middle Sea Race
The 30.48m/100ft Maxi Comanche (CAY) has been confirmed as the overall winner of the 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race. Skippered by Mitch Booth, the exceptional crew of 23 included in its ranks the likes of Will Oxley, as navigator, Tom…
The Rolex Middle Sea Race Organisers are recalculating race results for this week's 600-mile race in which the Fastnet Race overall winner looked set for a unique double win and while some competitors are still at sea.  At 1700 CEST…
Kenny Rumball (left) and Barry Hurley were among the crew of the Matt 12 Sailplane in the 2021 Middle Sea Race
Irish sailors on board the Matt 12 Sailplane have taken second in IRC Class four of the Middle Sea Race and a win on ORC.  Based on provisional results for the 21-boat class, the Robert Bottomley skippered 12-metre yacht now…
The British yacht Sunrise, winner of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, sits atop the standings of the Middle Sea Race
1700 CEST 26 October: Tuesday was yet another day of extraordinary tales and adventure. The 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race continues to live up to its billing as a blockbuster thriller. Overnight the list of finishers had lifted from seven…
Comanche had an elapsed time of 40 hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds. This represented a monumental improvement over the previous record of a 7 hours 37 minutes and 13 seconds or 16%.
In one of the most superb high speed offshore racing competitions, three of the world's largest and fastest racing maxis yesterday morning arrived back in Valletta, first monohulls home in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, first event of the International…
Multihull Line Honours winner Jason Carroll's MOD70 crew on Argo
With seven yachts in harbour, and no more expected until much later tonight (Monday) or the early hours of Tuesday, one might be excused for thinking the Rolex Middle Sea Race is over. Far from it. Close to 100 yachts…
Record breaker - Comanche (CAY), skippered by Mitch Booth
This morning, Monday 25 October, the VPLP/Verdier designed 30.48 metre/100 foot racing maxi, Comanche (CAY), skippered by Mitch Booth, crossed the finish line of the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race at 04:27:50 CEST to take Monohull Line Honours in an…
Argo has smashed both the existing multihull record of 56 hours 31 minutes 31 seconds, set by Maserati Multi70 in 2020 and the outright race record
Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) crossed the finish line of the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race at 20:39:28 CEST on Sunday 24 October to take Multihull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 33 hours 29 minutes 28 seconds. Argo…
Conor Doyle's Kinsale XP 50 Freya (right) exits Valetta Harbour at the start of the 600-mile Rolex Middle Sea Race in Malta today
1700 CEST -  The 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race has so far lived up to expectations, putting on a sensational start. All 114 yachts got away cleanly in a fresh south-easterly breeze that built from 10-12 knots, in the confines…
The Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet ranges in size from 140 feet (42.56 metres) down to some comparatively, ridiculously small 30-footers (nine plus metres).
With 114 boats scheduled to cross the start line of the 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race, this morning, Saturday 23 October, offshore yacht racing fans are in for a real treat. The Royal Malta Yacht Club has once again attracted…
Saturday sees the start of the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race with a 120 boat entry
The Mediterranean's Rolex Middle Sea Race starts this Saturday. Along with the 695-nm (1,287 kilometres) Fastnet Race held biennially in August, and the 628-nm (1,010 km) Sydney Hobart Yacht Race each December, this supreme test of seamanship is part of…
Frederic Puzin's Ker 46, Daguet 3-Corum competing in the Malta Coastal Race
The Yachting Malta Coastal Race started at 10:00 CEST on Wednesday 20 October. 42 teams entered the race representing 17 countries. Royal Malta Yacht Club Principal Race Officer, Peter Dimech, sent the competitors on a course of approximately 30 nautical…
Susan Glenny (pictured centre) will skipper XP44 Antelope in Saturday's Middle Sea Race. Her crew includes sailors from the Club Swan 50 and Maxi class and is competing in IRC 4 division
Irish offshore sailor Susan Glenny will skipper XP44 Antelope in Saturday's Middle Sea Race. Glenny, who has been campaigning in the mixed doubles offshore class with Conor Fogerty of Howth, will be backed by United States tech organisation ABBYY Digital Intelligence for the 600-mile…
The Yachting Malta Coastal Race starts Wednesday 20th October
Kinsale Yacht Club's Freya skippered by Conor Doyle is part of an international fleet of over 40 boats expected to take part in the Yachting Malta Coastal Race tomorrow, a shakedown race before Saturday's 600-mile Middle Sea Race tomorrow. The…

About The Middle Sea Race

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 and 2007 was the 28th Edition. Save for a break between 1984 and 1995 the event has been run annually attracting 25–30 yachts. In recent years, the number of entries has rissen sharply to 68 boats thanks to a new Organising Committee who managed to bring Rolex on board as title sponsor for the Middle Sea Race.

The race is a true challenge to skippers and crews who have to be at their very best to cope with the often changeable and demanding conditions. Equally, the race is blessed with unsurpassed scenery with its course, taking competitors close to a number of islands, which form marks of the course. Ted Turner described the MSR as "the most beautiful race course in the world".

Apart from Turner, famous competitors have included Eric Tabarly, Cino Ricci, Herbert von Karajan, Jim Dolan, Sir Chay Blyth and Sir Francis Chichester (fresh from his round the world adventure). High profile boats from the world's top designers take part, most in pursuit of line honours and the record – competing yachts include the extreme Open 60s, Riviera di Rimini and Shining; the maxis, Mistress Quickly, Zephyrus IV and Sagamore; and the pocket rockets such as the 41-foot J-125 Strait Dealer and the DK46, Fidessa Fastwave.

In 2006, Mike Sanderson and Seb Josse on board ABN Amro, winner of the Volvo Ocean Race, the super Maxis; Alfa Romeo and Maximus and the 2006 Rolex Middle Sea Race overall winner, Hasso Platner on board his MaxZ86, Morning Glory.

George David on board Rambler (ex-Alfa Romeo) managed a new course record in 2007 and in 2008, Thierry Bouchard on Spirit of Ad Hoc won the Rolex Middle Sea Race on board a Beneteau 40.7

The largest number of entries was 78 established in 2008.

Middle Sea Race History

IN THE BEGINNING

The Middle Sea Race was conceived as the result of sporting rivalry between great friends, Paul and John Ripard and an Englishman residing in Malta called Jimmy White, all members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. In the early fifties, it was mainly British servicemen stationed in Malta who competitively raced. Even the boats had a military connection, since they were old German training boats captured by the British during the war. At the time, the RMYC only had a few Maltese members, amongst who were Paul and John Ripard.

So it was in the early sixties that Paul and Jimmy, together with a mutual friend, Alan Green (later to become the Race Director of the Royal Ocean Racing Club), set out to map a course designed to offer an exciting race in different conditions to those prevailing in Maltese coastal waters. They also decided the course would be slightly longer than the RORC's longest race, the Fastnet. The resulting course is the same as used today.

Ted Turner, CEO of Turner Communications (CNN) has written that the Middle Sea Race "must be the most beautiful race course in the world. What other event has an active volcano as a mark of the course?"

In all of its editions since it was first run in 1968 – won by Paul Ripard's brother John, the Rolex Middle Sea Race has attracted many prestigious names in yachting. Some of these have gone on to greater things in life and have actually left their imprint on the world at large. Amongst these one finds the late Raul Gardini who won line honours in 1979 on Rumegal, and who spearheaded the 1992 Italian Challenge for the America's Cup with Moro di Venezia.

Another former line honours winner (1971) who has passed away since was Frenchman Eric Tabarly winner of round the world and transatlantic races on Penduik. Before his death, he was in Malta again for the novel Around Europe Open UAP Race involving monohulls, catamarans and trimarans. The guest list for the Middle Sea Race has included VIP's of the likes of Sir Francis Chichester, who in 1966 was the first man to sail around the world single-handedly, making only one stop.

The list of top yachting names includes many Italians. It is, after all a premier race around their largest island. These include Navy Admiral Tino Straulino, Olympic gold medallist in the star class and Cino Ricci, well known yachting TV commentator. And it is also an Italian who in 1999 finally beat the course record set by Mistress Quickly in 1978. Top racing skipper Andrea Scarabelli beat it so resoundingly, he knocked off over six hours from the time that had stood unbeaten for 20 years.

World famous round the world race winners with a Middle Sea Race connection include yachting journalist Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Les Williams, both from the UK.

The Maxi Class has long had a long and loving relationship with the Middle Sea Race. Right from the early days personalities such as Germany's Herbert Von Karajan, famous orchestra conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philarmoniker, competing with his maxi Helisara IV. Later came Marvin Greene Jr, CEO of Reeves Communications Corporation and owner of the well known Nirvana (line honours in 1982) and Jim Dolan, CEO of Cablevision, whose Sagamore was back in 1999 to try and emulate the line honours she won in 1997.

THE COURSE RECORD

The course record was held by the San Francisco based, Robert McNeil on board his Maxi Turbo Sled Zephyrus IV when in 2000, he smashed the Course record which now stands at 64 hrs 49 mins 57 secs. Zephyrus IV is a Rechiel-Pugh design. In recent years, various maxis such as Alfa Romeo, Nokia, Maximus and Morning Glory have all tried to break this course record, but the wind Gods have never played along. Even the VOR winner, ABN AMro tried, but all failed in 2006.

However, George David came along on board Rambler in 2007 and demolished the course record established by Zephyrus IV in 2000. This now stands at 1 day, 23 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds.

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