Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

October's Middle Sea Race Looks for Entries

6th August 2011
October's Middle Sea Race Looks for Entries
The 32nd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race is just under three months away. Entries for the 606-nautical mile classic are beginning to stack up, and the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC) is contemplating another bumper crop of international yachts and crews. Preparations for the event are well underway, and competitors can look forward to the usual level welcome that is rarely matched in the yacht-racing world. The start is scheduled for Saturday, 22 October, and once again will be in the unparalleled setting of Grand Harbour.

With 31 yachts entered, the event is well on the way to matching last year’s fleet of 76 and the record fleet of 78 set in 2008. The first boat to register its interest was the German Rogers 46 Varuna, owned by Jens Kellinghusen. Varuna finished 13th overall in IRC and won her ORC class in 2010, and is an enthusiastic returnee. Varuna’s interests extend beyond just this race, since she is actively participating in the 2011 Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS) has having just completed the Transatlantic Race, and being about to embark on the Rolex Fastnet Race. With the prospect of a considerable number of season’s sea miles under her belt before October it would be fair to suppose that her crew will be supremely well-drilled come the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Next up were Jason and Judy Payne-James with their Dufour 45, Heartbeat IV (GBR), closely followed by the current headline act: Niklas Zennstrom’s 72-foot Judel/Vrolijk designed Rán 2, the 2009 winner of the Rolex Fastnet. This will be the third visit of the Rán crew, the second on the world champion mini-maxi. Their best result to date was fourth overall in 2009, something they will be looking to improve upon.

The spread of international entries currently includes boats from most seafaring nations in Europe, plus Russia and South Africa. Chris Frost’s 54-foot Prodigy (RSA) is another yacht competing on the AORS. She finished the Transatlantic Race half an hour behind Varuna, and will be looking to turn that table in the Rolex Fastnet ahead of the deciding match in Malta in October.

This year, foreign crews will be offered a substantial upgrade on the already excellent facilities available at this race. The RMYC is in the process of installing some 60 pontoon berths on Marsamxett Harbour, right off the clubhouse at Ta’Xbiex. This will be the first time in the 43 year history of the event that the RMYC has been able to accommodate the main bulk of the competing fleet so close to the centre of operations.

“It is a great achievement for the club, and great news for the event and for the competitors,” says Commodore Georges Bonello DuPuis. “It was a substantial investment, but is part of our vision for the general expansion of the yacht club’s activities, plus we have long wanted to moor participating yachts adjacent to our facility so we can host them in the best possible way. We have a well-earned reputation for really looking after the visiting international crews, but this year will raise the bar still further.”

And, whilst the local Maltese participants might not benefit directly from the improved moorings, they will certainly enjoy the increased party atmosphere anticipated at the club ahead and after the race. Jonas Diamantino’s ILC 40 Comanche Raider II Gasan Mamo was one of the first hometown boats to enter, with Aaron and Edward Gatt Floridia’s J/122 Otra Vez and Jonathan Gambin’s Dufour 44 Ton Ton Surfside hot on his heels. More are sure to follow.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race commences on Saturday, 22 October 2011.

Entries close on 14 October.

The final prize giving is on Saturday, 29 October 2011.

George David's Rambler established the current Course Record of 47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds in 2007.
Published in Offshore
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating