Rolex Middle Sea Race receives 90 entries
Published: Friday, 22 September 2017
Set for October 21, the Rolex Middle Sea Race now has an entry list with 90 yachts from 27 countries.
Italy provides the largest contingent of competitors with 17 entries. Three of the past five races have been won by Italian yachts. This year, while the defending champion Mascalzone Latino will not be in attendance, there is another Italian Cookson 50 in the shape of Endlessgame.
Armed with a new crew, the former Cippa Lippa has proved its continuing capability by bettering Mascalzone during the offshore race of the 2017 Giraglia Rolex Cup.
Endlessgame’s owner Pietro Moschini said he’s looking forward to his first attempt at the Race: “First of all to experience and enjoy the longest offshore sailing race of the Mediterranean, and one of the most prestigious and spectacular in the world.”
“We want to sail at our best to have no regrets at the end of the race regardless of our result. 2017 has been our very first season, we want to close it with a good performance that will allow us to treasure the experiences and focus on the next season.”
“In some ways, it is hard to say whether the Rolex Middle Sea Race is the last race of our 2017 season or rather the prelude to the 2018 season!”
Elsewhere, UK and Russia both provide 14 entries. Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss will be one of the highest profile in the double-handed category. Quentin Stewart’s DSS equipped 46-footer, Maverick, will be hoping for improvement on last year’s third place overall.
The Russian contingent confirms the growing popularity of the Rolex Middle Sea Race among eastern European countries, which this year count entries from Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Ukraine.
Many are returning yachts. Sergey Bryuzga and Frogfoot finished third in class in 2016, with Vasiliy Shumarin and Belka 2 just one place behind. Igor Rytov and Bogatyr took second place on their class podium along with an overall result of 15th in the IRC fleet of 95 yachts.
So far, local representation comes from the Maltese yachts: Isomat Unica, skippered by Jamie Sammut, who is sailing with a full crew having won the double-handed category last year; Elusive 2, sailed by the Podesta siblings Maya, Aaron and Cristoph; Otra Vez, with Sean Arrigo and Brian Flahive racing double-handed; and, Sean Borg’s Xpresso.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race will possibly post more than 100 entries for the fourth year and perhaps break the ceiling of 30 nations.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race starts from Grand Harbour on Saturday October 21. The final Prize Giving ceremony will be held on Saturday October 28.