Published: Monday, 23 October 2017

The 38th edition of the 606nm Rolex Middle Sea Race welcomed 104 yachts from 30 different countries, among which George David’s 88ft Rambler stand out.

103 Yachts Compete In Rolex Middle Sea Race 1

(Photo: Rolex - Rambler)

The fleet first head down the northeast coast of Sicily before making the turn at Lampedusa before the final stretch to Malta.

The fastest finisher of the last two editions, George David’s 88ft Rambler from the United States recently added line honours victory at the Rolex Fastnet to her palmarès.

David is also the race record holder having set a time of 47 hours, 55 minutes with his Rambler in 2007. The crew comprises sailing talent including New Zealanders Brad Butterworth and Dean Barker. 

The largest yachts in the Race are Ludde Ingvall‘s 98ft CQS, completing a triumvirate of Rolex 600nm offshore races over the past ten months; and the 100ft Leopard, line honours winner in Malta in 2009.

Two Maxi 72s – Dieter Schön’s Momo, line honours winner at the 2017 Giraglia Rolex Cup and recently crowned Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion and George Sakellaris’ Proteus, runner-up at the same event in Porto Cervo, also join the Race.

In the absence of defending champion Mascalzone Latino from Italy, the quest to win the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy for outright victory on IRC handicap is likely to go to a new name.

Pietro Moschini’s Endlessgame from Italy and Franco Niggeler’s Swiss yacht Kuka 3, are Cookson 50 designs and will be hoping that the race continues to be kind to yachts in the 50ft range.

James Blakemore’s all South African crew on the Swan 53 Music is amongst that group of contenders. “We’re looking at a Tuesday afternoon arrival in Malta as there will be big pressure from Stromboli onwards,” explains the crew’s Gerry Hegie.

“This is an iconic race. The key will be making the right choices regarding the sail inventory for all of the different corners.” 

The most represented country in the Race is Italy with over 20 expected starts followed by the United Kingdom and Russia. Six Maltese yachts will not only compete for national pride but aim to become the eighth local yacht to win the race.