The 606 nautical mile route takes place in the heart of the Mediterranean and is considered one of the most beautiful courses in the world
The Rolex Middle Sea Race commences on Saturday with more than 100 yachts from 22 countries due to take part. Starting and finishing in Malta, the race is known for its picturesque route, taking competitors close to a number of islands which form course marks.
Scroll down for infomation on how to follow this year’s race.
We have compiled this visual guide to the Rolex Middle Sea Race, which American media mogul and yachtsman Ted Turner described as “the most beautiful race course in the world. What other event has an active volcano as a mark of the course?”
The 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race course map
Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, the course is sailed anti-clockwise with the fleet heading north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina.
Mount Etna is usually visible on the fleets port side, billowing ashes and lava throughout the night. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn west to the Egadi Islands.
Passing between Marettimo and Favignana the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port.
Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg towards the South Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour.
The Course Record, established by “Rambler” in 2007, is 1day, 23hours, 55mins 3secs.
The Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club co-founded the race in 1968 and 2015 will be the 36th Edition. This year’s entry list of 115 just falls short of last year’s record number of entries, when 122 yachts took part in this offshore classic.
Famous competitors have included Ted Turner, 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 2014 Esimit Europa were in first to win Line Honours, whilst Maltese J/122 boat Artie was the overall winner of the IRC Category and the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy for the second time.
All of the competing yachts are fitted with YB trackers showing their position and other telemetric data.
How to follow the race:
Watch the race live:
Yachts will be in the Grand Harbour from approximately 10:00hrs.
Race starts on Saturday 17th October at 11:00 at the Grand Harbour
Various vantage points are available- the Upper Barakka Gardens give a fine aerial view.
Yacht Tracker: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/tracker/#pt
Yacht Blogs: http://blog.rolexmiddlesearace.com
Television: TVM2 will be broadcasting the starts LIVE
Free Live Streaming of the Start: http://www.tvm.com.mt/mt/tv/tvm2/
Visit ww.rolexmiddlesearace.com for more information.