Rolex Middle Sea Race Malta 2012
With less than two weeks away from the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the entry list has just topped the 90th boat, registered during the weekend at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
Excitement is running high as this record fleet will include at least 17 countries which will be joining the seven-boat Malta fleet for the Mediterranean classic race starting from Grand Harbour on October 20. As usual, the largest contingent is from Italy with 29 boats of all shapes and sizes, with the next big group of 13 boats coming, quite unexpectedly, from Russia followed closely by 12 UK boats.
This record edition should produce a gruelling challenge, considering also the strong German force of seven boats while next in line are five Austrian boats, four from Croatia, three Czechs, two Irish and a single representation from France, Monaco, South Africa, Switzerland, Greece, Gibraltar, Ukraine and Spain.
The regatta unites a variety of world classic yachts, particularly this year with a strong fleet of five maxis, another milestone in the decade-long history since the first involvement of Rolex as main the race’s sponsors. Maxi yachts are breathtaking in action. Their big size alone is impressive and with their state-of-the-art technology they sail with effortless elegance at times faster than the wind.
Indeed, the Rolex MSR has become more than just a race, it is now an icon among sporting challenges attracting also other big boats that range from 19m to over 21m. First-rate sailors gather on our captivating island this month to race with their big, medium and small boats – all have keen rivalry between their spirited crews to master this famous challenge and achieve the ultimate goal.
If ever there was a race course that linked the past with the present, myth with historical fact, natural beautiful harbours with man-made wonders, the Rolex MSR, starting in Valletta, would be it.