18 countries line up for the 33rd edition of the RMSR
The 33rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2012 will kick off next Saturday, October 20 with the roaring of the start canon across the Grand Harbour at 11:00h, with some of the boats taking up to 5 days to complete the course.
Dating back from 1968, the RMSR covers a course distance of 606 nautical miles in a nonstop start-finish sprint that takes the boats through the Messina Strait, past Stromboli, around Favigniana, by Lampedusa before crossing the archipelago between Malta and Gozo to the finish line opposite the Royal Malta Yacht Club at ta’ Xbiex.
The RMSR has earned its place as a highly rated offshore classic, often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney - Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a "must do" race. The race is a challenge to skippers and crews who have to battle through often changeable and demanding conditions.
A record entry is expected to start this year’s race and around 1000 sailors hailing from 18 different countries will be taking part in this year’s edition.
The largest contingent is from Italy with 29 boats, with the next big group of 13 boats coming, from Russia followed closely by 12 UK boats. German is participating with seven boats together with 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. 9 local sailing boats, including last year’s overall winner Artie‐RTFX, have already secured their registration.
Malta’s Arthur Podesta has taken part in every edition held since the first start in 1968 and will be making the start line on board Elusive II.
With a 30 meters waterline, Slovenian Super Maxi Esimit Europa 2 is the largest yacht taking part in this years edition and stands as a favourite for line honours, whilst Russian entry Visconte skippered by Artem Brum is one of the smallest competitors at 9.7 metres. Having just sailed 3000 miles to make it to the start line, Barry Hurley’s Irish entry Dinah is one of 7 yachts being raced Double Handed.
Last year’s line honours went to Esimit Europa 2 skippered by Igor Simcic, whilst the 2011 overall winner was Artie‐RTFX co‐skippered by Lee Satariano & Christian Ripard. In 2007 George David on board Rambler (ex Alfa Romeo) managed a new course record of 47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds which remains unbeaten.
The race can be followed online through the boat’s tracking sytem on: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/tracker/#pt