At a press conference, held on October 15, the Royal Malta Yacht club launched the 40th edition of the Rolex middle sea race and announced that it is set to welcome a fleet of around 113 boats to this year’s race.
Commodore Godwin Zammit had this to say: “the club is really pleased to once again be welcoming such a large fleet. It will comprise the traditional mix of professional and Corinthian crews, some experiencing the race for the first time and others returning to better previous results or just enjoy the adventure.” Commodore Zammit made special mention of American yachtsman George David the race record holder: “on George David’s first appearance in 2007, he and his crew set the current record of just under 48 hours. We are thrilled that george, with his latest rambler, is back once again, attempting to secure yet another line honours and also to beat his own record.”
Some 23 nations will be participating in the race, according to commodore Zammit with entries from as far afield as Australia and Argentina. In recent years Russia has delivered a number of highly competitive entries. This year is no exception, with regular participants Sergey Bryuzga’s ker 40 frogfoot and Nikolay Drozdov’s Elan 350 Rosatom sailing team entered.
Elsewhere, among the local Maltese entries, the jarhead young sailors foundation has entered two youth teams, one of which – jys jan – is an all-female crew;
During the press conference, principal race officer and race committee chairman, Peter Dimech also outlined the forthcoming event programme. “we kick off on Wednesday, with the coastal race, starting and finishing in Marsamxett harbour, and a good dress rehearsal before the main event,” Dimech advised. “the coastal race is a perfect opportunity for international and local crews to give their boats a final shakedown before Saturday. The current weather forecast suggests the most likely course will be up to comino and back.”
Saturday’s departure of the Rolex middle sea race from grand harbour, will be from seven starts, with the first class, the multihulls, starting at 1100 cest. The remaining groups will follow at 10 minute intervals, with the guns of the saluting battery marking each start. Proceedings will be co-ordinated between the royal Malta yacht club, transport Malta and the armed forces of Malta.
“it is one of the best, most dramatic race starts in the offshore racing world,” remarked Dimech. “grand harbour is blessed with a vast number of accessible viewing points both high up and low down. The crowd can feel really close to the yachts without the need be on the water. We are expecting a huge number of spectators.”
The 40th Rolex middle sea race starts on Saturday, 19 October at 1100 cest from the grand harbour.
POINTS FOR HE GEORGE VELLA, PRESIDENT OF MALTA, 26 OCTOBER 2019
MR GEORGES BONELLO DUPUIS
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
- IT IS INDEED A GREAT PLEASURE TO BE HERE WITH YOU TO ASSIST IN THE CROWNING MOMENTS OF THE 40TH ROLEX MIDDLE SEA RACE CUP. I WISH TO START BY CONGRATULATING ALL PARTICIPANTS, ESPECIALLY FOREIGN YACHTSMAN AND YACHTSWOMEN FOR JOINING US IN MALTA TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS EXCITING, YET ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING SEAFARING RACES IN THE WORLD.
- WITHOUT A DOUBT, THIS SPECTACULAR EVENT COULD NOT BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE UNTIRING WORK OF COMMODORE GODWIN ZAMMIT, THE VICE-COMMODORE ROBERT CIANTAR AND THEIR EXTENSIVE TEAM OF FLAG OFFICERS, MEMBERS AND VOLUNTEERS OF THE ROYAL MALTA YACHT CLUB. YOUR WORK AND DETERMINATION TO MAKE EACH YEAR’S EVENT A REMARKABLE SUCCESS IS A TRULY COMMENDABLE ONE. THANK YOU!
- A RENOWNED AND RESPECTED RACE, THIS EVENT EXHIBITS ALL THE HALLMARKS OF A TRUE SPORTING OCCASION AND PROMOTES KEY VALUES OF COMPETITION, CAMARADERIE, RESPECT AND HONOUR. THE PARTICIPATION OF 113 BOATS HAILING FROM 23 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IS IN ITSELF A CLEAR SIGN OF THIS EVENTS PRESTIGIOUS AND HIGH STANDING POSITION AMONGST INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL YACHT RACING OWNERS AND CREWS. FURTHERMORE, IT IS AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO CELEBRATE DIVERSITY AND MULTI-CULTURAL DIALOGUE WITHIN SPORTS.
- I AM PLEASED TO OBSERVE THAT LOCAL PARTICIPATION TO THIS SPORT IS ALSO VERY MUCH SOUGHT AFTER AND THAT JARHEAD YOUNG SAILORS FOUNDATION HAS ENTERED TWO YOUTH TEAMS, ONE OF WHICH CONSISTS OF AN ALL-FEMALE CREW. THIS IS EXCELLENT NEWS AND I AUGUR MORE YOUTHS ARE ENCOURAGED TO JOIN THESE TEAMS.
- AS AN ISLAND STATE, MALTA IS SURROUNDED WITH CRYSTAL BLUE SEAS AND RELATIVELY FAVOURABLE WEATHER THROUGHOUT MOST OF THE 365 DAYS OF THE YEAR. AS A COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA WE ARE CONSIDERED BY MANY AS A VERITABLE MOSAIC OF CUSTOMS, CULTURES AND TRADITIONS. FURTHERMORE, OUR RICH HISTORICAL PAST COMPLEMENTS OUR BEAUTIFUL CITIES AND TOWNS WITH SPECTACULAR EDIFICES, FROM PREHISTORIC MEGALITHIC TEMPLES, TO FINE EXAMPLES OF BAROQUE ARCHITECTURE, AND A UNIQUE SYSTEM OF SIXTEENTH SEVENTEENTH CENTURY SYSTEM OF FORTIFIVCATIONS. VALLETTA IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE AND THE CHARM OF THE GRAND HARBOUR GIVE OUR CAPITAL CITY A UNIQUE PICTURESQUE SETTING.
- THE GRAND HARBOUR IS ONE OF MALTA’S MOST PRECIOUS ASSETS, AND ONE OF THE BUSIEST AND MOST SPECTACULAR HARBOURS IN THE REGION, IF NOT IN THE WORLD.
- THE GRAND HARBOUR IS ROUTINELY HOME TO NUMEROUS CRUISE LINERS, AND OTHER COMMERCIAL SHIPS MAKING MALTA HOST TO INNUMERABLE NATIONALITIES, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND COMMERCIAL EXCHANGES. WITH YOUR PRESENCE AND YOUR PARTICIPATION TO THE ROLEX MIDDLE SEA RACE, THE GRAND HARBOUR ASSUMED YET ANOTHER FUNCTION, THAT OF ACTING AS A RALLYING PLACE FOR YACHTSMAEN, TO PROMOTE HEALTHY-COMPETITIVE SPORTS, WHILST BRINGING TOGETHER SO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE, NATIONALITIES AND AGES.
- WITHOUT PROLONGING FURTHER, I WISH TO THANK THE ROYAL MALTA YACHT CLUB FOR THEIR LONGSTANDING AND UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO INVEST TIME AND ENERGIES TO ORGANISE THIS EVENT, BUT ALSO THEIR YEARLY ENGAGEMENTS TO PROMOTE THIS SPORT AMONGST MALTESE YOUTHS.
- I WANT TO HEARTILY CONGRATULATE THE WINNERS OF THIS PRESTIGIOUS RACE, ELUSIVE 2 WHICH IS THE OVERALL WINNER OF THE 2019 ROLEX MIDDLE SEA RACE, AND THE 8TH. MALTESE WINNER IN THE HISTORY OF THIS RACE.
- AT THE SAME TIME I ALSO WISH TO CONGRATULATE ALL PARTICIPANTS , AND REPEAT THE WORDS OF COMMODORE GODWIN ZAMMIT WHEN HE SAID THAT HE WAS WELCOMING THOSE THAT WERE EXPERIENCING THE RACE FOR THE FIRST IME, AND OTHERS RETURNING TO BETTER PREVIOUS RESULTS, OR JUST ENJOYING THE ADVENTURE .
- I SINCERELY WISH YOU ALL COME BACK , TO SEE US AGAIN NEXT YEAR, HOPEFULLY BRINGING OTHERS ALONG, FOR THE 41ST EDITION OF THE ROLEX MIDDLE SEA RACE.
A FINAL THANK YOU GOES TO THE SPONSORS, THE ORGANISERS, THE PARTICIPANTS, AND TO YOU LADIES AND GENTLEMEN FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.
I DO HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOURSELVES IN THE SPIRIT OF HEALTHY COMPETITION.