Created as the result of a sporting rivalry between two British yachtsmen residing in Malta, Alan Green and Jimmy White, and two Maltese sailors, Paul and John Ripard. The group proposed a racecourse that was longer than typical in the region, and one designed to offer an exciting competition in windier autumn conditions. The Rolex Middle Sea Race, now one of the pinnacle events in the offshore sailing calendar, will enter its 44th year when the race starts on Saturday, 21st October 2023.
The Rolex Middle Sea race is accompanied by one of the most sought-after trophies in yachting with the worlds most high-profile sailors on the entry list – this year the event boasts 109 yachts representing twenty-five countries. The 606 nautical mile race starts in the historic port of Grand Harbour, Valletta where there will be a myriad of Doyle-powered yachts looking to secure this year’s trophy.
Fresh from their 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race win, Botin 52 CARO, owned by Max Klink, will have their sights set on claiming two of the biggest trophies in offshore racing within the same year. If the prevailing weather suits, Caro will be a strong contender and have already proved their calibre when the yacht finished 3rd in last year’s edition. A major feature of the yacht is its flexibility, with two distinct modes for inshore and offshore racing. The Middle Sea Race will see the yacht in its offshore configuration with a larger rudder with wheel steering, water ballast, a galley, head and crew bunks. Doyle Sails expert and professional sailor Justin Ferris has been integral to the entire project including planning, designing and overseeing the production of the Doyle Sails inventory, but also playing a central role in the racing programme, managing the crew, the rating optimisation and the overall performance of the yacht.
However, CARO will need to bring their a-game, as it will be a tight tousle with rival Pac52 WARRIOR WON, owned by Chris Sheehan from the United States. WARRIOR WON, who finished third in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race and fourth in the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart, will have Doyle Sails expert and professional sailor Stu Bannatyne onboard, who is one of the world’s most respected offshore sailors with eight Volvo Ocean Races to his name.
Wally 93, Bullitt continues to showcase it’s prowess on the race track in both offshore and inshore mode. The yacht, owned by Andrea Recordati, recently placed third at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo. Doyle Sails expert Luke Molloy will again be back on board, bringing his ocean racing expertise as lead trimmer alongside Doyle Sails Design Director, Richard Bouzaid.
This years race brings back some of the world’s most recognised race yachts including Leopard 3. The yacht has recently been through an extensive refit ahead of the 2023 European sailing season and continues to post some impressive results. Doyle Sails Palma expert and Leopard 3 stalwart Chris Sherlock is back at the helm of the 100ft Maxi alongside a professional crew, some of whom have spent many years onboard. Leopard 3 has recently won the 2023 Aegean 600 and finished second at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and will be a strong line honours contender in this year’s Rolex Middle Sea race.
Follow the race here // https://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com
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Our obsession with sailing takes us to every corner of the world and onboard every yacht. We become part of teams, share in the adventures of friends and families, sharing our knowledge and experience with those with the same passion. Sailing is in our DNA, and we are the custodians of a legacy that has been supporting sailors for four decades and counting.