The Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC) is preparing itself for a stellar fleet, with just 50 days to the start of the 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race. A total of 101 yachts representing 24 countries have entered the race so far, and entries are still open until Friday 12th September.
Despite the effects of COVID-19, it seems like there is potential for the 2021 race to rival some of the pre-pandemic fleets of three figures, as late entries are open till Friday 1st October.
Commodore David Cremona is utterly delighted: “This year suggests that the race’s popularity is as strong as ever. We are extremely grateful to the owners and crews willing to make the considerable effort to participate despite the continuing uncertainties. In turn we are leaving no stone unturned in our preparations for the race.”
France is the leading contingent with 18 entries so far, including several strong contenders. Their last win at the race was in 2018 with Courrier Recommandé.
Another great supplier of entries is Italy, and they stand a good chance at winning. Italian yachts have won the Rolex Middle Sea Race 14 times, more than any other nation – including host country Malta. Italy’s most recent win was by Mascalzone Latino in 2016.
But Malta itself is also contesting with a high-quality contingent of 12 yachts. The group is spear-headed by the Elusive 2, which is co-skippered by Podesta siblings Aaron, Christoph and Maya.
“Ever since the Rolex Middle Sea Race re-emerged as an offshore classic in 1996, it has featured in our lives,” Maya said.
“It is a yearly, permanent fixture in our calendar. Not just for the race itself, but also the family-bonding it has provided ever since we first started racing with our father (Arthur) in the early 2000s.”
Aaron added that, despite having discovered a winning approach, preparation doesn’t get easier. “Offshore racing is one of those sports where you need to make sure everything is well set up and will not let you down. We spend a lot of time making sure the boat is very organised.”
“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication in terms of preparation, attention to detail and leaving nothing to chance to complete the Rolex Middle Sea Race, let alone win it,” Christoph said. “This is not a race for the faint-hearted, but it is hugely rewarding.”
The 42nd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race will start on Saturday, 23rd October 2021.
Will you be watching the Rolex Middle Sea Race?