The 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race entry list stands at 79 yachts representing 21 countries.
The 2020 Rolex Middle Sea Race that was supposed to take place earlier this year, is cautiously moving forward with arrangements prior to its starting date on the 17th of October.
While the pandemic has yet to reach a halt, the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC) assures all 79 competitors who have entered this year’s race that they are doing everything in their power to enable the race to take place.
"We are delighted with the size and diversity of the fleet in the circumstances," says Peter Dimech, the Principal Race Officer. "At the moment, we have every hope of getting the race under way as planned despite the headwinds we face."
"In terms of the operational elements, we are closely following guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation and the Malta Health authorities, and also World Sailing, who have provided considerable best practice advice generally and specifically for offshore races," explains Dimech. "We are also looking at the best practice of other national federations to ensure we are adopting a comprehensive approach."
Regarding the race’s entry list, a number of heavy competitors have already registered including the 100-ft Maxi Comanche, a stand-out favourite and a potential challenger for the sub-48-hour race record set in 2007. Not to mention, the presence of an interesting three-way head-to-head consisting of Maserati, Ultim’ Emotion and PowerPlay among the Multihull Line Honours. Last year's overall race winner, Maltese yacht Elusive 2 has also registered.
For the moment, the RMYC encourages crews to remain positive. "As long as competitors can be flexible, accept the challenges of a shifting scenario and make it to Malta, our aim is to put on a race," says Dimech, adding: "Assuming it is allowed!"
Malta has always been a prime destination for international sports events. The Mediterranean climate is typically mild year-round, which offers the perfect environment for outdoor sport activities and competitions. Following this year’s unexpected circumstances, many sport events have been cancelled or postponed; however, Maltese authorities are doing the best they can to prepare the island for more upcoming events in the near future.