Rolex Middlesea Race 2017
Updated: Feb 13, 2018
The Royal Malta Yacht Club presents the 2017 Rolex Middlesea Race, Malta
The 38th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, was arguably the toughest since 2007 when only 15 yachts finished that edition.
Of the 104 yachts starting this iconic race on Saturday 21st October 2017, only 35 crossed the finish line off Valletta having successfully conquered the 606-nautical mile race’s challenging and diverse weather conditions.
The race witnessed two distinct phases. A slow passage up to Sicily, through the Messina Strait, to the volcanic island of Stromboli, was followed by a boisterous second half encompassing the northern coast, the westernmost leg down to Lampedusa and the return to Malta.
Those returning to Malta showed resilience and determination in one of the more punishing editions in recent years. Those taking the heartbreaking decision to retire, the decision was not a simple one given the preparation and commitment required, but one based on sensibility and good seamanship.
Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy
The coveted 38th Rolex Middle Sea Race was won by Igor Rytov’s Bogatyr, a Russian-crewed JPK 10.80. Bogatyr is not only the first ever Russian winner, but the smallest yacht to win since 2002.
“I sailed as a young boy in Moscow, but only started racing again four years ago. This is the second time we have competed in the Rolex Middle Sea Race and we have also competed in the last two Rolex Fastnet Races.” – Igor Rytov, Bogatyr
Offshore racing can be a question of fine margins. The race, which saw the winning boat spend over 88 hours at sea, was decided by a mere six and a half minutes on corrected time.
Ten years on from claiming the race’s triple crown of line honours, overall victory and race record, George David’s Rambler 88 was first to finish for the third year running.
Fresh from her success at the Rolex Fastnet, George David’s American Maxi Rambler 88 started off as favourite for line honours though facing a number of worthy rivals. David’s clear intent was to maintain his perfect record, this ambition clearly revealed with some of names on Rambler 88’s crew list - Brad Butterworth and Dean Barker. David left no doubt that he would be back to attempt to better his record.
“This is the best race course in the world. It’s already on our calendar for 2018.” – George David
The 2018 edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race will mark the 50th anniversary of the inaugural race, held in 1968. This impressive milestone is definitely a cause for major celebration.
This is an epic sailing event with an increasing spread of boats from different countries. The race is varied and extremely challenging. I never cease to be amazed by the commitment of the sailors participating in this race. We are already looking forward to next year” – Godwin Zammit, Commodore – Royal Malta Yacht Club
Published TEMPLE Magazine 2017/18
Copyright: Temple Concierge Ltd.
Supplied by RMYC.