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Malta Hosts the Annual Rolex Middle Sea Race

Malta, Malta Hosts the Annual Rolex Middle Sea Race, eTurboNews | eTN
Rolex Middle Sea Race - image courtesy of Kurt Arrigo
Written by Linda Hohnholz

Malta, within the crossroads of the Mediterranean, will host the 44th Rolex Middle Sea Race beginning October 21, 2023 in Valletta’s Grand Harbour.


This iconic race features some of the world’s premier mariners on the most high-tech vessels in the sea. From Kazakhstan to the United States, from Spain to Australia, the appeal of the Rolex Middle Sea Race is unquestionably broad, with over 100 yacht entries representing 26 different nations. 

The race starts in Valletta’s Grand Harbour beneath the historic Fort St. Angelo. Participants will embark on the 606 nautical mile classic, traveling to the Eastern coast of Sicily, up towards the Strait of Messina, before heading North to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli. Passing between Marettimo and Favignana the crews head South towards the island of Lampedusa, passing Pantelleria on the way back to Malta.

Originally stemming from a rivalry between two friends who were members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, Paul and John Ripard, and British sailor residing in Malta, Jimmy White, the Rolex Middle Sea Race has grown tremendously since the first edition in 1968. Since then, Maltese yachts have won on nine occasions, most recently in 2020 and 2021, when the Podesta siblings secured back-to-back wins with Elusive II. 

Georges Bonello DuPuis, Race Director, shared:

“The Rolex Middle Sea Race is where passion meets the power of the sea, and every wave carries the spirit of adventure.”

“An extraordinary adventure, where crews from all over the world test their mettle against the Mediterranean’s unpredictability and volatile nature. The Royal Malta Yacht Club takes immense pride in welcoming crews from all corners of the globe. Our race isn’t just about competition; it’s a celebration of unity on the world’s most magnificent stage—the Mediterranean Sea. With sailors hailing from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, this event transcends borders, fostering international friendship and camaraderie.” 

Malta, Malta Hosts the Annual Rolex Middle Sea Race, eTurboNews | eTN
Rolex Middle Sea Race – image courtesy of Kurt Arrigo

2023 Rolex Middle Sea Race Facts 

The largest yacht registered is the Spirit of Malouen X at approx. 106 ft., while the smallest yacht is Aether at approx. 30 ft. The most entries are from Italy, represented with 23 entries. Newcomer Pyewacket 70 from the United States, was first made famous in the yachting world through the series of boats owned by the avid ocean racer Roy E. Disney, a nephew of Walt Disney. Roy P. Disney, is a hugely experienced offshore racer in his own right and continues the Pyewacket legacy with this latest iteration.

The race will start on Saturday, October 21, 2023, in Valletta’s Grand Harbour. 

For further information about the race please contact the Royal Malta Yacht Club via email on [email protected] or telephone, +356 2133 3109.

Follow news and stories on the Rolex Middle Sea Race social media accounts:

Facebook @RolexMiddleSeaRace

Instagram @RolexMiddleSeaRace

Twitter @rolexmiddlesea

The official race hashtags are #rolexmiddlesearace & #rmsr2023

Malta, Malta Hosts the Annual Rolex Middle Sea Race, eTurboNews | eTN
Rolex Middle Sea Race – image courtesy of Kurt Arrigo

About Malta

The sunny islands of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, are home to a most remarkable concentration of intact built heritage, including the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state anywhere. Valletta, built by the proud Knights of St. John, is one of the UNESCO sites and the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Malta’s patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, to one of the British Empire’s most formidable defensive systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 8,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.

For more information on Malta, visit

About the author


Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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