Main Photo: Mana and Maserati Multi 70 depart from Valletta following the Rolex Middle Sea Race start

Some 50 yachts from 15 countries started the 41st edition of one of offshore sailing’s most famous challenges, the tactical and scenic 606-nautical mile Rolex Middle Sea Race.

The race forms an integral part of Rolex’s longstanding commitment to the offshore discipline of yachting. Partnerships include support for the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Rolex China Sea Race, the RORC Caribbean 600 and their respective organisers. The traditional firing of cannons from Valletta’s Saluting Battery provided the backdrop to the seven start sequences. The international fleet is taking on one of sailing’s most renowned racecourses featuring two active volcanoes in Etna and Stromboli. As the fleet circumnavigates Sicily, the numerous corners break up the race into distinct sections, each with its own characteristics and obstacles to overcome. It is a supreme test of seamanship. Discover more