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Watch: Rolex Middle Sea Race comes to a close as Bullitt crowned overall winners

As per tradition, the closing act of this year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race was the final prize-giving held in the historic Mediterranean Conference Centre.

The 2023 edition of the Mediterranean’s most demanding and renowned 600 mile offshore race will be remembered for the mix of conditions and emotions experienced by the international fleet.

Unusually, the weather favoured both mammoth and minnow, turtle and hare.

A powerful maxi will be remembered for an unexpected offshore success, while one of the smallest boats will be recalled for a breathtaking performance that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

Overall winner the 93-foot Bullitt, and second-placed 33ft double-hander Red Ruby, separated by only 24 seconds in corrected time, but forever joined in legend.

During the presentation, David Cremona Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club acknowledged the diversity of the fleet, the range of sizes of yachts, the different talent and experience within the crews, and its global representation. He paid tribute to everyone that had taken part:

“The Rolex Middle Sea Race is more than just a competition; it is a testament to the human spirit’s unyielding quest for adventure, an enduring love of the sea and the opportunity to test one’s mettle against the elements,” he said.

“I stand here in awe of the sailors who have embraced these challenges, demonstrating remarkable skill and determination.”

Cremona also referenced the David and Goliath battle for overall victory.

“This year’s conditions kept us waiting anxiously with no definite overall winner until late into the week. The Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy was kept in the balance for such a long and tense period,” he said.

“Bullitt’s crew were incredulous about the narrow victory they had experienced, just 24 seconds. While for Red Ruby the end result was agonising, but filled with pride and positivity.” 

In addition to participating crews, the occasion was attended by several distinguished guests, in particular the French Ambassador Agnès von der Mühll, Italian Ambassador Fabrizio Romano, the president of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola and the President of Malta George Vella.

Dr Vella said: “The Rolex Middle Sea Race brings to Malta the best sea-faring talent from across the world and is also a great opportunity to showcase Malta’s vast and rich maritime heritage.

“One of the features that stands out to me, as the most noteworthy attribute of this event, is its strong multicultural dimension.

“Some 25 nations have participated in this year’s edition, with entries from as far afield as the United States and Australia.

“It is indeed very satisfying to see so many nationalities gathered here, with diverse backgrounds and languages, sharing a common objective, and a common passion for the same sport.”

Donation

Marking the forthcoming retirement of Dr Vella, the Royal Malta Yacht Club presented a cheque for €5,000 made out to the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation, which aims to improve the quality of life and care of individuals in society in general without any form of discrimination.

The Principal Race Officer, Stefan Kunstmann paid tribute to the 100s of hours of work by the Royal Malta Yacht Club volunteers and thanked the competitors for their contribution to an extremely successful edition of the race.

The 45th Rolex Middle Sea Race will start on Saturday, October 19, 2024.

CLASS WINNERS

IRC Overall winner and Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy

Bullitt, Andrea Recordati

IRC Class winners

IRC 1: Bullitt, Andrea Recordati.

IRC 2: Caro, Max Klink.

IRC 3: Daguet 3, Frédéric Puzin.

IRC 4: Elusive 2, Aaron, Christoph and Maya Podesta.

IRC 5: Karpo, Maks Vrecko.

IRC 6: Red Ruby, Christina and Justin Wolfe.

Monohull Line Honours and RLR Trophy winner

Leopard 3 Chris Sherlock.

Multihull Line Honours and Malta Tourism Authority Trophy winner (First Foreign Boat)

Limosa, Alexia Barrier, FRA

MOCRA Overall and Captain Morgan Trophy winner

Limosa, Alexia Barrier, FRA

ORC Category Overall and Boccale del Mediterraneo Trophy winner

Red Ruby, Christina & Justin Wolfe, USA

ORC Class Winners

ORC 2: Chocolate 3, François Bopp.

ORC 3: Daguet 3, Frédéric Puzin.

ORC 4: Bewild, Renzo Grottesi.

ORC 5: Inteman (Barakah), Daniel Martín Miguel.

ORC 6: Red Ruby, Christina and Justin Wolfe.

First Boat with Maltese skipper and majority Maltese crew – Transport Malta Trophy

Artie III, Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard.

First Maltese boat under IRC and Arthur Podesta Trophy winner

Calypso, Sebastian Ripard and Sam Pizzutto.

First Maltese Boat under ORC and Teddie Borg Trophy winner

Calypso, Sebastian Ripard and Sam Pizzutto.

Yachting Malta Nations Cup (Country with three best IRC corrected times)

Italy – Bullitt, Loli Fast and Diavolina

Italian Ambassador’s Trophy for Sportsmanship

Munjek RS, Dusko Tomic.

First Italian boat under ORC and Federazione Italiana Vela Trophy winner

Ultravox Seares, Leonardo Fonti.

Note: 99 out 110 boats completed the course, 11 retired.

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