The 36th Rolex Middle Sea Race kicks off this Saturday, October 17th, and the 52-foot yawl Dorade will be the oldest boat and the only classic yacht on the starting line. The 606-nautical-mile course circumnavigates Sicily, with a start and finish off the coast of Malta. Joining Co-Owner and Skipper Matt Brooks onboard are Ben Galloway, Matt Wachowicz, John Hayes, Mike Giles, Shaun Pammenter and Richard Mason.
“Now that we’ve completed the repeat races, we’re focusing on taking Dorade to places she has never raced before,” said Dorade Co-Owner Pam Rorke Levy, adding that the team just wrapped up its four-year “Return to Blue Water” campaign where Dorade repeated all of the major ocean races she won in the 1930s.
Although a majority of the seven-sailor crew onboard Dorade has competed in the Rolex Middle Sea Race in the past, none have done so on a classic wooden boat before. Some of the biggest challenges the team anticipates include shifting gears through the many different and extreme conditions, which the racecourse is known to throw at competitors.
New sails have been ordered specifically for this race and the team has been working on the electronics that failed during the Transatlantic Race, which Dorade competed in earlier this summer.
The length of the Rolex Middle Sea Race is comparable to that of the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Newport Bermuda Race, and the team estimates that it will take approximately five days (weather dependent) to complete the circumnavigation.
To follow the event, visit http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/index.cfm