The appeal of the Rolex Middle Sea Race is obvious. Starting and finishing in the Grand Harbour of Malta’s capital Valletta, the 606-nautical mile (1,122 km) anticlockwise circumnavigation of Sicily is both beautiful and challenging, taking in the active volcanoes of Etna and Stromboli, wild islands and seas imbued with legend. In 2022, a fleet of 118 yachts from 24 countries had to negotiate extremely light winds, requiring crews to demonstrate supreme patience and perseverance to maximize every opportunity to maintain momentum. Eric de Turckheim’s French yacht Teasing Machine was the overall race winner, just reward after coming close to victory at several Rolex-partnered offshore races in recent years. Organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club since 1968, this epic Mediterranean adventure has been partnered by Rolex since 2002 as part of the brand’s wide-ranging support for yachting dating back almost 70 years.
Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. The Swiss watchmaker naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and the brand’s enduring partnership now encompasses the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas, as well as towering figures in the sport, including ground-breaking round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester and the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting SailGP global championship in which national teams race identical supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world’s most famous harbours. Rolex’s partnerships with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Yacht Club Italiano, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron, among others, are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.