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Despite the uncertainty that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about, 79 boats representing 21 countries are registered. A diverse and attractive fleet scheduled to take off from Valletta’s Grand Harbour the morning of the 17th October creating a spectacular scene from whichever angle it’s followed.

The traditional warm up race, The Yachting Malta Coastal Race was held yesterday marking the start of the sailing action for the Royal Malta Yacht Club’s flag ship event. Four out of the eight Maltese participants were expected for this preparatory race. “The Yachting Malta Coastal Race is not just a practice race for competing crews but also a good practice run for our starting procedures. This will definitely prove useful particularly because we have a number of new members in our start crew team” explained Principal Race Officer Peter Dimech.

Amongst the Maltese participants are Jarhead skippered by the young sailors from the Jarhead Foundation, Jonathan Gambin’s Ton Ton Laferla, Sean Borg’s Xpresso and 2019 Rolex Middle Sea Race winners, Elusive 2. The Podesta siblings have had their fair share of success in this race having claimed a number of podiums and Class wins in the previous editions. They entered again with their First 45 Elusive 2. “It is just one of those things,” says Maya. “The race is on all our calendars, so even before we won last year, we knew we’d be on the start line again this year. It is just part of our lives.” Maya is glad to have the support of her brothers Aaron and Christoph in preparing Elusive 2. In her day job as a doctor, Maya is a Consultant at the Office of the Superintendence of Public Health in Malta, and fully occupied with government’s response to the pandemic. Naturally, she is also a key member of the RMYC COVID Task Force with particular responsibility for interpreting the latest regulations and guidance and advising on the requirements for foreign crews.

“Elusive 2 will be on the starting line of the Coastal Race. We have regularly participated in this race as it provides us with a great opportunity to fine tune the boat and get the crew race ready. It will also give us a sneak peak of what competition we are to expect in the Rolex Middle Sea Race” Maya Podesta

For the first time in the history of this race, the Race Briefing will be held online in order to minimise interaction and encourage social distancing. In terms of preparations, the RMYC is well advanced. The COVID-19 Task Force led by former-flag officer Mark Vella is drawing expertise from a number of individuals including, importantly, some with front-line experience of managing the public health response in Malta. “It remains a complex situation,” says Vella. “We continue to walk through every aspect of the event, analysing and assessing each risk point, and working up the appropriate protocols and operating procedures.”

Meanwhile, Yachting Malta has once again confirmed its support towards the race, having given its nod towards this event for the past five editions.

We would like to take the opportunity to wish all participants the best of luck and look forward to following the race.

To know more about how the Rolex Middle Sea Race started follow this link https://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/race/history



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