Malta’s most spectacular yacht race starts on Saturday.
Some of the world’s fastest yachts have gathered in Malta for the Middle Sea Race which begins at 11am in Valletta’s Grand Harbour.
This year’s race will be the biggest ever with a record 149 entries.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 50th anniversary of the Middle Sea Race.
What goes on?
The race brings together the crème de la crème of the sailing world to battle it out on the sea around Malta.
It originally started in 1968 between members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
Today it is one of the best sailing events of the year and it has been described internationally as ‘the most beautiful race course in the world’.
Who’s taking part?
A record fleet is expected to start the 606 nautical mile race, which starts and finishes in Malta.
Teams will be competing from more than 30 different countries, including Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.
How to watch the start in Malta
Various vantage points are available from most areas of the Grand Harbour.
The Lower and Upper Barakka Gardens in Valletta, the Valletta waterfronts, Fort St Angelo in Vittoriosa, and Senglea Point all give a fine view of the start.
How to follow the race
You can track the yachts on the race’s social media pages on Instagram and Facebook or on the official race website at www.rolexmiddlesearace.com.
The race is a real challenge for skippers and crews who have to be at their very best to cope with the changeable and demanding conditions.
It’s also one of the most beautiful yacht races in the world, with the course taking competitors close to a number of beautiful islands.
Read more: Rolex Middle Sea Race Facebook Page