2018 Rolex Middle Sea Race

A very different experience to holiday cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean


Starting in Valetta, Malta on 20th October the 608 mile 50th Anniversary Middle Sea Race will see a top-quality international fleet compete in one of the most interesting and sometimes demanding offshore races in The World.


Highlights include: the start and finish in the charming, historic town of Valletta, Mt. Etna spewing fire and ashes into the night, transiting the Strait of Messina and rounding the active volcano which is Stromboli.


Just because it's sailed in The Mediterranean doesn't mean that a walk in the park and it's quite common to experience strong winds and big seas. So you need to be 100% confident that you're up for it and we need to know that you're not coming as a passenger or likely to become a liability to yourself or your crewmates. 


After arriving in Malta, you take part in 2 training days and a coastal race (see full programme below) but, if you've any doubt about your preparedness, you can also join us for any one of 5 offshore races in the UK before Scarlet Oyster hards off for Malta at the end of September.

Scarlet Oyster 2018 50th Anniversary Rolex Middle Sea Race


Monday 15th October Arrive Malta
Tuesday 16th October Training Day
Wednesday 17th October Coastal Race
Thursday 18th October

Training Day

Pre-race Party

Friday 19th October

Recover from Pre-race Party & prepare boat

Saturday 20th October

Start of the 608 Mile 2018 50th Anniversary Rolex Middle Sea Race

Sunday 27th October

Prize Giving Party

Monday 28th October

Depart Malta

Your Duties Onboard Scarlet Oyster


We expect all crew members to take part in every aspect of crewing Scarlet Oyster including: setting, taking down and packing sails (including spinnakers), reefing, all maneuvers, sail-trimming, keeping a lookout, steering, cooking and daily cleaning (including the heads!). 


You will be assigned to a watch. According to the conditions and operational needs of the boat you might be on watch for, for example, 4 hours and then off watch for fours hours. However, all personal care, cooking, cleaning etc. is performed in your off watch, so you can't expect more than about 6-8 hours sleep in 24. There will also be times when all hands are required on deck for certain maneuvers.


Whist responsibility for race strategy and navigation will fall to the skipper and mate, they will involve all crew in their decision making process. Please remember though, that a racing yacht is not run as a democracy and the skipper's word is final.


Previous Experience


Ideally you will have already competed in at least one offshore race. If not you must have undertaken a significant offshore passage under sail, taking an active part in crewing the boat, including standing night watches. You will need to know your susceptibility to sea-sickness and whether you can cope with it without the option of being put ashore. 


Physical Fitness


You must be reasonably fit and exhibit sufficient stamina to perform your duties onboard for up to 6 days, standing watch in all weathers and sometimes enjoying very little sleep. Age is not necessarily a factor, although we cannot accept crew members under 18, however if you suffer from diabetes, a heart-condition or high-blood pressure we reserve the right to request that you undertake a medical and to refuse your booking. Of course you will be provide with a lifejacket but you should be able to swim.


What's Included?

  • Accommodation onboard Scarlet Oyster from the night before the each race until the finish of each race. In some circumstances, if, for example, we finish a race late in the day, it will be possible to stay onboard for one extra night.
  • All food and drink onboard. Within reason we will attempt to accommodate special diets (e.g. vegetarian and gluten free) but you will appreciate that cooking for 12 crew offshore in all but the calmest conditions, is quite demanding and it won't always be possible to prepare a special meal.
  • Use of all safety gear including a lifejacket (equipped with a personal AIS beacon) and harness.
  • Crew shirt and event shirt.

What's Not Included:

  • Transport (flights) to and from the start and finish.
  • Foul weather gear. You will need your own top-quality foul weather gear such as manufactured by Musto or Henri Lloyd. You should select from their products specifically designed for long-distance offshore or ocean racing (e.g. Musto HPX or MPX range). Expect to pay £800-1,200 for a jacket and salopettes.
  • Sea Boots. Breathable if you want don't want to suffer foot-rot and the wrath of you crew-mates. Expect to pay £200+
  • A warm sleeping bag
  • Warm breathable hi-tech clothing

You will be provided with a full list before your first race.


Please note that keeping weight to the minimum is crucial to performance and, with 12 crew, space is at a premium. So you will only be permitted to bring the very minimum of personal gear onboard. Expect to live in the same clothes for days on end.