The Rolex Middle Sea Race is one of the classic offshore sailing races, often mentioned in the same breath as other well-known races such as the Rolex Fastnet. It began in 1968 and 2014 was the 35th edition. 122 yachts from 24 nationalities took part, with boats ranging in size from 9.5 to 30.5 metres. This year, MaxSea partners Team Jolokia competed in the race, which began on October 18th, 2014.
Team Jolokia is unique in that it promotes the strength of diversity. Their crew is made up of people from different walks of life – seniors, young people, women and men, disabled or able-bodied, from all social backgrounds.
The race: 608 nautical miles long, starting at Grand Harbour, Valletta, ending at Marsamxett Harbour.
Here are the reactions of a few members of Team Jolokia after the Rolex Middle Sea Race:
- Stéphanie Chancelade, crew member
“During the race I was particularly impressed by Gaël (Renault), my shift supervisor. To see a paraplegic shift supervisor sailing at 40 knots with 6 metre bumps along the way was truly inspiring and I have to hand it to the guy!
He was very calm and a good teacher. He has so much experience and knows how to pass it on to the other crew members. The atmosphere was very good as a result and everyone found their own role within the team. Our race result was very respectable! At the end, the conditions were tough but we handled it. We finished in the first 20 boats, among a total of 130 – that’s really good!
We definitely have a boat made for extreme weather conditions but our crew was quite inexperienced with these conditions. We are proud of our race and our result!
What we saw in terms of human and sporting achievements was amazing. How many people in the world can say they have experienced what we experienced on a VO’60, with such a diverse group of people in unsteady seas? I want to continue to be part of it!”
Some of the Team JOLOKIA crew wearing MaxSea caps and t-shirts on board
- Peter Meisel, skipper
“What a race! 36 hours going at 35 or 40 knots, all in sublime landscapes that were just breath-takingly beautiful. This route around Sicily is really exciting for a sailor!
The crew was ready to face these difficult sea conditions and never gave up despite the mountains of water that crashed against us.
I think we have again shown that diversity is sustainable. When we arrived, we once again earned the respect of our competitors, they now see that the difference is also a strength.”