The start line is located in the centre of Grand Harbour, running from the Saluting Battery, just beneath the Upper Barrakka Gardens on the Valletta side, across to Fort St. Angelo in Birgu.
On leaving Malta, the fleet heads North to Capo Passero, the Eastern seaboard of Sicily and on towards the Strait of Messina. The active volcano, Mount Etna, is often visible on the port side. The Strait is one of the most technically demanding parts of the course, with crews keen to encounter both favourable current and wind to enable a straight-forward passage.
From Messina, the yachts heads North to the second active volcano on the course, Stromboli, one of the Aeolian Islands, all of which must be left to port. At the islet of Strombolicchio, the fleet turns West along the Northern coast of Sicily towards the Egadi Islands.
Leaving the Egadi Islands (except Marettimo) to port, crews head South towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port. At Lampedusa, the course heads North-east to the South Comino Channel (between Comino and Malta) and the final leg to the finish line at the entrance to Marsamxett Harbour.
Leg lengths. With apologies to the great navigators, the rough, principal leg lengths are:
Valetta (Malta)-Capo Passero (Sicily) 55nm
Capo Passero-Messina Strait (exit) 98nm
Messina Strait-Strombolicchio 35nm
Strombolicchio-Favignana (Egadi Islands)150nm
Comino-Marsamxett Harbour 10nm.
The Race Record is 1 day 23 hours 55 mins 3 secs.
Rolex Coastal Race
Depending on the weather, the race will begin in Marsamxett Harbour, head towards the Island of Gozo and return past Comino. The course of the above coastal race may be altered depending on weather conditions. Final isntructions for the coastal race will be given during the Coastal Race Briefing.