The Rolex Middle Sea Race course is 608 nautical miles long and is sailed anti-clockwise. Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta, the fleet head north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina. Mt Etna is usually visible on the fleets port side, billowing ashes and lava throughout the night. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn west to the Egadi Islands.
Passing between Marettimo and Favignana the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port.
Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg towards the South Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.
Starting from Grand Harbour, boats will sail a course leaving to port the Island of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands (including Strombolicchio), the Egadi Islands (except Marettimo Island), Pantelleria and Lampedusa Islands, through the South Comino Channel, keeping Malta to starboard, to the finish line in Marsamxett Harbour.
Preceeding the Rolex Middle Sea Race itself is one shorter coastal race: The Malta Rolex Cup will be awarded to the overall winner on corrected time.