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Interview

Family Heirlooms: from modest beginnings to international standing

26th Oct 2018

In: Sailing Post By: Maria

Malcolm Lowell has been part of the history of the Rolex Middle Sea Race ever since he became involved in the race back in 1999. Despite working mostly behind the scenes, his and his family’s commitment to the Rolex Middle Sea Race has been unwavering. In this interview he shares a bit of insight into the dynamics of a family run business and his involvement in the Race.

No.1

Edwards Lowell’s history shows a strong family bond that has withstood the test of time - what makes it work?

I would say balance. We are lucky enough to be by nature, a close-knit family, but that does not mean that we do not have disagreements. It is vital that we balance work and personal matters. For someone who has never worked in a family environment, they will not understand the challenges we face, there is a completely different dynamic in the workplace regardless of the structure of the company. There are many advantages to working with family, of course! It is a double-edged sword, disagreements in work may spill over into our personal time but work has actually brought us closer together, not further apart. My advice to anyone would be to continually try new directions until it works.

 

Since 1999, you have played an active personal role together with that of Edwards Lowell, to promote, develop and stand as a support system between Rolex and the Royal Malta Yacht Club. As someone who is not considered a sailor, what made you believe in the partnership?

The Rolex Middle Sea Race has always been Malta’s most prestigious event - with all its pedigree, pageantry and history dating back to the 1960s. I believed in this partnership because both Rolex and Malta have historic links to the sea and the world of yachting. Being Maltese, one is overwhelmed by the sea - its power and potential. Rolex has always linked itself to the best sporting events in the world, it has been doing this since the brands inception and even more so over the past three decades, solidifying its reputation as the most important watch brand in the world as well as one of the best sponsors. The concept of sporting events itself has always intrigued me, from the creating and promoting stages to reinventing and improving, to the way they bring together people with similar passions and drive. I have been fortunate enough to have assisted in joining these two forces - Rolex and the Middle Sea Race. I do not think any of us in those early days could have foreseen the success story that it is today, 16 years down the line. Being a part of it has been a great honour for both myself and Edwards Lowell.

The first connection between the Club and Rolex were the 2000 and 2001 Malta Rolex Cup which then transitioned to the Rolex Middle Sea Race Sponsorship - how did you get involved with that?

Throughout the years I have been privileged enough to have been invited to the most prestigious sporting events around the world, through our connection with the luxury brands we represent. As a rule, I have always been more interested in the business aspect of sporting events rather than the actual sport - it fascinates me.  The collaboration between Edwards Lowell, the Royal Malta Yacht Club and Rolex started from very modest beginnings. Whilst I was still at university, I was approached by the Commodore the late Arthur Podesta and George Bonello Du Puis to get involved in a sailing event in Malta. The concept immediately excited me, we as Edwards Lowell decided to invest in a local sailing event.  I got in contact with Rolex who gave us the green light. When we first got involved, it was still a local event called ‘Malta Rolex Cup Regatta’ and within two years participation blossomed. As a result of the vast growth in numbers, Rolex became more interested in Maltese sailing - which had both huge potential and historical precedent, it was just in need of a serious sponsor to turn into the internationally recognised event it is today.

Rolex has supported the Middle Sea Race since 2002. Given the longevity of this sponsorship and the strength of the relationship with the Royal Malta Yacht Club, what do you think has made this relationship valued for such a long time?

What has made this relationship last, is the Royal Malta Yacht Club’s willingness to improve and grow over the years. Events, just like businesses, must evolve to survive and over the years the Royal Malta Yacht Club has managed to strengthen this events international position.

The recently launched campaign “Someday…everything will make perfect sense” was deemed a befitting title for your campaign to illustrate the importance of patience, resilience and a willingness to grow and achieve. Any sailors that might come to mind who fit into this description?

 

Without doubt, over the years, I have met many wonderful characters, true gentlemen and great sportsmen who fit that exact bill. Some of whom are unfortunately, no longer with us. I really believe that one of the most important reasons for a brand like Rolex (and Edwards Lowell for that matter) to get involved with these events is to meet, encourage and work with these inspiring people who set themselves apart and aspire for more.