11th Euromed Malta Championship next week

Saturday, December 11, 2010, 21:11

By Wilfred Sultana

The now established Euromed Malta Championship, organised by the Malta Young Sailors Club in partnership with KMS (Kunsill Malti Ghall-Isport) and the Mellieha Local Council, is back this month with its 11th Edition. The Championship is held under the auspices of the Malta Sailing Federation.

Precisely between Saturday 18th and Tuesday 21st December, Mellieha Bay makes-up the racing arena for an eventful international tournament contested by young sailors.

The Optimist Sailing Dinghy, the internationally recognised one design single handed sailing craft, will be raced. Eligible to participate in this Class, the largest junior class in the World are ‘sailors’ under the age of 16 years.

An exciting moment during the EuroMed – young sailors racing for glory! (Photo: Kurt Arrigo)

This year’s edition will see some 86 optimist sailors on the water, the best turn-out since 2007, the record year when 120 competitors took part.

As in previous years besides the Optimist Class, competitive racing will also be held for the Laser 4.7, the Laser Radial as well as the Laser Standard. In the Optimist class the fleet will be divided into the Junior Cadet Class and the Open Class. The Lasers Class Regatta is reserved for over-16-year-old competitors, all of whom are past Optimist sailors.

This year some 25 competitors are expected to contest the Laser Regatta. This is the largest fleet of laser sailors for the event. There will be Russian, Italian and English sailors in this class competing against our local 4.7 sailors. Two of our 4.7 sailors are medal winners in the Games of the Small States; Ella Fleri Soler won a Silver medal in Monaco in 2007 while Thomas Zammit Tabona won the Gold Medal in Cyprus in 2009.

Sicily provides the biggest optimists’ contingent this year with 33 sailors, followed by Malta with 25, Russia 16, Israel 7 and the United Kingdom with 4. Registration is still open more Sicilian sailors are expected to register in the coming days.

The young Sicilian sailors hail from various sailing clubs, the like of the Circolo Vela e Tennis of Messina, Club Nautico Augusta, Club Vela LNI Crotone, Circolo Velico Kaukana, the Circolo Velico Reggio, the Circolo Velico Marsala, the Circolo Velico Ravennate and the Club Nautico Punto Piccola. This great response from Sicilian sailing clubs is the result of the prevailing excellent working relationship that prevail between the local organizers and Dott. Ignazio Pipitone, President of the Settima Zona within FIV.

The Russian contingent is made up sailors coming from different clubs but mainly from the S.C. Parusnik and the Rautu Sailing Team both from St. Petersburg. This is the 4th year that we have had Russian sailors and the numbers are on the increase each year.

The Israeli team from the Haifa Sailing Club is back after an absence of 3 years. This ‘come back’ is again a result of the good relations that prevail between the Maltese organizers and Mr. Nino Shmueli of the Israeli Sailing Federation who was in Malta 3 years ago as a member of the International jury.

One of the main characteristics of this event held close to Christmas is the good number of sailors’ parents, family members and other sailing club members who take the opportunity to make a holiday out of their Malta trip.

An International Jury comprised of Babette Delhart from France, Tullio Giraldi from Italy, Trevor Lewis from GBR, Jovin Rausi and Godwin Zammit from Malta under the chairmanship of Peter Valentino and assisted by the Malta Sailing President Anna Rossi will run the technical and logistic aspect of the Championship. Peter Dimech will be the event’s Principle Race Officer.

Hotel Riu Seabank in Mellieha will be the Championship’s official hotel with the hotel’s beach facilities earmarked to be the main hub for sailors and race officials alike throughout the 4-day event.

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