2015 match racing kicks off at Royal Malta Yacht Club

Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 8:19

Match Racing Series first selection event for the prestigious Etchells Invitational Regatta. With the 2015 season just kicking, an eagerly awaited fixture on the Royal Malta Yacht Club racing calendar is the Match Racing Series. Races will be held on the 31st January; 7th and 21st February; 7th and 31st March and wrapped up with a final series between the four top placed teams on the 12th April.
To the uninitiated Match Racing is a sailing discipline where different teams sail on two identical boats against each other in a tournament format. In Match Racing second place is actually last place and this results in a more intense competition with a “first or nothing” attitude resulting in very different tactics to normal fleet racing. It is worth noting that since all races are sailed in identical boats and each team swaps boats after each race, it is the skill of the crew that determines the winner.
So far six teams have signed up for the 2015 winter series. Once again this event will be one of the selection events to choose a team to represent the RMYC at the International Etchells Invitational Regatta, which will be held in Cowes, between the 1st and 5th August. This event sees Yacht Clubs from around the world competing for the prestigious Royal Thames Gertrude Cup.
Matthew Fleri Soler, Matthew Xuereb, Michael Anastasi and James Schembri are racing as a team for the first time though all have built a strong sailing background, each having acquired substantial experience throughout the years. “Although we are a new team, we are all close friends, and in match racing knowing your team and working well together is essential to give a good performance” commented Matthew Fleri Soler.


Last year a team from the Royal Malta Yacht Club, made up of David Anastasi, Mark Vassallo, Karl Miggiani and Thomas Bonello Ghio participated for the first time, and by showing great commitment achieving a commendable result in an extremely competitive class at an event which included world champions and Olympic sailors.

“For me Match Racing is the most competitive sailing discipline; the direct competition with the opponent in Match Racing is like no other form of sailing. It is as much a test of sailing and boat handling skill as is it a psychological battle to intimidate your opponent and anticipate their next move, a little bit like heads up poker or chess!,” said David Anastasi, Rear Commodore Sailing, Royal Malta Yacht Club. “This year our team will be racing to defend the title we won last year and hopefully represent the Royal Malta Yacht Club once again at the Etchells International Invitational Regatta”


The Royal Malta Yacht Club will stage all Match Racing events on two H-Boats in Marsamxett Harbour. Overseeing the race will be Principal Race Officer Luca Lacitignola who will be assisted by Francesca Vincenti and Paul Ellul as Chief Umpires.


Due to the racing location, Match Racing is an excellent spectator sport opportunity since racing action can be viewed either from the Club’s terraces or on the Ta’Xbiex promenade.


Any sailing enthusiasts wishing to take part are reminded that Registration must be completed at the RMYC office by close of business on the 30th January. In case of any queries please contact the Royal Malta Yacht Club via email on info@rmyc.org, by calling +356 21 333109

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