An increase in the number of sportsmen participating in the regatta activities of Victory Day.

Saturday, August 31, 2013, 9:25

The number of people participating in the regatta activities will be 160 more than last year. This result has been achieved through the introduction of new activities which are set to be included along the traditional regatta, such as powerboats and sailing boat competitions, jet ski and flying catamaran show.

This was announced at a press conference by Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, Stefan Buontempo, who was flanked by the Chairman of Malta Sports Council, Jonathan Barbara and Teddie Borg,a yachting veteran who has worked tirelessly with his team of the organising commission ‘L-Isport: Nifs Ġdid għall-Port’. This commission, which has been set up in June by the Parliamentary Secretary, has a specific purpose: that of turning around the fortunes of the regatta.

Parliamentary Secretary Buontempo stated that the ultimate aim of these activities is to give an economic boost to the Grand Harbour area through sports and the commission’s nomenclature is self-explanatory. The regatta is a traditional event of historical importance and it is our duty to revive it. The regatta is important because it represents major milestones in the history of our country as a nation and because it keeps alive traditional skills which are being lost.

The activities planned for this year’s edition are expected to boost the regatta’s popularity. The Parliamentary Secretariat for Sport is looking beyond the 4 hour regatta race and for this year it will be organising a festival with searelated activities held over a span of a week.

The Regatta Water Festival, as it is being called, will kick-start on Sunday 1st September at 18:30hrs, with a traditional pageant along Vittoriosa Creek ending at the Senglea Regatta Club. The official opening ceremony will be held in Senglea. As from next year, other localities will be hosting it year by rotation.

On Saturday 7th September, at 11am, the Malta Powerboat Association will be holding a competition at Marsamxetto Harbour in the morning, and in the evening at 6pm, there will be a jet ski show in Vittoriosa Creek.

On the 8th September, at 11am the Royal Malta Yacht Club will be organising a sailing boat competition from the Grand Harbour to Marsamxetto Harbour,and a flying catamaran show will be held later. The Regatta Water Festival will culminate with the traditional regatta race in the afternoon, starting at 13:30hrs.

Mr Jonathan Barbara, Chairman of the Malta Sports Council (KMS), said that the regatta should be considered as an importantt event for the local sports calendar. He also said that young people, especially enthusiasts hailing from the harbour localities, should be given the opportunity to train and learn boat crafting so that the traditional boats will be kept alive for generations to come.

Being a traditional event, the regatta has a great potential for sports tourism and it deserves to be strengthened.

The Chairman of the ‘L-Isport: Nifs Ġdid għall-Port’ commission expressed his satisfaction with the planned events. It is worth noting that this is being organised at no extra cost to the taxpayer, as the commission has managed to attract sponsors to the event.

 





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