First Leg of 175 nautical miles marathon successfully done

Monday, July 19, 2010, 16:51

by Wilfred Sultana

The start of the ‘From Tunisia to Malta in aid of Puttinu Cares’ Kayak expedition schedule to leave Mahdia in Tunisia on Saturday at 11.00 a.m. was eventually given the go signal five hours earlier due to unfavourable weather forecast.

In the early hours of the first leg of the marathon, from Mahdia to Lampedusa, the kayakers met with quite a choppy sea which got better the further out they got. In fact the wind started to pick up in the early morning and for the last 12 nautical miles this got to a force five.

Three teams made up of a twosome in each kayak are participating in the event – these are the Maltese couple Albert Gambina and Dorian Vassallo, an Italian team made up by Francesco Landolini and Salvo Messina and the Tunisian duet Zakaria Mahmoudi and Mohamed Ali El Ghek. The Italians had to retire on this first leg due to a slight injury.

The Mahdia-Lampedusa 75 nautical mile distance was successfully concluded in 25hrs 20min. The second leg of the marathon is between the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa, a distance of 25 miles and should take from 6 to 8 hours to cover.   This leg is scheduled to be held on Monday.  On Sunday the wind was blowing hard but it was expected to get better on Monday.

A local support flotilla of four yachts is seeing to the teams’ safety and movement so crucial in such open sea long distance marathons.

The Tunisia-Malta “Kayak for Cancer” event is being held under the Distinguished Patronage of His Excellency Dr George Abela, President of Malta.

Donations related to this activity are to be made by cheque, made payable to “Puttinu Cares Foundation”, and addressed to: Kayak For Cancer, Puttinu Cares Foundation, c/o MaltaPost p.l.c., 305 Triq Hal-Qormi, Marsa MTP 1001.

Caption to below chart:

The 175 nautical miles/324 kilometres route of the Tunisia-Malta Kayaks Crossing – Mahdia (Tunisia) to Lampedusa to Linosa to Malta.

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