Nail biting finish at the Mapfre Middlesea Cup

Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 18:32

Gavin Muscat

The final regatta of the 2016 MAPFRE Middlesea Cup came to a nail-biting close this week over a two-day event that provided thrills, spills and plenty of surprises.

Sunday 5th June saw intense racing between seven teams. Each vying to catch the best winds under dark skies out by Fort St Elmo, team BBSC RLR emerged as league leader.

On Tuesday 7th, ideal sailing conditions transformed Marsamxett harbour into the perfect arena for the final showdown. Throughout the day, spectators on shore were able to follow all twelve qualifying races and the three final deciders up close via a live-stream video link at the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Several near collisions, ever-shifting winds, and at one point, the appearance of the rule book to settle a dispute added to the drama of the afternoon.

Team Sail Coach also made a surprise appearance in the league. The Irish crew skippered by Alex Denisuc were in Malta for training, and immediately dived into the spirit of things. With an average age of just 17, they shook up the scoreboard and applied fresh pressure by seizing first place in the final qualifiers.

With the wind dying, and the atmosphere out on the water increasingly tense, the last race of the Cup offered only one more chance to gain points for the closely-matched finalists RMYC Sail Coach, MYSC Calypso, RYMC X-pact and RMYC Mapfre Middlesea. As penalties flew and strategic risks were calculated, team RMYC Sail Coach emerged as the clear winner.

After a tough day of sailing, the teams headed to the RMYC terrace for the prize giving and a well-earned Pimms thanks to sponsors M. Demajo. Joining them was President and CEO of MAPFRE Middlesea, Felipe Navarro who awarded the triumphant teams:

1st Place – RMYC Sail Coach

2nd Place –  MYSC Calypso

3rd RMYC XP-Act.

Overall Malta League winner was MYSC Calypso qualifying for the Sailing Champions League.  MYSC Calypso and their crew led by Benji Borg, will now be on their way to the International Sailing Champions League qualifiers in St. Petersburg in August.  Thanks to the generous support of MAPFRE Middlesea and Yachting Malta, MYSC Calypso will have entry fees and flights sponsored.

The three event cup, organised by the J-70 Association Malta and the Royal Malta Yacht Club, easily demonstrated the future of one design racing in Malta is bright, with a whole host of motivated and talented young teams eager to compete.

There’s more dynamic yacht racing still to come this summer – follow the J70 Malta Facebook page, Instagram, and

MAPFRE Middlesea Race

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