Team EC: Malta 49er Team at Extreme Sailing Series, Trapani.

Monday, September 19, 2011, 22:45

Malta’s Seb Ripard and Benji Borg were at their second event out of the four making up the European leg of The Extreme Sailing Series, in Trapani, Italy at the weekend. The Malta 49er team, known as Team EC for the series, have been taking part in stadium-style showcase action, and this time, they’ve been head to head in front of the crowds against the Italian 49er team, prior to The Extreme 40s getting into action.

The Italian team are Matteo Gritti and Ruggero Tita, and like the Maltese, they are both experienced and determined. Gritti is a seasoned sailor, competing in the 49er class since 2003 and has won the 49er National Regatta 12 times. Ruggero graduated from the Optimist class where he claimed the Italian and Swiss Optimist Champion title in 2005, he then moved into the 49er class and won the national champion title in 2010.

“It’s fun racing here, although it’s all about the starts!” reported Ripard. “We watched some racing yesterday and it’s pretty cool that Ben Ainslie can step into a multihull and do so well!”

Borg commented on being able to race in front of a busy race village: “Most of our events are about a mile out, so racing in front of a crowd is not something we get to do.”

Ripard and Borg will be competing at the 49er World Championships in Australia this winter, and hoping to qualify for the Olympics. Many of the Extreme 40 sailors have Olympic experience and between the Extreme 40 sailors at this event they have been to the Olympics 24 times and taken home 7 gold medals, 2 silver medals and one bronze medal.

Looking into the future both Borg and Ripard would like to race an Extreme 40 as they love the speed of the 49ers, Ripard explained, “Our 49ers go pretty fast but the Extreme 40s are a different story!”

For more info on The Extreme Sailing Series visit:

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