Third time lucky for the Russians

Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 13:15

In the Euromed of 2007 a contingent of 13 sailors, accompanied by 3 coaches and by Vladimir Nazarov President of the Russian Optimist Class, made their prologue to the Event’s eighth edition.  The young and talented sailors made an immediate impact presenting sound competition with near misses. Yet, this year on their third participation they made it!

For Russia, thanks to 11 year-old Nikita Ushkov, now joins the six countries that produced overall winners in the first ten editions of the Euromed Malta Championship – Ireland, Sweden (twice), Malta (4 times), Italy, Turkey and Russia. Edward Fleri Soler was close in second place ‘Overall’ with another Russian youngster Rosskazov Pavel clinging third place.

After four days of tough competitive racing the young sailors have demonstrated a good ability to adapt to sometimes very challenging weather conditions with winds reached 28 knots.  However while most of Europe was experiencing harsh and some even extreme climate the Championship December days were quite fair, averaging around 17.5ºC.

In all Euromed 2009 presented 19 trophies for the winning of which 7 were won by Maltese sailors, 7 by the Russians, 3 by Italians, and 2 by Great Britain sailors. Local sources were pleased with the local team performance: The Maltese team consisted of 4 sailors in the Cadet division with Thomas Bonello Ghio placing 2nd; we had 8 sailors in the Junior division where Robert Muscat from MYSC placed 3rd with one of the four youngest sailors in the junior fleet, 8-year-old Craig Farrugia Vella of BBSC, also placing 3rd, however Muscat broke the tie and got the prize. In the Open division we had 10 sailors. Edward Fleri Soler placed first in this division and this happened because the Russian who won the overall trophy is a Cadet, so he got the first in the Cadet class and the overall prize tpp. In the Laser 4.7 we had 5 male sailors and 2 females, where Thomas Zammit Tabona placed 1st.  In the Laser radial class Simon Psaila placed (1st), Maya Podesta (2nd) and Sean Borg (3rd).

The Italians sailors  from a Sicilian club namely the Kaukana Club from Ragusa  and another group from Circolo Velico Reggio in Reggio Calabria loyal supporters of the Malta event, secured three podium places. In the Optimist Junior class, Peter Iozzia (Kaukana Club) was first with Rosalba Giordano (Circolo Velico Reggio) gaining second with third place going to Robert Muscat. In the Laser 4.7 Class, after ten trials, Italian sailor Sacha Ruffo of the Reggio Sailing Club took second place to Thomas Zammit Tabone, who earlier this year won the 25th edition of the Mediterranean Cup in Reggio Calabria.

Great Britain won two trophies with a third place by William Nicholls in the Laser 4.7 Class and another third for Robert Baddely in the Optimist Open Class.

As predicted the Euromed Malta Championship 2009 was a pleasant and enthusiastic occasion. Maria Frolova, the Russia coach, must have expressed the sentiments of all foreigner teams when she gave the reason for their participation: “Well organized, friendly atmosphere, good sailing weather conditions”.

Frolova went on to say that “The level of Russian Optimist sailors is steadily increasing and this Euromed victory by Nikita Ushkov is not only a proud moment for Russian sailing in general but it should encourage more young Russian sailors to compete in the Event. In fact we intend to announce Euromed 2010 early because we believe more young sailors could be induced to make this special Malta trip where we even had time to visit and enjoy Mellieha, Mdina and Valletta”.

Definitely the organisers and all those who supported them in this 10th edition should be happy with another successful event.  Most of the organisers and the helpers on the event are also parents of past or current young participants thus their enthusiasm and energetic input is beyond measure.

The Euromed Malta Championship was organised by the Malta Young Sailors Club, in partnership with the Kuncill Malti Ghall-Isport and was under the auspices of the Malta Sailing Federation. Atlas Insurance and Air Malta were the Event’s main sponsors while the Mellieha Local Council, the Mellieha Fishing Association, Meteo Malta and the Riu Seabank Hotel also extended their support and co-operation.

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