Winter Racing Series set sail at the Royal Malta Yacht Club

Saturday, February 20, 2016, 16:01

Gavin Muscat

It has been a busy weekend for crews at the Royal Malta Yacht Club when the first races of the Winter Match Racing and Coastal Race Series took place.

Winter Match Racing Series

A popular fixture on the Club’s racing calendar, Match Racing sees different teams race each other on two identical boats.  After each race, teams are required to swap boats thus making it a very intense competition. Tactics are very different to those used in fleet racing.

In its efforts to increase and grow participation, this year the Club split teams in two categories based on their experience – Seasoned and Newcomer.   This initiative saw two new teams led by Malcolm Booker (Kevin Dingli, Paul Sultana and Andrew Sullivan.) and Pascal Pace (Timo Bonnici, Harry Parnis England and Kane Seychell) join the match racing fold. The new crews started off their day with Rear Commodore (Sailing) David Anastasi giving them a thorough classroom session where the principles of match racing were explained in depth.

The experienced teams used this time to refresh their techniques following a bit of a lull in training.  The seasoned teams were the first to start, whilst the new teams accompanied Race Committee on water so they could get an explanation of the racing as it took place.  The next races saw the new teams pitted against each other with Pascal Pace’s team seemingly taking to this kind of racing comfortably.

Once racing was over, a debrief session took place where teams discussed what they learnt and what needs to be worked on for the next races.

“Match racing was a first experience for all the team, but we had a great day with the support of a nice breeze.  A big thanks to the organisers for a very well organised day” commented Malcolm Booker at the end of the day.

The next racing day of the 2016 Winter Match Racing Series will take place on Saturday 6th February at 9:30am.

Winter Coastal Race Series

Crews of the six boats taking part in the start of the Winter Coastal Race Series woke up to spring weather, flat water, sunshine and wind of approximately 10 – 15 knots.  Although crews had an option for a shortened course, conditions were favourable thus crews stuck to original plans.  Course saw crews head towards the Fairway Buoy, followed by a reach to Munxar and a close fetch to Delimara before turning back to Munxar, back on a beat to the Fairway Buoy and finishing off at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

After all the excitement on the water, crews were welcomed with free beers at the Club’s bar. It was Sean Borg’s Xp44, Xpresso who crossed the finish line first and Sean and his crew – Matthew Agius Delicata, Daniel Bartolo, Paul Borg Cardona, Simon Hawker and Isaac Saliba, were treated to two bottles of Prosecco to finish off a successful day in style.

Official results with corrected times will be calculated upon receipt of the 2016 IRC Certificates and should be announced after the next race of the 2016 Winter Coastal Race Series which will take place on Wednesday 10th February (Public Holiday).  First Warning Signal will take place at 9:30am.

The Club strongly encourages crews to take part.  Crews do not necessarily have to take part in all races, as each race is being treated as a separate event, however an overall prize for all the Series will be awarded to the team with most points.

More information on Races can be found on or on the Club’s Facebook page.



Some of the crews taking part in the first race of the 2016 RMYC Winter Coastal Race Series Photo Credit@ RMYC/Simone Dimech

Some of the action from the RMYC Match Racing Winter Series Photo Credit: RMYC/Maria Vella-Galea

Leave a comment