Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Ramla Bay in Gozo

A Happy New Year to all fellow 'Bloggers' and all who visit my site!

Have been up in Gozo all over the Christmas period with lots and lots of mouths to feed! Its been great fun but the weather has been unbelievably wet as can be seen from the photo above of Ramla Bay. There have been some floods and alot of the old rubble walls that surround the terraced fields have collapsed. And its still raining!

Went back down to Malta on one day just to windsurf cos there was a nice wind and some waves coming into Mellieha Bay. Had a good sail. Hopefully will have some more good wind when I get back home.

May 2008 be a good year for all in whatever you are doing ! Take care tonight and God Bless everyone!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Euromed Contestant Profiles

Gianandrea Fiorillo posing with his 3rd placing Euromed 2007 trophy



GIANANDREA FIORILLO - Sail No. ITA7170.

Gianandrea is 14 years old and has been sailing for the past 5 years. He lives in Naples, Italy where he sails at his local club. Gianandrea has quite a wealth of sailing experience behind him with participation in many national and international competitions. Amongst these are events in Palma de Majorca, Marsala Sicily, Lago di Garda, the Trofeo Tre Mare and the Volvo Cup in which he obtained a 1st position. He placed a creditable 8th in the Italian National Championships of which there were 120 participants who all had to qualify to compete in this National event.

His other sporting interests are snowboarding and athletics. After the Optimist Gianandrea hopes to progress onto the 420 dinghy as helm.

In the Euromed Championship 2007 he placed 3rd in the overall positions.





Maxim Nikolaev 1st cadet in the Euromed 2007 Championship


MAXIM NIKOLAEV - Sail No. RUS205.

Maxim is 11 years old and has been sailing for the last 4 years. He lives in Moscow, Russia where he sails locally.

Maxim is one of the main up and coming Optimist sailors in Russia. He takes part in events all over the country where he often features in the top 10. At his young age he has also travelled far and wide competing in international events. Amongst these are events in Dubai and the Optimist World Championships.

His best positions so far are an overall 5th and 1st cadet in this year's Euromed Championship. Maxim would like to carry on with his sailing and also enjoys snow skiing, of which he is Moscow's skiing champion.

Maxim forms part of the Russian National team on Optimists and hopes very much to come back to compete in the Euromed next year.






Young Alexander Moskvichev from Russia



ALEXANDER MOSVICHEV - Sail No. RUS41.

Alexander is 11 years old and has been sailing for the last 5 years.

Sacha (as he is known) comes from St. Petersburg in Russia. He sails at his local club and in the Baltic Sea. He races as much as he can all over Russia but he already has some international experience under his belt sailing abroad in Germany.

Sacha's main focus seems to be on his sailing. He is one of the younger members of the Russian National team in the Optimist class.

My comments on this lad: I call him ''little Russian blue eyes'' cos he has the most amazing sparkling blue eyes and is so cute! He also impressed me with his very high standard of english and stepped in as my translator when I needed help communicating with one of the boys.



Mellisa Hamilton from Great Britain



MELISSA HAMILTON - Sail No. GBR5588.

Melissa is 13 years old and has a twin sister Sophie, of whom I was unable to get a good picture of (unfortunately they left before the event was over).

Melissa and Sophie started sailing at a young age, following in their mother's footsteps who also used to sail. They live in Reading, England and sail regularly at their local sailing club - Barefield Sailing Club. Their sailing club lies on the shores of a small lake close to Reading.

Besides racing at their club they participate in alot of regional events all over the country. The fleets are usually quite large and competition is high.

Melissa excels in light to moderate winds, whereas Sophie prefers a more steady moderate wind. They both intend to carry on sailing when they are older.

Melissa came an overall third in the girls class in this years Euromed Championship.





Saturday, December 22, 2007

Euromed 2007 - Overall Winner & Girls Class Winner

Thomas and Ella - two of the main Euromed starts


Thomas Zammit Tabona & Ella Fleri Soler



THOMAS ZAMMIT TABONA - Sail No. MLT66


Thomas is 13 years old and has been sailing since he was 8 .
Thomas is one of the leading Maltese Optimist sailors and has won both the 2006 and 2007 Euromed Championships.
He has competed alot internationally in Germany, Dubai, Monaco, Corsica and Italy.


Thomas did Malta proud once again this year by winning the Euromed Championships for the second year in a row. With the presence of the Russian National team, Thomas met his match with the stiff competition from Dmitry Tretiakov whom he just managed to pip to the post by a very close half a point.


Besides sailing on optimists Thomas does some yachting and windsurfing. He also enjoys playing waterpolo during the summer months.



ELLA FLERI SOLER - MLT8.


Ella is Malta's leading female Optimist sailor. She is nearly 15 years of age and it will not be too long before she is sailing Lasers.


Ella has been sailing for 4 years. She has competed internationally and her best result to date was this year at the the 2007 Small Nations Games in Monaco where she won the Silver Medal.
Although her preferred wind conditions for sailing are moderate to strong winds, Ella still managed to win the overall 1st position in the girls class in the Euromed 2007.


In the future, after she finishes secondary school, Ella hopes to go to university with perhaps the possibility of studying architecture - as yet that is still a long way off. She would like to carry on sailing and start sailing on yachts too. Besides sailing she also enjoys playing tennis.

EUROMED CHAMPIONSHIPS 2007 - Prize Giving































Above are just a few pics from the Euromed Championships 2007 prize giving.





Thomas Zammit Tabona Retains Euromed Title

Thomas Zammit Tabona

The last two days of racing at the Euromed Championships proved to be a close race between all racers, especially the top 5 fighting for one of the first three positions. With popularity of the event ever increasing, it is also attracting a much higher calibre of racer automatically raising the standard of the event.

The Russian boys have proved to be a very strong team throughout the event. This has made it a tough competition for local and title defender Thomas Zammit Tabona, who just managed to pip Dmitry Tretiakov to the post by the winning the overall event by a mere half a point. Amongst these Italian Gianandrea Fiorillo has raced very well obtaining consistent and good placings which have put him high up on the results list.

Probably one of the most outstanding sailors of the event was young Russian cadet Maxim Nikolaev. Maxim has consistently placed high in the fleet throughout almost all the races achieving two firsts in the last two races.

The girls also had a close competition with Small Nations Games silver medallist, Ella Fleri Soler, managing to hold onto her overall first placing with Nia Jones (GBR) and Melissa Hamilton (GBR) closely behind in second and third places.

The Junior class were set a slightly shorter course and were able to gain invaluable experience as they start out on the racing careers. Placings were forever changing after every race with Ugo Pace (ITA) managing to grab the coveted first place.

The Laser classes cater for the older boys and girls. This class has also been split into two. In the Laser Radial class, which caters for the older and heavier person, Benji Borg raced extremely well gaining a first position in almost every race. Christoph Podesta and Jan Rossi fought it out between them to gain second and third placings respectively.

The Laser 4.7 has a smaller sized sail suitable for those children who have now outgrown the Optimist. Matthew Deacon Smith (GBR) is the outright winner coming first in every race, followed by Antonio Lagana (ITA) and Elisabeth Backelandt (BEL) in second and third respectively.


Light, shifting winds and wet conditions did not make it an easy event for the race officers, although the final race had a perfect sailing breeze from the south east. In spite of all this, the impeccable reputation that Maltese yachting officers have internationally was confirmed once again with the success of the this year’s Euromed Championships .

This event could not have been held without the help of Air Malta, Malta Tourist Authority, Adira Sailing Centre, RLR Ltd, Virtu Ferries, MEDEX, Seabank Hotel, Good Earth, Nestle and Network Publications.

Final Overall Results:

Overall winner of the event Thomas Zammit Tabona (MLT)

Optimist Boys: 1. Thomas Zammit Tabona (MLT)

2. Dmitry Tretiakov (RUS)

3. Gianandrea Fiorillo (ITA)



Optimist Girls: 1. Ella Fleri Soler (MLT)

2. Nia Jones (GBR)

3. Melissa Hamilton (GBR)




Optimist Cadet Boys: 1. Maxim Nilolaev (RUS)

2. Alexander Moskvichev (RUS)

3. Gal Cohen (ISR)



Optimist Cadet Girls: 1. Noya Baram (ISR)

2. Marina Sheherbarova (RUS)

3. Ella Stoggall (GBR)



Optimist Junior: 1. Ugo Pace (ITA)

2.Arron Holman (GBR)

3.Karl Miggiani (MLT)




Laser Radial: 1. Benji Borg (MLT)

2. Christoph Podesta (MLT)

3. Jan Rossi(MLT)




Laser 4.7: 1. Matthew Deacon Smith (GBR)

2.Antonio Lagana (ITA)

3. Elisabeth Backelandt (BEL)

Euromed Sailor Profiles


ALEXANDER SHELTING - Sail No. RUS1704

Alexander is a 13 year old kid from Gelendhik in Russia. He forms part of the Russian National Team.

His local club is near the Black Sea where he does his regular sailing.
Alex has been sailing on Optimists for the past 4 years and sails in events all over Russia.

In 2006 he obtained a 5th placing in the Russian National Championships and improved on that this year when he became Russian National Champion.

His main sporting interest is sailing and would like to carry on with the sport when he is older. He was one of the top contenders for the Euromed 2007 and looks forward to returning again next year.



MATTHIAS VAN HOLT - Sail No. GER 11559.

Matthias is a 14 year old Optimist sailor from Germany. He comes from Duisburg and sails regularly at his local club on a lake. He does all the regattas in his region of Germany and also competes in events in other regions of Germany, the Baltic, Riva in Italy and the Netherlands.


His best result was in Germany where he came a creditbale 19th out of a fleet of over 180 sailors. He is currently ranked 46th in his country and has figured amongst the top 10 sailors throughout the Euromed 2007.
This year is the second time he has competed in the Euromed Championships.




Benji posed for me while being teased by his fellow sailing mates!


BENJI BORG - Sail No. MLT 181313.
Benji is an 18 year old from Malta and has been sailing since he was 7 years old. He started sailing on Optimists and now sails Lasers. He has sailed extensively in many international regatta all over Europe and also in Dubai.


The result he is proudest of is a 5th position in the Optimist European Championships. He has also won a Gold Medal at the 2003 Small Nations Games in the Optimist Class and Gold at this years Small Nations Games in Monaco on the Laser. Benji is one of Malta's most successful sailors with a very high standard of sailing in general.


Benji has competed in two Middle Sea Races on the yachts Elusive and Artie and is now a keen windsurfer.


He is at present studying Art & Design here in Malta and hopes to go abroad to University to study Interior Design specialising in boats.




EUROMED 2007 - Race Day 4

Closest I could get from the cliff top on race day 4

4 races were held on race day 4 of the EUROMED CHAMPIONSHIP. The weather has been absolutely lousy and not normal for this time of the year. To have a solid week of miserable weather is quite unusual..........but no control of that!

Once again the race committee have done an excellent job doing the best they can with the conditions.
Positions have changed quite a bit, though the leading 10 have been pretty consistent on the whole. The standard of competition seems to be much higher this year which makes it even more of a shame that the wind hasn't been so good.

The Russian team are very strong and at present have 6 lads in the top 10. Also in the top ten are 2 Italians, an English boy our own Maltese title defender Thomas Zammit Tabona.

In the Laser classes local Benji Borg seems to be outright winner in the Radial class and also in the 4.7 class Britains's Matthew Deacon Smith has had nothing but first positions so far.

Havent got time to go into too much detail right at the moment. Am gathering info to put together some random profiles of some of the kids, so please carry on looking at my blog over the next few days.





Thursday, December 20, 2007

EUROMED 2007 - NO WIND

A busy atmosphere back on shore




Back to shore after long hours on the water waiting for the wind

Unfortunately the god’s were not with us today, on the second day of racing, with a lack of wind and pouring rain for much of the day.
Although it was not possible to hold any racing for the Optimists, one race was held for the Lasers. Benji Borg, from Malta, has kept his 1st position while Italian Maurizio Barbera came in 2nd with Malta's Christoph Podesta in 3rd place.



It is on days like this that having the luxury of a fully functioning Sailing Centre is appreciated. The Adira Sailing Centre has, at last, equipped Malta with first class facilities designed specifically to cater for large events like the Euromed Championship. As the race headquarters it has the latest technology available for an efficient race office and a comfortable base for sailors and spectators alike.
Together with the excellent conditions the bay has to offer, makes this the perfect venue for local and international sailing events.

The Adira Sailing Centre belongs to a friend who has been sailing, windsurfing and yachting all his life. If you are looking for a new venue to hold an event, or you live in colder climes and have teams that need to practice in the winter contact the centre about it. Mellieha Bay is such a perfect and safe location for sailing and windsurfing. Perfect location for really interesting long distance practice and racing too. If you want to have a look at the website or contact him (his name is Paul Ellul) go onto this link www.adirasailingcentre.com.mt/

I am planning on doing a few profiles on some of the young sailors over the coming days - so keep your eyes open on this blog!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Russia On Top after Day 1 of Euromed 2007

Alexander Shelting from Russia


Offwind after the wing mark


After the first day of racing, the Russian and British teams are leading the fleet of young Optimist sailors. Following the results obtained in the practice and today’s racing there is already a clear picture of who the consistent racers are. With a first in yesterday’s practice race and two firsts on day 1 the Russian lad, Alexander Shelting, is the hot favourite at present with a total of 8 pts without any discards. Following him in second place is another consistent sailor, Tomas Pain from Great Britain, with a total of 26 points. German Matthias van Holt lies in third place with 29 points . Euromed title defender, Thomas Zammit Tabone, is in 9th place with a total of 41 points.

Malta’s Small Nations Games Silver medallist, Ella Fleri Soler, is leading the girls fleet. She is followed by Russia’s Alexandra Bezmenova in 2nd place and Great Britain’s Melissa Hamilton in 3rd.

Malta’s Laser sailors are doing well with Benji Borg and Jan Rossi in 1st and 2nd place followed by Christoph Podesta in 3rd.

Once again it was a fine sailing day although, after speaking to some of the young sailors, the wind was shifting a lot between south west and west. Shifty winds can be very frustrating for the sailors, but at the same time this is where their sailing tactics are put to the test.
The forecast for the coming days is showing light winds which will make some of the lighter sailors happy, but not such a good forecast for those who favour stronger wind conditions.

The Euromed is supported by Air Malta, Malta Tourist Authority, Virtu Ferries, RLR, MEDEX, Seabank Hotel, Good Earth, Nestle and Network Publications.



RESULTS: (After 3 races, no discards)

Optimist Class:

1st Alexander Shelting (Rus)

2nd Tomas Pain (GBR)

3rd Matthias van Holt (Ger)

Optimist Junior Class:

1st Alex Esposito(Mlt)

2nd Matthew Westwood(Mlt)

3rd Ugo Pace (Ita)

Optimist Girls:

1st Ella Fleri Soler (Mlt)

2nd Alexandra Bezmenova (Rus)

3rd Melissa Hamilton (Gbr)

Laser Radial:

1st Benji Borg

2nd Jan Rossi

3rd Christoph Podesta






Puma Avanti Volvo Ocean Racer

Puma-sailboat


Take a close look at this boat, the artwork is amazing! If I'm not mistaken its the former ABN Amro boat. The whole boat - deck and all - is a shoe. Big pat on the back to the actually spray painter/s.

Monday, December 17, 2007

EUROMED 2007 - PRACTICE DAY

Start of practice race - pic by Bunty Cachia



Rounding the windward mark - pic by Bunty Cachia



Windward mark - pic by Bunty Cachia
As I write this the EUROMED 2007 is in the middle of its practice race. Photos above are ones I took from the cliff edge.
I shall be keeping a daily update in my blog of the event.
After a pretty windless and wet weekend, the week has got off to a good start. Just a squall this morning before a great westerly sailing breeze set in making absolutely idyllic racing conditions here in Mellieha Bay. Today is really the bay at its best.

The Optimists were a magnificent site as they crossed the start line close to the fish farms under L-Ahrax, while the older sailors, on Lasers, had a course further out towards the mouth of the bay.

The practice race gave the sailors a good idea of the challenge they are up against this week. The standard is high with a fleet of well seasoned sailors who are medallists and national champions in their respective countries.
Although there is the highest category of sailor, there are also those who are just starting out on their sailing careers giving them the opportunity to experience racing in a high profile regatta.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Euromed Build Up

Pic: www.maltasailing.com


EUROMED MALTA CHAMPIONSHIP

THE 8th EUROMED MALTA CHAMPIONSHIP is nearly with us taking place between the 17th and 22nd December 2007. The racing venue in Mellieha Bay offers a first class sailing location in practically all wind conditions.

Our young sailors have been putting in many hours on the water training hard for the last and most challenging local event of the year. Last weekend, in spite of the strong wind with gusts of 30 knots plus, the young sailor’s dedication to the sport could be seen as they trained in the more protected upwind zone closer to the beach. Sunday offered less squally conditions giving both the Optimists and Lasers the chance to sail a course further out in the middle of the bay.

The coming week will bring a site that has not been seen since the peak of dinghy racing back in the 1970’s – a fleet of no less than 120 dinghies. The Maltese team will consist of 45 sailors, confirming that interest in the sport is continuously growing. The next largest team are from the UK with 30 racers.
Competition will be tough with teams from 9 countries participating, amongst them the national champions of Russia, Switzerland and Italy.

In the coming days training will intensify, excitement will be growing as foreign teams arrive. There will be a reunion of ‘Euromed’ regulars and new friends will be made. Combine this together with all the onshore organisation, the sound of flapping sails, last minute panics and one can feel the electric atmosphere of a large international sailing event. The only ‘factor’ there is no control over is the weather, and after the stormiest Autumn Malta has experienced for many years we can only hope the event will be blessed with fair winds and a good dose of sunshine.

This event has been supported by Air Malta, Malta Tourist Authority, Virtu Ferries, RLR, MEDEX, Seabank Hotel, Good Earth, Nestle and Network Publications.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Laird Hamilton Saves fellow Surfer

Surfing Jaws in Maui


For a very interesting report on a recent rescue by Laird Hamilton of a fellow surfer go onto Tati Howard's blog http://www.tatianahoward.com/blog/

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

EUROMED 2007






The EUROMED is with us once again. I can't believe that this is going to be the 8th year that it is being held. For those who have no idea what the EUROMED is.............its an international regatta/championship held here in Malta each year the week before Christmas. It is open to young Optimist sailors and Laser sailors using the 4.7, Radial and Standard. It attracts the top young sailors from all sorts of countries ie Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Great Britain, Israel + others and this year even Russia. This year is the biggest with 120 sailors registered. The local team is a pretty big one too with 45 sailors forming the Maltese team. Also Great Britain are sending over a very large team of 30 sailors.
It all takes place here in the bay in Mellieha. It used to take place in the next bay in St. Paul's Bay but location was moved here from last year. Mellieha is such a perfect bay to race in. The only problem would be if it was blowing a strong Easterly cos it would be impossible for the dinghies to get thru the break on the beach, but forecast is looking promising with North Westerlies and Northerlies forecast right now.
I will be giving a daily commentary on the event here on my blog with some pics too for those who are interested.
Meanwhile, the temperature here has really gone down and the air is quite bitter outside and need a jacket to go out. Its very damp and air temp has gone right down to about 14C with lows at night around 9C.........brrr! No comments from you hardy Northerners please!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend Shots

video

Have just discovered how to make a 'movie' on the computer. Well this is not a movie but just a few sequence shots I took - yes I finally discovered the sequence shot button on the camera - its been a weekend of discovery!! No sarcastic comments please! Maybe I will be able to put something together thats worth watching soon..........music and all..............hmmm we'll see. One can but try.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

CIC OUR CAT


We took our cat Cic (pronounced CHICH) up to Gozo with us last weekend. We stayed in our house in Victoria (Dar Ghax-Xemx) and he met his mother for the first time in over a year. Unfortunately his attitude towards her was rather rude to say the least and for the first time in our lives we saw him hiss and growl! So much for motherly love!
Biography of Cic - full name Cicciobello:
Mother - Pure Persian (dark coloured) and quite a flirt.
Father - Ginger and white local alley rapist! Body builder, thug, scarred body and chewed
ears. Not been seen lately and it is suspected that he has been done in.
Born in the Mandragg area of Victoria, Gozo.
He had two siblings, one of which died at birth and the other a brother now living in another village in Gozo. Born at about 1am on the Feast of St. George (why wasnt he named George??)
Now living in the lap of luxury in Mellieha, Malta where he is spoilt rotten by all members of the family and tormented continuously by John......................and the stupid cat goes back for more!
Lovely temperament, cuddly, affectionate, socialiser (though you wouldn't have thought so last weekend).
Hobbies - Eating, eating and more eating. Chasing flies and bird watching.
Plans for the Future - Train my owners to feed me more and take more time off to chill out.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Back in the Water at Last

At last! It's been a couple of months since I have been off windsurfing (and have missed quite alot of good wind in that time). Today I went down...........not such a good day to go down after not being on the water for such a long time, but just had to get wet. Wind was very unstable with varying wind strengths from around 30knots down to 15knots, but it was great just to be surfing again and most of all to try out my new board. Fanatic New Wave 74litre. It was excellent, especially in the stronger bursts - had a 4.2m on and at its strongest I was extremely comfortable, didnt feel overpowered at all. I wasnt down for very long but enough to feel good. You have to be off the water for a while to appreciate just being able to get down whatever the conditions. To top it all there was a lovely rainbow over the bay when I was packing up. No camera with me so no pics.

Hookipa Closed!

They have been having the Kona winds and swell in Maui recently. The other day the swell was so big that they actually closed Hookipa! To see some more shots go onto Tatiana Howards site on http://www.tatianahoward.com/blog/

The pic above was taken from her blog. I have been following Tati's blog for nearly a year now and she seems to be a real ''go getter''. She is an excellent windsurfer, kitesurfer and surfer - basically all the 'surfing' disciplines. She also competes in these and does very well - and ofcourse....where was she brought up and where does she live? No need to answer that question!
If you want to read her Biography go onto this link http://www.tatianahoward.com/07/bio.html

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