An ecstatic Aaron Ciantar won before the home crowd in the powerboats SuperSport endurance race this afternoon. Ciantar piloted the Ukrainian-owned Seagull Chaudron with Angelo Tedeschi and Viktor Shemchuk.
The 2008 champion was overjoyed as he climbed to the top of the podium in Grand Harbour to receive the winner's trophy from President George Abela amid applause. President Abela celebrated the moment by putting on Ciantar's cap, but had to quickly take it off again as the Maltese national anthem was played.
And there was more good news for Malta with Iko casa, crewed by Shelley Jory and Aaron's sister Audrienne coming in third.
The siblings were also congratulated by Parliamentary Secretaries Mario de Marco and Clyde Puli who handed out medals to the winners.
The race was held on a calm sea off Sliema and was watched by thousands of people.
The Team 26 boat was the first to actually pass the chequered flag, but it suffered a time penalty for over speeding and was relegated to sixth. (SuperSport boats have a speed limit of 85mph)
Second place went to Baia Attolini.
"We are very pleased to have won. The potential of the new boat was apparent from the beginning and we expect to be competitive for the rest of the season," Aaron said.
His beaming sister said she was very happy to have made the podium on her return - with a new partner. Audrienne did not participate in last year's championship and is this year piloting the boat with which Aaron won the championship last year.
The race among the more powerful Evolution class boats was won by Hannes Bohinc and Giancarlo Cangiano in SNAV OSG.
The above article and picture were taken from today's Times of Malta (www.timesofmalta.com)