Friday, November 07, 2014

The Malta Young Sailors Club - Some Facts

Coach Jean Paul Fleri Soler  Pic: Bunty Cachia

Lasers and Optimists during the Euromed 2013 Pic:Bunty Cachia

Euromed 2013  Pic: Bunty Cachia

Start of one of the races Euromed 2013 Pic: Bunty Cachia


In a few weeks time, between 19th and 22nd December 2014, the Euromed Inernational Regatta will be attracting young sailors from various countries across Europe. Once again an abundance of little white sails will be dotted all over Mellieha Bay, the perfect location for such a regatta.
How did this prestigious event come about? A regatta that has become an important annual date on the Optimist's International calendar. Where did it all start? One has to go back several years to the early 90's when John Ripard Jnr, a well known local sailor, wanted to introduce the Optimist in order for his 7 year old son, Sebastian, to be able to go out sailing on his own. At the same time there were many other local sailors who had young children the same age who were also keen to be able to enjoy time out on the water in their own little boats. Very quickly sailing courses were being organised for these young sailors through the Malta Sailing School which was being run by Philip and Arabella Denver. Eventually in 1997 The Malta Young Sailors Club was officially established. If you would like to read the full history you can do so by following this LINK

Since that time the club has grown and the success of it can be seen today. Many of the young local yachting sailors have come up through the Young Sailors Club and have established themselves among the best in the Maltese yachting scene.

The Club has had various committees dedicated to bringing out the best in these young children. One particular member, Anna Rossi, is the longest standing member and volunteer. Anna has dedicated endless hours of her time over the years, she has promoted the club abroad and her charisma has surely helped in attracting so many sailing teams to make the journey to Malta for the Euromed into an annual pilgrimage.

Where would the club be without Malta Young Sailors coach Jean Paul Fleri Soler? Jean Paul has had a successful sailing career of his own through windsurfing. He has participated in numerous International events including 2 Olympic games in Seoul and Barcelona and has also been awarded Gold and Bronze Medals in various Small Nations Games. He has now been coaching at the Young Sailors Club for around 15 years and it is thanks to his dedication to these children and the sport that so many excellent results have been achieved both home and abroad.

Throughout the year there are training sessions and during the summer months there are various courses held introducing new comers to the sport.

The Euromed International Regatta was first held 14 years ago with around 40 to 50 participants. The event has grown and grown and last year there were 88 foreign and 37 Maltese sailors. Quite an achievement.
The 14th edition of this event will take place in Mellieha Bay between the 19th and 22nd of December.

To learn more about the Malta Young Sailors club please click onto this LINK

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