Not having had much time to update this blog recently I seem to be trying to catch up and, fingers crossed, the momentum will remain.
Looking back and ahead at what is happening on the sailing scene here in Malta - there is a heck of a lot! And a lot of good stuff too. We have a pretty high standard of sailing and that standard is definitely creeping up pretty fast.
Throughout the year there are many local racing events and the international calendar is also growing. This year saw the first RC44 Valletta Cup. The RC44 being a high performance carbon fibre one design co-designed by Russel Coutts (of America's Cup fame) and naval architect Andrej Justin.
The long standing Malta-Sicily windsurfing record, formerly held by Jean Paul Fleri Soler, was broken in June by Paul Ellul knocking just over an hour off the previous record. The present record now stands at 4hrs 47mins 34secs. No doubt this will have started off a challenge and I will not be surprised if somebody takes up that challenge in the not too distant future.
We have had Maltese crew, Team Betsafe, participating in the J70 World Championships where they came a very creditable 21st out of 78 participants and 5th in the Corinthians (which is a non professional class). There is a competitive J70 calendar throughout the year.
Members of The Malta Young Sailors Club regularly compete and take part in training camps abroad and at home achieving excellent results and have made great young ambassadors putting Malta firmly on the Optimist racing map. The MYSC organises regattas both on a National and International basis - the biggest being the Euromed Championships which attracts over a 100 young Optimist and Laser sailors worldwide. There is a team competing this weekend in the European Optimist Championships in Wales (more on that in a later blog) and also a team going to the World Championships in Poland (more about that at a later date).
Last but not least is the Rolex Middle Sea Race which is the biggest yachting event of the year. This attracts some of the best sailors in the world racing a unique coastal/offshore circuit. Nothing is more stunning than the historic backdrop of the bastions on the start line within our Grand Harbour. This is a race where Maltese crews have really shown what they are capable of. Now in its 36th year the overall prize has been won several times by Maltese and twice since 2011 by local yacht 'ARTIE'. This year the start of the race will take place on Saturday 17th October inside the Grand Harbour.
Paul Ellul just after breaking the record on the Malta-Sicily crossing
Team Betsafe during the J70 World Championships
Pic: Taken from Sailing Anarchy
RC44 Valletta Cup
Pic: Martinez Studio
Euromed Championships 2014