The past week La Rochelle in France has, once again, been the chosen venue for a major sailing event. This time it hosted the J70 World Championships in which 78 entries from 16 countries took part.
Malta was represented by Team Betsafe with 4 man crew Benji Borg, Gordon Bugeja, Sebastian Ripard and Matthew Scicluna. All seasoned Maltese sailors very active on the local yachting scene.
Once again our local talent has done Malta proud with an overall 21st placing after 10 races sailed (position taken from the results sheet on the J70 results page). The first 4 positions went to Mexico, Italy, USA and Great Britain respectively. A great result, this being the first major J70 event they have participated in together as a team.
The J70 is a one design class and still very young as it was first launched in 2012. Soon after the first J70's arrived in Malta there was immediate interest and excitement in the class. Since that time they have raced regularly based at the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Competition is exciting,close and tough as the J70 is a lively boat with crews having to be totally focussed on what they are doing.
Yachting/sailing is definitely a sport where our Maltese sailors have made, and continue to make, a name for themselves............this always leaves me asking that same old question ''Why is there such a small amount of support and backing given to yachting? Whereas certain other sports (in which we will never be able to get any decent results) receive all the press coverage, financing etc etc''. I suppose we had better not go there!
Pics taken from J70 Worlds official website
Betsafe Team is MLT441 and also has sponsor MAPFRE Middlesea