The 2015 Optimist National Championships in Slovenia were held last weekend in Koper.
Malta's four strong team made up of Craig Farrugia Vella together with Antonia, Richard and Victoria Schultheis, had quite a challenge ahead of them with strong winds and stiff competition throughout the regatta.
All four sailors managed to make it to the Gold fleet.
Craig Farrugia Vella sailed very well with two 2nd placings and a 1st but dropped a back a bit in the following four races. Nevertheless, this did not stop him ending up overall in 3rd place.
Victoria Schultheis also sailed extremely well throughout with a 2nd, 3rd and 4th among her placings. It was her 22nd position that set her back but coming in 4th behind Craig in the overall list meant that she was the first girl in the fleet on the leader board.
Young Richard Schultheis started off the event with two 3rd placings but lost out a bit in the last few races. Still ranked as a Cadet, Richard has a few more years to go on the Oppies and will, no doubt, be someone to look out for on the International Oppie scene over the next few years. His overall placing was 11th in the Gold fleet and 3rd Cadet.
Antonia Schultheis, also in the Gold fleet, started the event very well with a first placing in her second race. If it wasn't for two races in which she was black flagged her overall position would have been higher up the ladder. Her final position being 37th in the Gold fleet and 11th female.
These four young sailors have had quite an eventful summer season racing and training all over Europe giving them more and more experience racing at an international level.
The next big Optimist event to take place in Malta is the Euromed Championships. This annual International Regatta grows each year with some of the best Oppie sailors in the world participating.
You can find out more details about the EUROMED on this LINK.
Pics taken below by Andrea Schultheis
(Click on the pic to enlarge)