The Malta Young Sailors Club organised the Foundation Day Regatta, generously sponsored by GILL. In all 42 young sailors participated split into 5 classes in Optimist and Laser dinghies.
The Optimist fleet being the larger fleet consisted of 28 sailors ranging in age from 7 - 15 years, and was split into the cadet class (7-11yrs) and the senior class (12-15yrs). The Laser fleet of 14 was split into the 4.7 Class(55-65kgs), the Radial Class( 65-75kgs) and the Standard Class (75kgs+).
These class differences reflect generally the age and weight of the sailor with the 4.7 Class having the smallest sail area and therefore being suited to the younger and lighter sailor. Generally once too old and heavy for the Optimist the young sailors first move to this class. Larger and heavier children will quickly move to the Radial Class and eventually to the Standard Class.
The GILL Foundation Day Regatta marks the 7th year since the foundation of the hugely popular Malta Young Sailors Club, which originally used to organise its activities from the Cavalieri Hotel but for the past four years have been based at Tax-Xama Lane, SPB, in a beautiful old boathouse generously lent by its owners Baroness Apap Bologna. In 2002/3 the MYSC was granted a piece of land next to the old boathouse and with funds partly provided the Kunsill Ghall-Isports and partly out of funds generated by the Club's members, a new Clubhouse was built. Now the combined facility provides storage for over 40 Optimists and 20 Lasers and this thanks to the generosity of the Clubs' benefactors.
The Regatta sponsored by GILL got off to a good start on Friday 19 March in a moderate 15 knot westerly wind ably managed by Principal Race Officer Peter DIMECH and his team. 3 races were held on the Friday with a further 3 on the Saturday. The races in all classes were very competitive but none expected the battle that was taking place between Karl CREMONA and Benjie BORG in the Optimist Senior Class. On the first day Karl seemed to be well away in first place but on the second day Benjie fought back, and after the 6 races were held they had identical results and therefore tied in first place. The tie is broken by selecting the best place in the last race and thus was broken in Benjie's favour. Nadya MANISCALCO did extremely well proving that Opti girls can really challenge the boys at the top. In fact in the Seniors Class the top 10 places were fought in the true club spirit of friendly but fierce competition.
The Optimist Cadets of whom there were 12 participants also sailed very well in the stiff conditions with the now veteran Sean BORG in first, Gabriel PACE in second and the relative newcomer but evidently strong competitor Ella FLERI SOLER in third.
In the Laser 4.7 Class, all being graduated Optimists, Christof PODESTA got a merited first place, with Emma MICALLEF competing strongly in second place, and Liz Apap BOLOGNA in third.
In the Laser Radial Class, Andrew SELVAGI was first, Alfred Fenech second and Maya PODESTA third.
In the Laser Standard Class, Per SAHLBERG was first, Neil BORG second and Aaron PODESTA third.
A trophy in memory of the late Bennie GRECH, one of the main inspirations of the Malta Young Sailors Club, was awarded by his son Joe GRECH to the youngest sailor in the regatta being the 7 year old Edward Fleri soler.
The Foundation Day Regatta ended with a prize giving barbecue hosted by sponsors GILL. Full results are on the club website at the address below.