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18 December 2002, 02:59 pm
Racing Starts Today
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Euromed Malta Championships
St Paul's Bay

The Third Euromed Malta Championship organised by the Malta Young Sailors Club (MYSC), the only international dinghy event held in Malta, kicked off yesterday with a practice race.

The competition begins today and racing will take place in the St Paul's Bay area. In its short life, this sailing competition has already become an established racing event on the international calendar with sailors from countries including the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Sweden, Qatar and Malta.

The success of the previous editions of these championships will now see it grow further by opening up the racing classes. Originally a championship solely for Optimists through which the young sailors can learn about sail-racing from a very tender age, the Euromed is now being opened up to the Laser Standard and Radial classes as well. This move is expected to also attract a number of other local and international Laser sailors to participate.

Once again the Euromed Malta Championship this year is expected to see some exciting racing from these keen young ones who will, nonetheless, be judged by a racing jury from France, Britain, Ireland and Malta. In fact, this will continue to reinforce the organisers' aim for holding the Euromed, which is to offer our young sailors a good training opportunity so that they can be able to reach international levels. At the same time it brings over a number of top racers - such as the Swedes - who find that the Mediterranean at this time of the year offers more favourable training conditions than they find back home!

The 20 strong home team have been training hard throughout the year with some encouraging results from international regattas in Portugal and Dubai and will be hoping to improve on last year's results. In the previous two editions the Malta youngsters had shown they can be there with the top European sailors too and last year had given the Swedish team a hard time from the start, grabbing third place to their top two. This year all local hopes are on top sailors Benjamin Borg (13), Matthew Fleri Soler (14), Christoph Podesta (13), Thomas Ripard (13)and Simon Psaila (13).

John Portelli/ISAF Secretariat
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