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27 May 2003, 04:34 pm
Sailors Gather on Historic Island
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Games of the Small States of Europe

The Games of the Small States of Europe take place from 2-7 June in Malta, an island steeped in history and sailing tradition. The tenth edition of the games sees 50 athletes from six of the smallest European countries compete in the sailing regatta.
Held in the Laser Radial, Laser and Optimist, athletes from, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Iceland, Malta, Monaco and San Marino will sail in the historic waters off St. Paul's Bay on the northern coast of the island, only minutes from the athlete's village of New Dolman.

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Malta, as host nation of the games this year, is competing with 21 athletes over the three classes.

Sailing is a long tradition in Malta and the first competitive racing was established with the formation of the Malta Yacht Club in 1921. Other clubs were established with the presence of the British Army and a growing racing scene in Malta was thriving.

One of Malta's biggest and most famed sailing events is the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race, a 600 mile sprint around Sicily. Starting and finishing from the Port of Valetta, the capital of Malta, the race takes a route around Sicily and close to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe. It was founded and is run conjointly by RORC and the Royal Malta Yacht Club

With the departure of the British Armed Forces, a plethora of new clubs were formed, both yacht, keelboat and dinghy racing, the Royal Malta Yacht club grew out of the Malta Yacht Club and along with the other clubs on the island, formed the Maltese Sailing Federation, an ISAF Member National Authority, in 1975.

In All Over 900 athletes will be testing their skills against one another in the ten disciplines over six days of competition, including athletics, judo, squash and swimming. The opening ceremony is on Monday 2 June and closes after the final events on Saturday 7 June.
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