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22 December 2003, 10:39 am
Italians Push Malta Into Third Place In Final Top Honours
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EUROMED Malta Championship
St. Paul's Bay

It was Italian Valentino VALACCHI who eventually carried off the title of winner of the 4th Euromed Malta Championship Optimist class yesterday with another day of consistent sailing as he held the top position from Day 2.
It was a slightly sad day for Malta's Benjie BORG who was Valacchi's close contender and for most of the week held second place, as he slipped to third overall position being beaten by another Italian, 14 year old Federico MAGNANO, who rose to fourth place yesterday and today moved into second after placing that little bit better in the day's three races.

In fact, racing was rather exciting on the final day, in ideal conditions with a steady 8 knot wind blowing from the North East. As a result, the organisers mananged to fit in a third race to make up the full programme of races planned (one was cancelled earlier in the week due to no wind at all). "All the starts of the Optimist class were hotly contented and it seems that all participants had a good time indeed," said Malta Young Sailors Club Commodore, John RIPARD Jnr.

The Optimist class saw Tina LUTZ (GER) rise from sixth place to finish fourth, Karl CREMONA (MLT) moved up from enth place to fifth overall. In sixth place was Italian Andrea BARCHIESI followed by Dutch girl Nina KEIJZER, who dropped from the previous day's fifth placing. Italian Iacopo PLAZZI rose from 14 place to eighth overall followed by Petter VANE-TEMPEST (FIN) and Tajana GANI (CRO).

The junior Optimist cadet class was won by 11 year old Swede, Hampus APPELGREN followed by Malta's Sean BORG (10 years) and Italy's Cosimo CHIELLINI who greatly improved his performance on the final day.

In the Laser 4.7 class, Adel KHALID (UAE) continued to gain top placings in racing and managed to pip Malta's Christoph PODESTA for the top place in this class mostly due to better results overall in the competition. In third place was Malta's Matthew FLERI SOLER, winner of the Euromed Optimist class last year, followed by Emma MICALLEF, Yasmin de GIORGIO, Jan ROSSI, Khalid YOUSEF (UAE), Daniel CALASCIIONE and Liz Apap BOLOGNA.

In the Laser Radial class, Simon AQUILINA held on to the first place despite strong competition from Zak BORG, Andrew SELVAGI, Sebastian RIPARD, and Alfred FENECH.

In the Laser Standard Class, Malta's Olympic competitor Mario AQUILINA (27 years) continued with his string of firsts to head this class followed by Aaron Podesta (16 years), Neil Borg (28 years), David Dalli (36 years), Joe Meilak (43 years), Simon Mifsud (34 years), Kevin Grech (34 years) and Noel Grech (39 years).

During the prize giving ceremony held during the evening at the Mistra Village complex where most of the participants were staying, Commodore John Ripard said that he had received a lot of enthusiastic comments from the foreign teams participating. They all found the facilities and the venue excellent and enjoyed the racing immensely. He particularly wanted to thank the great effort of the many volunteers who make this Malta's biggest sailing event. "It speaks volumes for the Maltese spirit" he said.

In fact, Organising committee chairman Jovin RAUSI also backed him up when he said that the Euromed is a pioneer in the organising of big sailing events in Malta as these four editions have shown. The local organisation have become an extremely efficient machine with all departments working in close teamwork and they should be given credit for it publicly.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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