This year's Euromed Malta Championship promises to be a good challenge for all participants, especially the Maltese sailors so hot from their recent top medal successes in the Games of the Small States of Europe.
In fact, both the Optimist and the Laser classes in this year's edition of the Euromed will see a strong contingent of foreign sailors competing against the locals.
Benji BORG will have to defend his Gold medal and his fifth position in the European Championship this summer in Croatia. Dutch girl Nina KEIJZER, the 2002 national Champion, will be there too sailing a Nordest boat, the same kind that the organisers are bringing over for this year's Euromed.
Rebecca HARDING, the Swedish and Nordic champion, will again be coming over for the fourth time to the Euromed and it will, unfortunately, be her last year sailing in the Optimist class. This happens all too often as a matter of consequence as the young sailors grow older (and heavier) than the Optimist class limitations permit. In fact, The Malta Young Sailors will, for the first year, also be launching their "older" sailors in the Laser class, promoted from the Optimists.... a new class for the club.
Nine countries will be officially represented, Bulgaria, Ireland, Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, UAE, Qatar and Malta. A total of 37 foreign Optimist sailors and 32 Maltese Optimist sailors are already booked for the start line when the Euromed Malta Championship racing kicks off on Thursday, 18th December, at St. Paul's Bay with two races a day.
A spokesman for the organising committee said that, additionally, in the Laser class they have 14 foreigners and 21 Maltese sailors. "We are having an International Jury Panel with Jury members coming over from Greece (Costas TSANTILLAS), Italy (Luciano GIACOMI), Switzerland (Stefan ZLOT) and our two local I.J.'s, Peter VALENTINO and John RIPARD".
Furthermore the spokesman pointed out that on the 17th December, the day before the actual racing of the Euromed Malta Championship starts, the Hon. Minister Jesmond MUGLIETT will be officially launching the event as well as the opening the new premises of the Malta Young Sailors Club at Tax-Xama, St. Paul's Bay.