Malta Wel­comes Again The Young ‘Pram’ Sailors!

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Wil­fred Sul­tana

When the Malta Young Sailors Club in­tro­duced ‘Euromed’ in 2000 there were 60 young sailors com­pet­ing mainly from Malta. Last year the 16th edi­tion of the MAPFRE/Mid­dle­sea EUROMED Re­gatta 2015 held De­cem­ber was a splen­did and over­whelm­ing Event. A record on all counts - 227 sailors from 17 coun­tries rep­re­sent­ing 55 dif­fer­ent sail­ing clubs! All given fig­ures de­note a Record in the fol­low-up de­scrip­tion.

Six­teen edi­tions which gave Malta the pride of six wins, fol­lowed by Rus­sia boast­ing three wins, hav­ing Italy and Swe­den cher­ish­ing two vic­to­ries each, con­clud­ing the pres­ti­gious six­teen win­ners lineup with Great Bri­tain, Ice­land and Turkey show­ing-off one tri­umph each.

The 17th MAPFRE/Mid­dle­sea EUROMED Re­gatta 2017 will be held be­tween Sun­day 18 and Wed­nes­day 21 De­cem­ber in the tra­di­tional rac­ing arena of Mel­lieha Bay with the db Se­a­bank Re­sort + Spa of Mel­lieha once again recog­nised as the of­fi­cial ho­tel of the Re­gatta. ‘Euromed’ is held dur­ing the schools Christ­mas hol­i­days where for­eign com­pet­ing young­sters travel to Malta ac­com­pa­nied by other mem­bers of their fam­i­lies who be­sides en­joy the Re­gatta taste the hol­i­day val­ues of our coun­try.

With less than 40 days to go for the big day ap­pli­ca­tions for par­tic­i­pa­tion are most en­cour­ag­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tions from Great Bri­tain, Italy, Rus­sia, Den­mark, Nor­way, Nether­lands, Bel­gium, Is­rael, Spain, Canada and Mex­ico al­ready con­firmed.

Italy is ex­pected to field the big­gest con­tin­gent. One pos­i­tive as­pect in this par­tic­i­pa­tion is that it has sailors com­ing from clubs who have never sent their sailors here. There are 21 Ital­ian clubs rep­re­sented.

The Op­ti­mist, one of the most pop­u­lar sail­ing dinghies in the world, is a small, sin­gle­handed sail­ing dinghy in­tended for use by chil­dren up to the age of 15. The Op­ti­mist is rec­og­nized as an In­ter­na­tional Class by the In­ter­na­tional Sail­ing Fed­er­a­tion. The dinghy is clas­si­fied as a pram be­cause of its shal­low-draught flat-bot­tom.

There will be three Op­ti­mist Classes, namely, the Se­nior Di­vi­sion for Boys and Girls born be­tween 2001 and 2004. [12 – 15 years], the Cadet Di­vi­sion for Boys and Girls born be­tween 2005 and 2008. [8 – 11 years], and the Beginners’ Di­vi­sion for Boys and Girls born be­tween 2001 and 2008, who have only been sail­ing for 12months.

There will also be Laser 4.7 and Ra­dial fleets which will be sailed in a sin­gle se­ries but on a sep­a­rate course to the Op­ti­mists.

Last year’s 16th edi­tion was won by 10-year-old Richard Schultheis, a mem­ber of the Malta Young Sailors Club who raced in the Cadets Class. Schultheis won back the over­all award for Malta af­ter 4 edi­tions to be­come the youngest of all six­teen Euromed (20002016) win­ners.

Jean Paul Fleri Soler, the Malta Young Sailors Club Youth De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer is looking for­ward for the com­ing 17th edi­tion.

“We have had a very in­ten­sive year of train­ing and some very good com­pet­i­tive re­sults. One can say the best ever in fact. We will con­tinue with our in­ten­sive train­ing and will be mov­ing to Mel­lieha Bay to train there as of end Nov . This year we will have 6 new lo­cal sailors whose av­er­age age is 12”, re­marked Fleri Soler.

At­tend­ing the 17th MAPFRE/Mid­dle­sea EUROMED Re­gatta 2016 as a guest of the or­gan­is­ers will be Lady Carla Stan­ley one of the two Vice Pres­i­dents of the In­ter­na­tional Op­ti­mist Dinghy As­so­ci­a­tion.

The beau­ti­ful sight of the multi­na­tional fleet of young­sters off to sea to chal­lenge for the now famed MAPFRE/Mid­dle­sea EUROMED Re­gatta set for 18-21 De­cem­ber

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