22nd Jun 2020
Photo Credit: Andrea Buzdugan
The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions relating to sporting activities was welcomed by members of the Royal Malta Yacht Club who were anxiously waiting for racing activities to resume.
The first race of the revised Club calendar took place last week and was a triple handed round Comino race. Initial plans to have the race round Gozo were thwarted by weather conditions when wind barely reached five knots.
Not to be discouraged, Race Officer Peter Dimech suggested a shortened course to make the cut-off time more doable for the racers.
It was a slow start for the ten strong fleet as they left Marsamxett Harbour. Jonathan Gambin’s TonTon Laferla took a good lead, which was maintained until the entrance to the South Comino Channel. It was there that the race had a second start when the yachts were stuck for nearly forty five minutes waiting for pockets of wind to continue the race.
"Was a good race we had a good lead at the entrance to South Comino channel and got stuck There for around 45minutes with zero wind, all other racers managed to bypass us on noticing that we were becalmed. Anyway that is sailing we still managed a good result." - Jonathan Gambin (Ton Ton Laferla )
At the Channel, the fleet split into two – with some opting for the centre of the channel whilst others chose to get closer to the islet. Otra Vez, skippered by Edward Gatt Floridia chose the latter and secured a welcome breeze as they made their way around the island of Comino and led the fleet home. Second to cross the finish line was Sean Borg’s Xpresso, however it was Gambin’s TonTon who secured second place on corrected time.
"It was great to be back on the water, post covid. The race took off to slow start, with the fleet making steady progress along the coast. As we ran out of wind in the south Comino channel, the race completely re-set. The fleet split, with some boats opting for the centre of the channel and other choosing to go closer to Comino. We secured the breeze near Comino, made our way round the island and led the fleet home" Tom Sammut Alessi (Otra Vez)
In the IRC2 Category it was Mario Sant’s Time Out who took first place. The RMYC Cruisers division, finishing quite some time behind the rest of the fleet, saw Fernando Grech’s Kontiki take the honours, after an enjoyable din-dong battle all afternoon.
"Although weather conditions did not favour us Cruisers, I must admit that it was one of the most satisfying and challenging race. Start was very slow and having a maximum of 7 knots of wind heading us up to Comino was slow but moving, changing tacks with our opponent “Janissa” and avoiding doing any mistakes kept us moving on a satisfactory pace. But to our disappointment as we reached the north part and could see all the racers flying their kites just of Salina, the wind dropped to zero and stayed still for about 40 minutes. The boat was on a standstill but we kept her towards the right direction and waiting for the wind to pick up . Unfortunately, by the time the wind started picking up , it came from the opposite direction ,and so we ended up with heading wind back to finish. It took us 9 hrs to complete the race but teamwork and determination rewarded us". - Joe B. Muscat, Kontiki
The Royal Malta Yacht Club is now planning their next sortie will take place over the long Mnarja Weekend and will consist of a number of inshore race. For more information visit www.rmyc.org.
IRC Class 1
||Edward Gatt Floridia
||TonTon Laferla Insurance
IRC Class 2
||Martin Borg Nicolas