220 sailors representing 16 countries competing in annual regatta
The four day, sailing Mapfre Euromed International Championship kicked off today in Mellieha Bay. Weather conditions were such that all races planned for the day were held, with an additional race taking place for the Optimist Cadet and Senior Fleets.
Separate race courses for the Optimist and ILCA Classes were laid out on the outer side of Mellieħa Bay, visible distance of each other. The only varying condition between the two courses was a slighly stronger sea swell for the ILCA Classes.
The Optimist Senior and Cadet Classes enjoyed a total of four races, with the Beginners Class racing the initially planned three races. Starting off in a north westerly wind varying between 8 -10 and a swell of 0.4m, Spaniard Juan Domingo, who recently finished third in the Trofeo Cuidad de Palma, was leading the fleet until the fourth race of the day, when a first place by Ukrainian Sviatoslav Madonich saw him take a provisional lead and garnering equal points as Domingo. Behind them in third place was Martinius Hopstock (NOR).
The top-ranked Maltese for this class, for the day was Emily Fenech who finished in sixth place.
The Beginners’ Class saw the fleet compete in three races. Malta’s Matteo Mamo had a consistent run and is currently leading the fleet with 6 points, ahead of Mattea Bowman (MLT) in second place and Marcello Morace (ITA) in third place. The latter two garnered equal points for the day.
The first race saw the ILCA fleet race a trapezoid course, in 8 to 10 knots of wind and a swell of 0.6m. Later on in the second race, wind increased to approximately 12 knots and a slightly higher swell, however, conditions remained consistent for the third and final race of the day.
Maltatopped both the ILCA 4 and ILCA 6 leaderboards through the efforts of Benjamin Vassallo and Shaun Aquilina respectively.
Mariyan Shangov (BUL) and Jake Mallia (MLT) followed Vassallo in the top three places for the day. Vassallo had a good start with a win and consistently maintained two second places in the subsequent races.
In spite of a shaky start, in the first race where he finished in seventh place in the ILCA 6 Class, Shaun Aquilina made up for the first result by winning the second and third races. Racing in the same fleet was Irene De Tomás Perelló, the 2022 ILCA 4 girl European Champion. Perelló has now moved on to ILCA 6 and has been regarded as one to watch in this Championship. In third place was Dmytro Karabadzhak (UKR), who in spite of a good first two races which saw him finish in first and second place, the third race of the day saw him finish in a disappointing ninth place.
The Mapfre Euromed International Championships are being hosted by Malta Young Sailors Club under the auspices of the Malta Sailing Federation. The Championships are supported by Mapfre Middlesea, Yachting Malta, Zhik, Greens Supermarket, S&D Yachting, Kellog’s and Farsons.
Racing resumes at Mellieħa Bay, on Sunday at 10am.
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