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RMYC to host ORC Euros in April

RMYC chairman David Cremona. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The Royal Malta Yacht Club will be hosting the 2023 ORC European Championships between April 23 and May 1.

Organised under the authority of the Offshore Racing Congress, the Malta Sailing Federation, and the support of Yachting Malta Limited, the event is set to welcome a sizeable European fleet amongst which are proven champions from past ORC events.

For example, Karl Kwok’s TP 52 Beau Geste (Hong Kong) skippered by Gavin Brady is the reigning ORC Class A world champion.

Aivar Tuulberg’s Katariina II (Estonia) team are the reigning ORC Class C European champions racing their Arcona 340
in Norway, but in Malta will be competing in Class B racing their Swan 42 of the same name.

Another team of proven champions from Estonia will also be in Malta: Ott Kikkas’s Italia 11.98 Sugar 3, the reigning ORC Class C world champions.

All these teams have top professional and amateur international talent on their crew, ensuring a highly-competitive international standard of racing here in late April. Among all-amateur teams, there will be Corinthian European Champion awards as well.

The Championships have attracted the interest of Maltese crews as well with two Rolex Middle Sea Race winners – Lee Satariano’s Artie III and the Podesta family’s Elusive 2 joining the fray.

Satariano said that he undertook a lot of preparation to optimise Artie III and the ORC European Championships, being held in Malta, will be a great opportunity to race amongst an international fleet.

“The ORC Europeans will be our first regatta even more so as this will be held in our local waters, there is a lot of preparation of both boat and crew for such a regatta. It would be a good start to this year’s campaign, weather conditions and wind are usually great for this period of the year and Malta being an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea will attract many other international yachts to participate.”

On her part, Maya Podesta, co-skipper of Elusive 2 said: “These championships have opened up a fantastic opportunity for us to race in a top international event just on our doorstep. Malta has many windy days, good waves, and relatively warm sunny days it’s the perfect setting for some really good racing.

“Add in some good boats and race committee and the potential for a fantastic event is there, all that is needed now is for the international sailors out there who like a good event to come over to make it happen.”

Another Maltese entry is Otra Vez. Their crew also has amassed many nautical miles of experience in offshore and coastal races, having also competed in the Rolex Middle Sea Race several times.

Aaron Gatt Floridia, owner of Otra Vez, expressed his excitement for the event.

“We’re looking forward to taking part in this important event in our home waters. The combination of coastal, long distance and windward/leeward gives boats a lot of opportunity to test themselves out in different race conditions,” he said.

In preparation for these championships, the club is hosting a Measurement Seminar, which will be led by ORC Chief Measurer Zoran Grubiša and ORC technical staff member Alberto Pindozzi and will be directed towards measurers, race committee members and sailors who will be given comprehensive training on the ORC rating system both in theory and in practice.

David Cremona, Royal Malta Yacht Club Commodore welcomed the ORC team.

“The ORC European Championships are set to welcome a sizeable fleet to Malta, with crews hailing from all over Europe for a week of offshore and coastal sailing, and socialising. We are confident that their stay in Malta and the Royal Malta Yacht Club will be a memorable one,” he said.

On his part, Yachting Malta chairman Jonathan Borg expressed his delight at the opportunity to support such an event.

“Whilst Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage site creates a perfect image, Malta is not just about offering spectacular scenes along its coastline but is renowned for its ideal sailing conditions, which have been attracting high calibre yachting events to Malta and offers high-quality services to the maritime industry.”

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