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TonTon Laferla places first in Coastal Race Series

Tonton Laferla. Photo: RMYC/Andrea Azzopardi

The Royal Malta Yacht Club’s first racing commitments for the year kicked off with the RMYC Winter Sailing Races which consisted of four coastal races and four inshore races spread over four weekends.

The Coastal Races took place mostly on the eastern coast of Malta and were generally short Saturday afternoon races. The Inshore Races, also referred to as Round the Cans, were held on Sunday mornings outside Tigne Point.

The Coastal races saw a good turnout with 14 boats taking part throughout the whole series. In the end it was Jonathan Gambin’s TonTon Laferla who emerged as overall winner.

TonTon won all the three races they competed in. In second place, with just a two point gap was Ralph Landwehr’s MiameToo, who had been chasing TonTon for all of the races. A surprise entry in third place was Stefan Debattista’s Geisha.

Both skipper and boat had been regulars on the sailing circuit a few years back but were recently absent from the scene.

Whilst not racing much locally, Debattista, kept his skills honed having competed in several Rolex Middle Sea Races in the past years.

The more challenging inshore races saw slightly less participation but nonetheless was full of competitive action.

The overall series was won by Ralph Landwehr’s MiameToo, who won all races bar the last one when they were pipped to the win by Charles’ Cronin’s Alecto. Alecto finished in second place in the overall classification.

Brian Flahive’s Juniper finished the series in third place with equal points as Alecto, however Juniper missed out on gaining more points having skipped the last race.

Joining the keelboat fleet for the weekend was the SB20 Class, who instead of the usual format of windward-leewards courses with multiple races per day, the Class raced with the keelboats on a coastal course on the Saturday.

On Sunday the fleet once again joined the keelboats for the inshore race. Overall Class winner for the weekend was Careful Now, helmed by Andreas Bohnsack, Greg Szabo and Guy Baranyay.

“Although the first months of the year, don’t usually see large participation in our races, due to boats being on the hard in preparation for the longer races, the RMYC Winter Series proved to be popular with a good turnout,” said David Cremona, RMYC Commodore.

“These races were seen as good preparation for the ORC European Championships which will be hosted by the club later in April.”

The next event on the RMYC Calendar is the Spring Gozo Regatta which starts on March 30 and comes to a close on April 2.

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