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Surfski Shack canoeists shine in international competition

The Surfski Shack, a local paddling club in Msida, has made waves in the international paddling scene in 2023, with its members participating in various events across Europe and achieving impressive results.

The club’s first event was the Naxos Cup, held in Giardini Naxos, Italy, on May 13.

The conditions were challenging, with a strong crosswind and big waves. However, the club’s members showed their resilience and skill, finishing the race successfully and earning some podium places.

Ryan Louw and Szabina Toth won the gold medal in their respective categories, while Andreas Bohnsack and Ruben Vassallo took silver.

Matthew Schembri and Michael Aquilina also did well, finishing third and fourth in their categories.

The second event on this year’s calendar was the Hawaiian Sports Festival, held in Rerik, Germany, on June 21.

This event was also the German National Championship, which attracted some world-class athletes such as Joshua Fenn and Claas Gebhardt.

The course was a 20 km downwind with moderate wind and waves. Adam Mackal and Matthew Schembri travelled to Germany to represent the club and finished 37th and 13th respectively out of 49 participants of the men’s category.

Another event held in Germany, this time in Rostock, was the OCO Race, on July 22. The course was another 20km downwind with stronger wind and waves.

Matthew Schembri and Andreas Bohnsack competed again and finished 13th and 48th respectively out of 58 men.

Andreas Aquilina Bondin competed in the Under-16 Canoe Sprint Regional Races in Mormanno, Italy, on July 21. Aquilina Bondin showed his talent and potential by winning three gold medals in K2 500 m, K1 200 m, and K4 500 m.

Aquilina Bondin took part in the Under-16 Canoe Sprint National Italian Championships in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, from August 4 to 8.

Aquilina Bondin reached the final and finished eighth in K4 500 m and sixth in K4 200 m. He also reached the semifinal in K1 200 m, narrowly missing out on the final.

At the last and final event, Andreas Aquilina Bondin competed in the Italian national championships and saw him achieve incredible results with a fourth place in K2 and K4 200m, and 5th in K4 500m.

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