ILCA Europa Cup to be hosted for the first time in Malta
Originating as a local Optimist sailors’ Christmas regatta, the Euromed Regatta has evolved into an annual international regatta, now celebrating its 23rd edition.
Little did the Malta Young Sailors Club anticipate that what began as a modest event would transform into a globally-recognised competition, expanding to include the ILCA Class.
From December 16 to 19, Malta is poised to host approximately 200 sailors hailing from 30 countries, all set to compete in the Optimist and ILCA classes.
Notably, the ILCA Class participants will engage in the Europa Cup, a series of regattas held across various European locations.
As the culminating event on this year’s calendar, the Europa Cup trophy promises an exhilarating on-water battle, marking the culmination of the international sailing season.
The Optimist class stands as the internationally recognised single-handed sailing boat designed for participants under the age of 16.
Over the years, the regatta has been a stage for numerous sailors who have left an indelible mark on sailing history.
In 2016, Marco Gradoni emerged as the regatta’s champion. Now, at 19, Gradoni holds the distinction of being the first Optimist sailor in history to clinch three consecutive World Championship titles, establishing himself as the youngest recipient ever of the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.
In his remarkable sailing journey, Gradoni has continued to make waves, recently contributing as one of the helmsmen on the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team, securing second place in the second preliminary event of the 37th America’s Cup.
Vying to repeat last year’s performance, is Joan Domingo, who secured victory in the 2022 edition and clinched the fifth position in the highly-competitive 2023 Regatta of Champions.
Among our homegrown talents, Thomas Wilson, the reigning Maltese national champion, is poised to join the starting line amidst a field of nearly 100 participants.
EurILCA Europa Cup
The EurILCA Europa Cup, which will see its conclusion in Malta, has attracted notable participants eager eager to secure crucial points.
In the ILCA 4 category, Semen Sokol (Ukraine) and Archie Munro-Price (Great Britain) emerge as the frontrunners in the race for the 2023 Europa Cup Overall Trophy, with Sokol currently topping the leaderboard.
Local challengers, featuring Timmy Vassallo – Malta’s reigning national champion, who transitioned from a highly-successful Optimist career – alongside Katrina Micallef and Max Busuttil, are poised to present a formidable challenge in Mellieħa.
Engaging in close competition, these homegrown talents consistently push each other to the limit in every regatta, injecting an exciting and dynamic element into the overall competition.
“What began as a modest local regatta has evolved into an internationally recognised event, attracting sailors from around the globe,” said Malta Young Sailors Club Commodore Christian Bajada.
“The significance of these regattas cannot be overstated. They not only continually position our small island at the forefront of dinghy sailing but also serve as a crucial avenue for providing international racing opportunities right in our home waters.
“The growth and recognition of this regatta underscore its vital role in promoting both our local sailing community and the broader spirit of international competition on the seas surrounding our island.”
The 23rd Edition of the Mapfre Euromed Championships is supported by Mapfre Insurance, PWC Malta, Yachting Malta, Eyetech, Greens, Mdina Glass, Munchies, RLR Yachting.
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