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MT 27 March 2016

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50 maltatoday, SUNDAY, 27 MARCH 2016 Sport SAILING TRIATHLON J70 Malta Sailing League – Powered by MAPFRE Middlesea SUNDAY 13 March saw the first event of the Malta Sail- ing League come to a close. The Malta Sailing League (MSL) is a series of three individual Cups (events), each cup being a stand- alone event as well as forming part of the league. The MSL is a league of Malta's top sailing clubs fielding their best team/s to compete on this circuit. With some exciting priz- es for the winning clubs, The MSL is set to be a highly con- tested event attracting Malta's top sailing talent to compete. The top two clubs, the winner and runner-up, will qualif y to represent their club at the Sail- ing Champions League (SCL) Fi- nal in Porto Cervo (September) and St. Petersburg (August) re- spectively. MAPFRE Middlesea has con- firmed their support for the Malta Sailing League,as part of their contribution to competi- tive sailing in Malta. By way of prize, MAPFRE Middlesea will be subsidising the top two teams to compete abroad at the Sail- ing Champions League events. The 2nd cup of the Malta Sailing League will be held on the 9th & 10th of April sailed in Mar- samxett harbour. To follow this league please visit the J70 Malta Association Facebook page and/ or website. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES ROBINSON TAYLOR Second place for Galea in Pergusa Sprint Duathlon MALTA Champion Keith Galea lately participated in the first race of the Sicily Triathlon Series. This Series is a circuit of 6 races around Sicily where the level is expected to be very high. The first race of the Series was a Sprint Duathlon which was held in the Race Track of Per- gusa in Enna. The Race consisted of a 5km Run – 20km Bike and a 2.5km Run. The build-up for this race for Galea was not an ideal one as he got sick a week before the race and was under antibiotics treatment. How- ever Galea was still determined to produce a good performance. The weather in Pergusa was very tough for the athletes as it was very cold and kept on raining for the whole weekend Galea started the first run in the lead setting his own pace and try- ing to make selection The Malta Champion came in T1 leading the race with another five athletes covering the 5km in a very good time of 16.25. After a fast transi- tion Galea immediately attached the bike. Only Race Favourite, En- rico Schiavino and Domenico Lo Faro kept on Galea's wheel. At this stage Galea knew that the victory was going to be between them. He was not feeling 100% sharp due to the antibiotics so he had to play his cards well Galea tried several attacks on the bike but he could not get the other 2 athletes off his wheel. The road was all flat and it was raining and windy so it was even difficult for Galea to make the difference. The three came in together In T2 covering the 20km in 31minutes. It was crucial moment of the race and Galea tried to do his fast tran- sition to go out first and open a gap but unfortunately due to the cold weather, his hand were numb and lost precious seconds. Schiavino went out of T2 first. Galea followed him just a few sec- onds behind. The Malta Champion did his best to close the gap but he was not feeling very powerful due to the cold weather and antibiotics. He managed to hold on to his 2nd place finishing the race in a time of 58.40 just 17seconds only behind Race winner Enrico Schiavino and winning his category in the pro- cess. Domenico Lo Faro finished 3rd in 58.54. Contacted after the race Galea said that his is very pleased with his performance. He said that he was unlucky that he got sick few days before the race as he would have gone much faster. Unfortu- nately had a slow transition due to numb hands which he lost precious seconds which costed him the overall victory. However he is very happy that he won his category and would like to thank his coach Der- mot Galea, his swimming coach Catalin Stan, his sponsors Garmin Malta, BBB Cycling Malta, Jaycee Malta, Team Barry Whitmoore – Malta Challenge Marathon, Starbene 24/7, Mochika outdoor life,, Lucida Laundry, his Club Birkirkara St Joseph, the Malta Triathlon Federation, the Maltese Olympic Committee for the constant pportand Sportmalta for their constant support and for funding this race. St Patrick's celebrated at the Royal Malta Yacht Club WITH St Patrick's Feast con- juring up images of fun, laugh- ter, dancing, Guinness and all things Irish, the Royal Malta Yacht Club certainly did not want its members to miss out on any fun and to this effect or- ganised a jam packed weekend of racing, sailing taster sessions and a fun filled party held in the Club's Restaurant. Although quite a few boats are still on the hard, a number of yachts made the necessary arrangements to participate in what was the first weekend re- gatta for keelboats for 2016. Two coastal races were held over the weekend, both starting inside Marsamxett Harbour. Satur- day's race saw all yachts head- ing north towards Comino. With the gusty conditions inside the harbour, there was already some action going on. Sean Borg's Xpresso was first to get the clear winds exiting the harbour, closely followed by Mario Sant's Time Out, Anton Calleja's Lartista followed by Godwin Zammit's Inspiration. The f leet had the perfect 15 knot breeze getting to Comino before being let down by the same wind after it had become very light round Comino. Un- fortunately, Xpresso was the only boat to manage the time limit on Saturday leaving them with a very strong position for Sunday's final race and overall prize. Sunday was yet another beau- tiful day with Southerly winds and f lat calm water. A course was set round the Munxar mark and back to the Yacht Club. Two yachts, Xpresso and Time Out fought it out till the last second, leaving no room for errors. Ulti- mately it was the Xpresso crew who managed to emerge victo- rious once again making them the weekend's overall winners. On Saturday evening, mem- bers and their friends thronged the Club to attend Shamrock & Shenanigans, a St. Patrick's themed party. Guests were treated to an Irish themed buf- fet complete with typical dishes such as Irish stew and Colcan- non, Guinness and Kilkenny on tap and accompanied by an Irish band who kept the crowd going until the early hours with lively Irish tunes. As part of its efforts to attract more people to sailing, the Royal Malta Yacht Club Sail- ing School organised an 'Open Day', wherein over fifty people undertook sailing lessons in the harbour. The overwhelm- ing response received resulted in the 'Day' being stretched into the whole weekend in or- der to accommodate all the re- quests received. Great weather conditions contributed further to the success of this initiative. The weekend came to a close on Sunday afternoon, when prizes for the weekend 's races were given out in the presence of His Excellency the Irish Am- bassador Pádraig MacCoscair, who introduced the Beaufort Trophy which was given to the overall winner of the weekend races. The Beaufort Trophy, which was being presented for the first time in the history of the Club was presented to Sean Borg and his crew of Xpresso. Prizes were given to the crews of Time Out and Inspiration who gained second and third place overall respectively. "My crew and I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and we are very proud to be the first winners of the Beaufort Tro- phy" commented Sean Borg after prize giving. "As always these races require a lot of teamwork and I take this op- portunity to thank my crew for an amazing time!" The St Patrick 's Weekend Regatta was made possible through the assistance of the Irish Embassy in Malta.

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