PVIES Double Handed Race
25 April 2018
The ten strong fleet taking part in the first double handed race of 2018, on the Royal Malta Yacht Club’s calendar, started off in very light winds. The weather conditions in the morning, resulted in Race Officer Peter Dimech opting for the shorter course which saw them head northbound towards Comino and back to Marsamxett. The race had been postponed from a week earlier due to exceptionally strong winds on the original date.
As the fleet sailed along the coast up to Mellieħa, the fleet separated in two groups. The light winds saw the fleet nearly stopping completely between Dragonara Point and Mellieħa. A fresh breeze in the South Comino Channel gave crews a bit of respite.
Mario Sant and Michael Curmi racing on Time Out and winner of the IRC Class 2 category, described the race experience as starting off in a slow rhythm but eventually turning out into very enjoyable sailing conditions, despite the wind being variable.
“We started off in very light winds, with the fleet separating into two groups as we sailed along the coast up to Mellieħa. We had moments where we nearly stopped completely off Dragonara Point and Mellieha, however we still managed to hold a good position in the second group that consisted of lower rated boats. Our race took a positive turn when we entered the South Comino Channel into a fresh breeze and we decided to hug Malta’s coast whereas the other boats opted for Comino’s coast. This resulted in a separation of around two hundred metres from the second group by the time we reached Comino’s Western cardinal mark. Conditions continued to improve off Santa Maria Bay, by which time we had opened a very comfortable lead over the following boats managing to catch up with the leading group. There was a wind change off Pembroke, resulting in a slower pace, however we still managed to do decent speeds, keeping close to the leading boats right up to the finish and winning under corrected time.” Mario Sant, Time Out
Ms. Janice Spiteri, representing Island Engineering Services, sponsors of the event and exclusive representatives for PVIES Marine and Residential photo voltaic systems presented the winners with Solbian marine and Solbian portable solar chargers.
“Double Handed racing is very challenging and it is impressive to see the team work that goes into such types of races. The effort that is put in by crews certainly deserves to be rewarded and we are very pleased to be supporting this race once again” commented Ms. Spiteri.
IRC Class 1 - 1st- Otra Vez - Edward Gatt Floridia / Sean Arrigo
IRC Class 2 - 1st - Time Out - Mario Sant / Michael Curmi
2nd – Maltese Falcon - Jonathan Camilleri Bowman / Adrian Gauci Borda
3rd - Fast Forward - Mark Vassallo /Ray Agius Condachi
Cruiser Class - 1st - Escape - Georges Bonello Dupuis / Denis Gatt
“The Race Committee is pleased to see that crews are joining in the fun, and is working hard to bring races like this and other races on everybody’s ‘must do list’ of races. Weather has not been very much in our favour lately so we have been doing our best to adapt as much as possible and ensure that races still happen” commented Godwin Zammit, Commodore, Royal Malta Yacht Club.
The PVIES Double Handed Race forms part of the 2018 Short Handed Series which also include the Triple Handed Round Gozo Race (7th June) and the Raymarine Double Handed Figure of Eight Race (1st December)
The Royal Malta Yacht Club’s next racing commitment will take place this weekend on Saturday 28th April when crews will set off for their first offshore race the Citadel Marzamemi Weekend Regatta which is one of the most popular offshore races on the Club’s Calendar.