The highly anticipated Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa Weekend Regatta was the first offshore yacht racing event for the Royal Malta Yacht Club racing season this year. With a programme of events that included a race to Ragusa on Friday, social activities on Saturday, and a race back home on Sunday, these races lure a variety of crews who not only seek just the racing but also the hospitality that revolves around such events.
Friday’s start, held under the direction of Race Officer Peter Dimech saw the fleet start with a fresh northeasterly wind. The leftover swell from the previous days created quite a mixed lumpy sea at the start line, which saw Ralph Landwehr’s Miame Too first off the line, with the Ripard family’s J99 Calypso in hot pursuit. Ferdinand Grech’s KonTiki had a good start but a tack out from under Calypso allowed Escape to gain a slight advantage. Whilst the start in Marsamxett augured well for a good race, the wind did not last long enough for any boat to complete the course in time. The last to retire was Calypso who valiantly tried to make it to the finish line on time but wind conditions prevented them from doing so.
Nevertheless, the disappointment of not having finished the race quickly dissipated once crews arrived to a warm welcome from the Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa team, who supported this event. Following a good social programme, particularly the mouth watering BBQ and live music on the Saturday evening, the fleet was ready to head back home on Sunday morning.
With the presence of good wind to head home eluding the fleet at the start, Race Officer Georges Bonello Dupuis, in agreement with crews, decided to postpone the start on Sunday morning by an hour. Despite the minimal wind at the start, the fleet made its way out of Marina di Ragusa and eventually managed to pick up some wind as they approached home.
First to cross the line was Miame Too, followed by Calypso and Mario Sant’s Time Out. With ratings coming into play it was Calypso that took the honours of the weekend home.
‘We had great fun racing up to Ragusa and back in some challenging conditions over the weekend. The biggest highlight was sailing with my 3yo niece back to Malta on Sunday. Fantastic Sicilian hospitality as always especially from the team at Marina di Ragusa’ – commented Tom Ripard, skipper of Calypso.
The overall podium was completed by Mario Sant’s Time Out and Charles Cronin’s Alecto, whilst in the Cruisers’ Class, Fernando Grech’s Kontiki took the win.
“The Club had been looking forward to this event, and we cannot thank our friends at Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa enough for their support and hospitality throughout our stay in Ragusa. Based on the comments and feedback received, we can safely say that this event has been a thorough success” remarked David Cremona, Commodore, Royal Malta Yacht Club.
A Prize Giving evening will take place a the Royal Malta Yacht Club on Friday 20th May. The next race on the Club’s calendar is the Round Comino Double Handed Race on Saturday 15th May.