Paris 2024 Berth Narrowly Missed by RMYC Sailors

Paris 2024 Berth Narrowly Missed by RMYC Sailors

Performance augurs well for future campaigns.

The French Olympic Week Last Chance Regatta provided an incredible opportunity for young Maltese sailors, hailing from the Royal Malta Yacht Club, to test their mettle whilst vying for a coveted Olympic qualification. While the ultimate goal wasn’t achieved this time, Maltese sailors show that they are on a promising trajectory towards future Olympic participation.

The RMYC contingent consisted of Victoria and Antonia Schultheis (49er FX), Matthew Flores (ILCA 7), Lara Merten and Katrina Micallef (ILCA 6). They were assisted by coaches Alexandr Denisuic, Pablo Mari Garcia and Ryan Seaton.

Despite the outcome not being as desired, athletes remain determined and motivated, already setting their sights on the next Games which will take place Los Angeles in 2028, giving them a full four years to prepare.

49er FX Class

Victoria and Antonia Schultheis have been making a name for themselves in the 49er FX Class and came extremely close to clinching an Olympic berth. The siblings were narrowly edged out by the Czech team who finished in 10th position overall. Malta followed in 11th place.   The siblings’ performance shows the thin margins that are found in elite competition, where even a slight mistake can have an immense effect on the overall scoring.   Whilst this chapter did not result in Olympic qualification, the invaluable experience gained will put the team in a better position as they prepare for the next Olympic cycle. 

The Last Chance Regatta in Hyeres, gave the sailors an invalubale lesson in how to manage the varied conditions and prolonged delays, with the longest day seeing sailors endure eight hours on the water in 9-degree Celsius weather. Despite the challenges, our sailors exhibited resilience and professionalism, and an overall great attitude.

ILCA 7 Class

The ILCA 7 Class emerged as one of the toughest challenges, with a staggering 37 nations trying their chances for four spots, intensifying the drama out on the water and underscoring the Class’ competitive nature.

Mathew Flores’ 42nd overall finish out of 61 participants representing 23 nations, vividly illustrates the monumental task of securing an Olympic berth amid such formidable competition.

ILCA 6  Class

Although a smaller fleet – 20 nations – competed in the ILCA 6, the competition was nothing short of fierce, as similarly only four Olympic berths were up for grabs.  Malta’s athletes made a promising start in light conditions.  Katrina Micallef pushed Malta to the top four at one point. However  weather conditions shifted from light to a strong Mistral. This coupled with cold fronts from the North gave Micallef and Lara Merten a tougher challenge than expected. Nonetheless, they gave a solid performance in spite of their age and experience, with Merten finishing 23rd overall and Micallef in 26th taking Malta to 14th place in the Nations rankings.  

The Royal Malta Yacht Club expressed its gratitude to all those who supported its team in the French Olympic Week, in particular the Malta Sailing Federation, SportMalta and the Maltese Olympic Committee.

The Club’s athletes’ participation was partly funded by SportMalta, the Maltese Olympic Committee and the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

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