Team Chiara wins first SB20 event of the 2023 season
The one design SB20 Class saw the first action for the year, when the fleet was part of the recently held 2022 Malta National Dinghy Championships, hosted by the Royal Malta Yacht Club. The Championships had been postponed from 2022 due to inclement weather on the day.
The day started out calm, but as the fleet moved away from the safety of Valletta, the winds picked up, reaching gusts of up to 20 knots. With some time to spare before the first race, crews were able to adjust to the conditions and prepare for an intense afternoon of sailing.
The SB20 fleet was thrilled to be a part of the National Championships. SB20 races currently involve up to eight teams, so being in the midst of the highly competitive and close racing of the smaller craft was an exciting change for the crews.
Team Chiara, skippered by Steve Carter, and Greg Mifsud’s Young Sailors/Grand Harbour Marina team dominated the competition, expertly navigating the rough waters while the wind whipped up 2-3 metre waves. The conditions permitted thrilling downwind racing at speeds exceeding 14 knots. No boat was immune to the day’s challenges, with every vesselencountering at least one broach!
The first race saw all teams jostling for the lead, before Chiara and Young Sailors drew away downwind, with Chiara taking the win. As the afternoon progressed, the conditions became more difficult, and in the final race of the afternoon, both Young Sailors and Chiara broached on the downwind leg. Despite the fact that all teams finished all of the races, the boats did sustain some minor damage. As a result, the decision to call it quits for the day was taken.
Following a swift return to Grand Harbour, the crews celebrated the regatta’s success with cold beers and some interesting ‘war’ stories. Some crews appear to be more excited about the beers than the racing!
TheSB20 Association and teams would like to formally thank the Royal Malta Yacht Club, their volunteers and staff for inviting us to compete in the National Dinghy Championships. A final special thanks to the race officials who spent the day battling the conditions to put on these exciting races. The Association expresses their gratitude to the Grand Harbour Marina for their ongoing support.
The SB20 fleet will be in action once again on the weekend 4th and 5th March, when a coastal race and round the cans events will take place.
1st – Team Chiara (Steve Carter, Andrea Vella, Daniel Fenech)
2nd – Malta Young Sailors Club – (Greg Mifsud, Emilie Gregory, Patrice Pace)
3rd – Careful Now (Guy Baranyay, Greg Szabo, Florin Chitic)