29 April 2023 – Ta’Xbiex, Malta – A weak frontal boundary hovering over Malta today brought cloud cover and light air for the fleet in the penultimate day of racing at the 2023 ORC European Championship, hosted by Royal Malta Yacht Club. Today the Coastal Race was on the schedule, a non-discardable race intended to last for 10-12 hours and test the navigational and seamanship skills of the fleet of 37 boats from 11 nations.
The very light winds and slow-going progress of the fleet instead tested patience and skills at keeping the boat moving on courses set initially around the island at 68 miles for Class A, 52 miles for Class B and 43 miles for Class C. After 6 hours of racing the race managers opted to shorten the courses at various locations around the island for all classes: the C class course was cut in half at 26.4 miles, B Class cut to 35.6 miles, and Class A cut to 39.5 miles.
Results from the shortened races had interesting and varied effects on the leaderboards in each class. Some of the top teams continued to perform well, while others had their leads get reduced into thin margins going into tomorrow’s final race of the series.
In Class A, Karl Kwok’s (HKG) TP 52 BEAU GESTE had a perfect scorecard until today – their 7th place in this race and a win by Claudio Terrieri’s (ITA) Swan 45 BLUE SKY has compressed BEAU GESTE’s lead to only two points.
There is a new leader in Class B, but the points margins have also compressed considerably. Renzo Grottesi’s (ITA) Club Swan 42 BE WILD has just a one point lead over Aivar Tuulberg’s (EST) Club Swan 42 KATARIINA II with Marcin Sutkowski’s(POL) Grand Soleil 44 P WINDWHISPER sliding down into 4th place after a disasterous 13th place finish today. Winning this race and moving up to third place was REVE DE VIE, Emmano Galeati and Davide Angelo’s (ITA) Grand Soleil 43 R, only two points behind the Estonians.
And in Class C the top three teams remain the same: Ott Kikkas’s (EST) Italia 11.98 SUGAR has an impressive 9-point lead over Vincenzo De Blasio’s sistership Italia 11.98 SCUGNIZZA despite beating them boat for boat by over the finish line by one minute but losing to them by 2 minutes in corrected time in this race. And the third-placed team – Jakoubek Zdenek’s (CZE) M37 HEBE V – is tied on points with Scugnizza going into tomorrow.
So, it’s all to play for in every class in tomorrow’s last race to determine the podium finishers of the 2023 ORC European Championship. Racing starts at 1100 CET.
For more information on the 2023 ORC European Championship, visit https://orceuro2023.com.
Complete race results are posted at https://orceuro2023.com/results.
Photos and videos are at https://www.flickr.com/photos/orcsailing/albums.
The 2023 ORC European Championship is being supported by Yachting Malta, Visit Malta, the Ta’ Xbiex Local Council, the Eastern Regional Council as part of its activities for the 2023 European Region of Sport and Heineken.