Birżebbuġa top B category
Marsa and Birżebbuġa won the Victory Day Regatta with a dominant performance in the Open and B category respectively at the Grand Harbour on Tuesday.
For Marsa this was their 14th triumph in their history and they succeed Cospicua who had won both the Open and B categories in 2019.
The Red Blues made their intentions clear in the Open category right from the outset as their quartet of Clifton Camilleri, Jan Tanti, Sven Refalo and Charlton Abela made the most of an error committed by Cospicua to edge a thrilling battle with Senglea to win the Dgħajjes tal-Midalji race.
Cospicua tried to recover lost ground in the second race and they engaged in a thrilling duel with Marsa but it was the latter, through their duo William Mifsud and Christian Camilleri, who crossed the finish line first.
The Cottonera club finally bagged their first win in the third race, Dgħajjes C Tal-Pass, where Clive Casha and Dennis Thornton, kept their grip on the category with another dominant win to finish well clear of Marsa and Senglea.
However, Cospicua’s hopes of denying Marsa overall victory were all but extinguished in the Kajjiki race as their team was forced to retire after the first few metres due to an injury to one of their rowers.
Marsa made the most of their rivals’ mishap as they cruised home to victory ahead of Vittoriosa and Senglea.
That left, the Red Blues needed just a top-three placing in the final race to secure the shield, and they did just that as in the final race, Dgħajjes B Tal-Pass; they produced a storming finish to take the final place of the podium.
Cospicua took the win ahead of Birżebbuġa but it was the Marsa rowers who celebrated their overall victory.
Birżebbuġa were a dominant force in the B category as the southerners managed to win three of the opening four races that handed them title with one regatta to go.
The club’s triumph in the B category is certainly a reward for their investment in youth talent in recent years and surely it will be no surprise that in the coming months we will see them as genuine challengers for the Open category.
Birżebbuġa could not have hoped for a better start when the pairing of Glenn Zammit and Clifford Bugeja cruised to victory in the opening race, Dgħajjes C Tal-Pass. They opened a huge lead from the start and there was no way back for their opponents.
In the second race, Senglea kept their stranglehold in the Kajjiki race when Kensley Ciantar and Spiridione Amato managed to outwit Steve Dalli and Russell Bugeja of Birżebbuġa.
However, Birżebbuġa soon restored the order as their quartet of Nathan Bonello, Glenn Zammit, Russel Bugeja and Andre Karl Gauci produced a storming finish to take the win in the Dgħajjes A Tal-Midalji race ahead of Cospicua and Senglea.
That win spurred Birżebbuġa to go on and secure mathematical certainty of their triumph when they again came out on top in the Frejgatini race. Siblings Matthew and Steven Dalli bagged their second successive win in the category to finish ahead of Cospicua and Marsamxett to take an unassailable lead at the top.
Despite they were already sure of winning the shield, Birżebbuġa were determined to finish on a flourish and they did just that when they came from behind to win a thrilling duo with Cospicua to register their fourth win from the five races held in this category.
In the women’s race, which opened this year’s regatta, Vittoriosa duo Glynnis Mizzi and Rachel Gialanze maintained their stranglehold in their division after placing first for a third successive year ahead of Birżebbuġa and Cospicua.
Women’s race, Frejgatini: 1. Vittoriosa; 2. Birżebbuġa; 3. Cospicua.
Race 1: Category B, Dgħajjes C Tal-Pass – 1. Birżebbuġa; 2. Kalkara; 3. Cospicua.
Race 2: Category Open, Dgħajjes tal-Midalji – 1. Marsa; 2. Senglea; 3. Cospicua. Close battle
Race 3: Category B, Kajjiki – 1. Senglea; 2. Birżebbuġa; 3. Marsa.
Race 4: Category Open, Frejgatini – 1. Marsa; 2. Cospicua; 3. Vittoriosa. Great battle with Cospicua
Race 5: Category B, Dgħajjes A Tal-Midalji – 1. Birżebbuġa; 2. Cospicua; 3. Senglea.
Race 6: Category Open, Dgħajjes C Tal-Pass – 1. Cospicua; 2. Marsa; 3. Senglea.
Race 7: Category B, Frejgatini – 1. Birżebbuġa; 2. Cospicua; 3. Marsamxett.
Race 8: Category Open, Kajjiki – 1. Marsa; 2. Vittoriosa; 3. Senglea.
Race 9: Category B, Dgħajjes tal-Pass B – 1. Birżebbuġa; 2. Cospicua; 3. Kalkara.
Open category: 1. Marsa 64; 2. Bormla 58; 3. Senglea 22; 4. Birżebbuġa 16; 5. Vittoriosa 12.
B category: 1. Birżebbuġa 84; 2. Cospicua 34; 3. Senglea 26; 4. Kalkara 20; 5. Marsa, Marsamxett 4.