The Yachting Malta Coastal Race is the traditional warm-up race, held on the Wednesday, marking the start of sailing action for the Royal Malta Yacht Club’s flagship event, the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Expected to join the fleet on Wednesday are four of the eight Maltese boats planning on being part of the main start in the Grand Harbour on Saturday. Amongst them are Jarhead skippered by the young sailors from the Jarhead Foundation, Jonathan Gambin’s Ton Ton Laferla, Sean Borg’s Xpresso and 2019 Rolex Middle Sea Race winners, Elusive 2.
The Podesta siblings have had their fair share of success in this race having claimed a number of podiums and Class wins in the previous editions.
“Elusive 2 will be on the starting line of the Coastal Race. We have regularly participated in this race as it provides us with a great opportunity to fine-tune the boat and get the crew race-ready. It will also give us a sneak peak of what competition we are to expect in the Rolex Middle Sea Race,” Maya Podesta said.
Principal Race Officer Peter Dimech explained that for the time being it would be too early to commit to a course as the forecasted westerly does not allow a good beat. The waters to the east of Malta will be quite flat with strong wind offshore gusting through the valley, whilst the clearest wind will be on the long course south around Filfla, but it will also be the roughest.
“The Yachting Malta Coastal Race is not just a practice race for competing crews but also a good practice run for our starting procedures. This will definitely prove useful particularly because we have a number of new members in our start crew team,” explained Principal Race Officer Peter Dimech.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a lower number of entrants is expected. In view of this all classes will be grouped together.
Entrants should look out for an Amendment to the Coastal Sailing Instructions, on Tuesday, just before the briefing scheduled for 1800hrs.
For the first time in the history of this race, the Race Briefing will be held online in order to minimise interaction and encourage social distancing.
Meanwhile, Yachting Malta has once again confirmed its support towards the race, having given its nod towards this event for the past five editions.
“Yachting Malta is delighted to once again contribute and show its support towards the Royal Malta Yacht Club as it gears up for the much-awaited Rolex Middle Sea Race.
“The Coastal Race provides a taster of what is to be expected in the coming week and we are all looking forward to welcome participants to this major sailing event.” stated John Huber, chairman of Yachting Malta.