Last Saturday the first of four long-distance races to determine the line-up of participants on the forthcoming Enemed Malta-Sicily Windsurf Crossing was held.
This 53.4 nautical miles (99Km) marathon commemorative edition will be held on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first-ever crossing on a windsurfer between Sicily and Malta (1982-2022).
There were 11 registrations for the first qualifying race, nine ‘newcomers’ and two ‘veterans’. The course for the day was a 30km run from St Paul’s Bay to North of Comino west cardinal mark, to Għallis cardinal mark and finish at the Young Sailors Club in St Paul’s Bay.
A number of long-distance ’routes’ – ranging from approximately 11 nautical miles (20.4Km) to 39 nautical miles (72Km) – have been designed to be considered on the particular qualifying race day where the prevailing wind condition will be the determining factor of the length of race.
Starting off with a steady north west, which was forecast, to increase and shift to the west throughout the race, the competitors had a flying start in St Paul’s Bay as the ‘IQFoil’ equipped windsurfers reached across the line at 17+ knots metres from each other.
As in all past Malta Sicily windsurf events, contenders are allowed the use of any board-sailing equipment of their choice.
The first of the envisaged four long-distance selection races were mostly held in favorably west-northwest direction wind varying in 15 to 22 knots speed.
An immediate assertion on this first qualification outing was the sheer confidence of the Polish windsurfer Kamil Manowiecki, who in all legs of the race and in whatever wind direction and strength, he was undisputed.
Manowiecki cruised into first place in under one and half hours. The event is promoted and organised by Wishbone Windsurfing Promotions in association with the Malta Young Sailors Club who are providing their technical experience in the running of the qualifying programme.
After the first qualifying race, where Mark Vassallo was Race Officer, the temporary classifications saw Jean Paul Fleri Soler top the veterans’ category.
In the newcomers section, Manowiecki placed ahead of Karl Miggiani, Tom Zammit Tabona and Shaun Miggiani.
In this first of four selection races the ‘most senior’ sailor was 59-year-old Paul Ellul with the youngest being Nicholas Drescher, of Germany, who is 17.
Drescher and Manowiecki are both active members of the Malta Young Sailors Club.
The Enemed Malta-Sicily Windsurf Crossing – 40th Anniversary Commemorative Edition (1982-2022, is being held with the collaboration of the Comune di Pozzallo (City Council of Pozzallo) Sicily, having Enemed as the “Official Fuels Partner” as well as the main sponsors.
The other official partners of the event are GasanMamo Insurance, S&D Yachts, Blye, Medcomms Marine Electronic, Cisk, and Roland Marina.
The event is also being held with the esteemed support and recognition of the Malta Sports Journalists Association.