It was Friday the 13th, yet for 20-year-old Polish windsurfing celebrity Kamil Manowiecki, this was a day to remember and a massive feat on an anniversary crossing.
For the Enemed Malta-Sicily Windsurf Crossing 1982-2022, this was a 40th anniversary commemorative edition, of the first ever successful windsurf crossing between Sicily and Malta in 1982.
On the day, Peter Bonello and Paul Ellul covered the 53.4 nautical miles marathon in nine hours 31 minutes.
Besides Manowiecki, who symbolically represented the foreign windsurfers who over the years participated in the ‘Pozzallo Race’, the other four participants on the day were a mix of Maltese ‘veterans’ and ‘newcomers’ windsurfers.
These were Paul Ellul (59 years), Karl Miggiani (24), Tom Zammit Tabona (28) and Shaun Miggiani (21).
“The Crossing started at 10:30 in a Light NW breeze (Force 2 to 3) which picked up to a top of a Force 4 as we sailed offshore and got closer to Sicily,” remarked Mark Vassallo, Principal Crossing Officer.
Manowiecki admitted that the race had an unusual scenario for him.
“The crossing was something unusual for me, I am training for much shorter distances, I have never sailed so far at one time, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” he said. “Even though I had to pass through the open water, the highway of enormous cruisers and container ships, the organisers have provided me two supporting boats.
“One leading boat showing me the shortest way to Sicily and the other one was just next to me looking after and taking care of all my needs. With this team I managed to sail super fast and get to Sicily after 2 hours and 13mins.”
On arrival in Pozzallo, Manowiecki regretfully had to leave immediately for Lake Garda, in northern Italy, to prepare for the upcoming European Championship.
“This incredible record-time further strengthens the reputation of this legendary event, already recognised as the ‘longest single-stage windsurf Race in the world’,” said Wilfred Sultana, general organiser and originator of the ‘Pozzallo Saga’.
“On behalf of my old-guard colleague Jeff Poulton, I thank the Malta Young Sailors Club, various individuals, Maltese and Sicilian entities, sponsors, the support fleet and also Transport Malta who all contributed to the event overall success.”
The Enemed Malta-Sicily Windsurf Crossing – 40th Anniversary Commemorative Edition (1982-2022) was promoted and organised by Wishbone Windsurfing Promotions with the cooperation of the Malta Young Sailors Club.
The race was 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 Lega Navale Italiana – Sezione di Pozzallo extended its support on the Pozzallo end of the event.
The race is also was held with the esteemed support and recognition of the Malta Sports Journalists Association.
1. Kamil Manowiecki 2hrs 13mins; 2. Karl Miggiani – 2hrs 45mins; 3. Tom Zammit Tabona – 3hrs 33mins; 4. Shaun Miggiani – 3hrs 51mins; 5. Paul Ellul – 6hrs 17mins.