Yesterday marked the opening day of the Valletta RC44 Match Racing Championship which saw 10 boats race in pairs across the Grand Harbour between The Three Cities and Valletta. All ten boats are completely identical in terms of design and specification, so who wins comes down purely to the sheer skill, strength, and determination of each team.
Yesterday’s Match Racing Final was nail-biting right to the end and the results came down to the very last race of the very last match, with victory being seized at the last moment by team Artemis lead by Team Principal Torbjorn Tonrqvist. RC44 events traditionally begin with a day of match racing and points are accumulated from these across the duration of the season. Going into yesterday’s match, three teams were tied (Bronenosec Sailing Team, Team CEEREF and Team Aqua), with two teams three points in the lead (Team Nika and Artemis Racing) which made for an extremely tense and exciting atmosphere in the Valletta Grand Harbour.
In this decisive showdown, Artemis Racing and Team Nika battled it out with several close calls and high octane duels on the rolling waves. At one point, Nika had the upper hand but Artemis retaliated and shifted back into the lead and continued to defend well and secure the first-place position.
“It was great to have such a close match with Team Nika in the last race” commented the winning teams Tactician, Francesco Bruni. “It was really intense, really like how match racing should be, very close, lead changes all of the time, really good fun.”
Lucky spectators caught a bird’s eye view from the Lower Barrakka Gardens, but the best vantage point was on board the MV Fernandes which anchored parallel to the race course for an up-close and personal view of the events as they unfolded. Fenech Farrugia Fiott were lucky enough to be on board and could enjoy the event to the full and take a selection of action shots before returning to shore to enjoy an Apres Sail event with the team members, boat owners and event sponsors.
The rest of the week will consist of Fleet Racing where all 10 boats will start at the same point and race along the coast of Sliema towards the finish line. The final of the Fleet Racing event will take place on Saturday and prizes for both finals will be presented on Sunday afternoon.
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