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GLITTERING IN VALLETTA

The prize giving ceremony for the Middle Sea Race was held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, one of Valletta's most historic venues.

Honoured guests included: The Minister of Tourism; The Hon Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis. The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure; The Hon Joe Mizzi.

Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport; The Hon Chris Agius. Malta Tourism Authority Chairman; Dr. Gavin Gulia and His Excellency Irish ambassador; Padraig Mac Coscair.

Godwin Zammit, Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, expressed his sincere appreciation of Rolex for their continued support and their participation over the years, which has contributed so much to the successful growth of the event.

Godwin Zammit continued by thanking the Malta Tourism Authority, Transport Malta and the Armed Forces of Malta for their support and paid tribute to the Race Committee and staff of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, as well as the many volunteers.

“The 35th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has been a memorable one. Over the past year, the indication that it would be a big one grew steadily and in the end 122 boats set off from Grand Harbour, well above the ‘century’ of entries that eluded us last year. The first days were slow with light winds, testing the patience and powers of concentration of the sailors and also an opportunity to admire the scenery, spot a dolphin or two and pray for wind. Well those prayers were truly answered as the wind filled in from the northwest with a vengeance. Most of the fleet had to deal with gale force winds and huge waves, for those that sailed the course successfully, it was an exhilarating and adrenalin filled ride home as they battled to keep up the pace while maintaining the safety of the crew.

"Others were less fortunate and numerous tales of damage and retirements reached the race office, keeping Principal Race Officer, Peter Dimech very busy for a couple of days. Many took shelter in Sicilian ports and just over 50 boats finished the race. This has highlighted once again the challenging nature of the race; the changeable conditions of the Mediterranean at this time of year and the need for the crew to be well prepared for anything they might encounter. This year's event will most certainly maintain the reputation of the Rolex Middle Sea Race as being varied, unpredictable and as challenging an offshore race as any and the popularity of the event is likely to keep growing.”

There was rapturous applause for a special award to Arthur Podesta, a token of his participation in every edition of the Middle Sea Race and a dedication to the passing of Teddy Borg, Malta's 'Mr Sailing'. The most memorable larger-than-life international sport ambassadors that Malta and Gozo ever had.

Each winner was applauded as they took to the stage but the biggest cheer of the ceremony was the last. Malta's Lee Satariano, owner of Artie, led his team onto the stage to collect the overall winner's trophy for the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

The Hon Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis, Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Dora Ripard of RLR and Mr. Lionel Schurch from Rolex presenting the Malta Tourism Authority Trophy for first foreign boat and the RLR Trophy for the first yacht across the finish line and a Rolex Chronometer for the first boat to cross the finish line to Slovenian Olympic Medalist Vassilij Zbogar on behalf of Igor Simcic and Esimit Europa 2.

 
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