Elusive Podesta hits the jackpot again
Celebrating their 90th anniversary, Sliema Band Club recently decided to sponsor one of the RMYC events - the Double Handed Round Malta - as part of their festivities.
With winds almost absent and with the scorching sun on top of their heads, skippers found it hard to sail off from Marsamxett Harbour at a steady pace.
It was a struggle even to get out of Tigne Point and head to port in a coastal race around the island. The only favourable point in this race is that on board there is less body weight than normal.
Youngsters David Anastasi and Andre Rossignaud pushed Strait Dealer to just a slight advantage in an agonisingly slow pace, with four other boats closing in within striking distance all the way up to l-Ahrax tal-Mellieha.
It was more than a delightful decision for those on board when they got message from Race Officer Peter Dimech that the course was shortened. Rounding Fessej Rock, just outside Mgarr ix-Xini, and then head back to base was a relief for all sailors.
Arthur Podesta and his son Aaron, on board Elusive, sharpened their skills to gain a slight lead over Georges Bonello du Puis and Edward Gatt Floridia (Primadonna) at Comino Channel. But, with Primadonna momentarily gaining the lead at l-Ahrax Point, Elusive was on the warpath struggling to catch up as the breezes started to roll in.
The conditions made the course trickier with wind pockets to wind holes but somehow Elusive, knowing fairly well that favourable handicap ratings would win the day, caught up just in time to clock in five minutes behind Primadonna which had just pipped Strait Dealer for first place on corrected time.
Inexperienced Puddleduck and Spirits of the Winds were the first to retire but it was more than a surprise that skipper David Pizzuto and Mike Agius, two very experienced sailors pulled their sails down a few miles away from the finish on Geisha, one of the favourites.
Relentless Mischief was fourth in line with Martin and Steve Beacham sportingly enduring to a struggling finish with barely a slight breeze in sight.