Malta Sailing Federation purchases four Hansa boats to para sailing
The island of Malta received its first three Hansa boats earlier this month, signalling the countries first steps towards creating a fully-operational Para Sailing programme in the country.
Mike Mifsud, President of the Malta sailing Federation, confirmed that there will be one boat for each of the four clubs to help sailors from different regions. “The first three boats arrived earlier this month, while the other one should be here by the end of the year. The plan is to have one Hansa in each club, there are four sailing clubs in Malta so each sailor can train at their local club to reduce travel,” he said.
“We will also be using the National Training Centre, holding training camps to bring the clubs together during the year and bring in specialist coaches to help us improve the programme.”
Mifsud was in Oman at the most recent World Sailing Paralympic Development Programme and observed how a Paralympic programme can be set up and run. “I was making mental notes on what I should and shouldn’t do. The Malta Paralympic Committee is 100% behind us and the Secretary General of the Committee himself is interested in joining the programme after he experienced a taster session before. He has been prompting us to take videos of the loading of the boats in Oman to build excitement for the project.”
The Hansa 303 World Championships 2021 in Palermo were well publicised in Malta, which showed the interest in para sailing and a desire to establish a national programme in Malta. The Malta Sailing Federation chose the Hansa class because it is so popular in Sicily, meaning sailors can travel back and forth easily – in fact, there is a ferry between the two islands which takes just 90 minutes, which is far easier than using freight to transport the equipment.
Plans for the future of the programme are already underway, including an outreach programme in schools and for the parents. Watch this space.