ORC Europeans 2023 gaining momentum
With one month to the close of the early-bird discount entry deadline (28 February), already there are 33 teams from 10 nations committed to compete in Malta for the 2023 ORC European Championship, hosted by the Royal Malta Yacht Club with help from the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). Held over 23 April to 1 May, this event features a mix of inshore and offshore racing to determine new ORC European Champions in three classes.
Among these entries are proven champions from past ORC events. For example, Karl Kwok’s TP 52 BEAU GESTE (HKG) skippered by Gavin Brady (NZL) is the reigning ORC Class A World Champion. Aivar Tuulberg’s KATARIINA II (EST) team are the reigning ORC Class C European Champions racing their Arcona 340 in Norway, but here in Malta will be entered in Class B racing their Swan 42 of the same name. Another team of proven champions from Estonia will also be in Malta: Ott Kikkas’s Italia 11.98 SUGAR 3, the reigning ORC Class C World Champions.
All these teams have top professional and amateur international talent on their crew, ensuring a highly-competitive international standard of racing here in late April. Among all-amateur teams there will be Corinthian ORC European Champion awards as well.
Besides the imported talent, there are also some very keen local teams ensuring high competitive standards in each class. Lee Satariano’s HH42 ARTIE III (shown left) is a Rolex Middle Sea Race champion that will be vying for the ORC European Champion title in Class A. He is enthusiastic and optimistic about competing at the upcoming event.
“We’ve been optimising, preparing and racing ARTIE III for the past 3 years,” he said. “Even though the ORC Europeans will be held in our waters, there is still a lot of preparation of both boat and crew for such a regatta. Weather conditions and wind are usually great for this period of the year. And the hospitality provided by the Royal Malta Yacht Club always leaves a positive impression for both owners and crews!”
Maya Podesta is co-skipper of ELUSIVE 2, a Beneteau First 45 that has also had proven success in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Podesta is also looking forward to meeting the challenge of inshore and offshore racing at the ORC Europeans.
“This event has opened up a fantastic opportunity for us to race in a top international event just on our doorstep, said Podesta. “Malta is very exposed to the elements and offers exceptional raw ingredients for yacht racing - with many windy days, good waves and relatively warm sunny conditions it’s the perfect setting for some really good racing. Add in some top teams and race committee talent, the potential for a fantastic event is there.
“All that is needed now is for the international sailors out there who like a good event to come over to make it happen!” In preparation for the championship, an ORC Seminar is being held this evening at RMYC, where features and attributes of the system are presented to interested owners, sailors and race managers.
Tomorrow through Sunday is a more detailed training seminar on measurements to prepare inspectors and measurers for the fleet in April.